The Loneliness of a Brother

September 1, 2011
By Anonymous

I never really felt lonely before my brother, Mike, joined the navy. Now I know loneliness can happen even when you're in a crowd of people. You can still feel alone surrounded by everyone. I am proud of my brother but I still miss him at the same time. Before my brother left, he always had time for me. He was there to help me with homework, to play catch, to take me along for a ride with him and his friends, or just about anything else. Now I come home and look at his empty room and the yard where he always worked on his car.

Now I sometimes just sit there and hurt because I feel so alone. Everyone needs someone and I never knew I needed my big brother so much. I know I will always feel this until my brother returns. Though, I really fear that my brother won't make it home. These thoughts creep into my head when I see the cars drive up and stop at some poor person's house to tell someone' that their husband or son was killed.

I try to distract myself and occasionally even find myself laughing. That is, of course, until I realize that I can't share my story with Mike later. I can still feel lonely even if I'm with my friends, it's just not the same anymore. I always thought loneliness was only felt by people who were truly alone like the old lady who lives by herself down the block or that kid from fourth grade who had no friends. Now I know that to feel true loneliness you have to lose that special companionship that fills your heart.

Every time I see Mike's car keys on the hook or the plate setting left untouched, I feel an ache in my gut. I know the same things make my mother feel it too. She sometimes makes extra food or sets the table for him, seemingly forgetting that he's not coming home for dinner that night. I see her pass his room at night and look in with such a sad face. Dad acts brave, but I know it's affecting him too. He seems quieter these days and pays more attention to the news than ever before.

I see the same loneliness in my friend Dave's face, but even to a further extent. His father was killed in combat over in the pacific about a month ago. Him and his mother are moving out now to live with his grandmother. So now I don't only miss my brother, but my friend as well. I realize now that loneliness can affect everyone, not only the old lady down the street or that kid in fourth grade. You just have to lose someone who you truly love, someone who is a real friend.

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