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by Abigail Van Buren

Time Hasn't Diminished Grief Over Homeless Brother's Death

DEAR ABBY: My older brother died suddenly two years ago. He was only in his 30s. After his death I found out he had been homeless and living out of his car. I blame myself for not knowing and not being there when he needed someone.

My siblings seem to have gotten over it, but even after my weekly therapy sessions I can't seem to stop crying when I see his picture or hear his name. Is something wrong with me because I can't seem to let go? It's so bad that I can't visit his grave because I get panic attacks on the way there. -- STILL GRIEVING IN MONTANA

DEAR STILL GRIEVING: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your older brother. If you were unaware of his financial situation and that he was homeless, it was likely because he didn't want you to know. So stop blaming yourself for it.

I'm glad you are seeing a therapist regularly, because when a person has experienced a loss like yours and is grieving as you are, therapy can help to relieve the guilt and trauma survivors sometimes feel after the death of a loved one. However, because you have been in therapy for the length of time you have and are not making progress, it may be time to consider changing therapists.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Death | Mental Health