PsychologyGrief

How Do You Grieve An Addict?

Familial ties are supposed to be amongst the strongest we come across in life. The bond between a son and mother; the connection two siblings share– a bond we didn’t choose but will always be there.

It must be a beautiful. I imagine. For someone to have known you all your life and always be there for you. I sometimes daydream of what that must be like.

But for those of us, those that lost that connection long before any kind of death, we were robbed of such an experience. Given this opportunity right in front of our faces only to have it swiped from underneath our feet, as we desperately clasped at any thread of hope we could.

For me, this was, or is, my brother.

He’s a shell of the person he could’ve been and someone I was never given the chance of knowing.

Some days, I wish he didn’t exist; because the pain of not having a brother would be easier to bear than the pain of being reminded that I’ll never have the chance to truly know him.

That addiction was stronger than anything I could’ve given– than anything my family could’ve given. That somewhere, deep in there, the tiny human I once knew is screaming to come out. But instead, all I hear is the mumble of a stranger. Words that are foreign to me but should feel the most familiar.

Because though he is entrapped in the vicious world of addiction, he is still here. His presence an ever-looming reminder that a certain kind of joy in life was taken from me– one I’ll now never be able to experience.

And so my question is— how does one grieve a person who is still here? Where are the words for losing someone that’s still alive?

How do you move on when loss is still a tangible presence?

Related

About the author
Writer and advice columnist for relationships Follow Kirstie on Instagram or read more articles from Kirstie on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.