Breaking My Silence

By | August 8, 2015

It has been a while since I have written, either here on social media or even on Tumblr. The last post I made on Tumblr was several weeks ago and I stated I would be taking a short hiatus.

As many of you may know from following Kayla, my sister passed away Aug 2. She lost her 13 month fight with colon cancer.

I learned so much from her in that time. She never faltered and she was strong even at the end. As sick as she was she always thought of others and always had a laugh and a smile to give. In the office where she received her  chemo she had Kayla take her to the Dollar Store and bought these huge velvet roses because she knew one of the nurses liked to decorate. She bought enough that there was a flower on each and every IV stand in the room.

When Kayla and I couldn’t give her a ride there was/is a church that stepped in to help. They also took up a collection for her at Christmas time sending her food, toys and clothes for my nephew, and even some financial assistance. She talked of when she got better how she intended to do something to give back to hose who helped her.

My sister was 7 years younger then me; I was big brother. I looked after her and protected her. Oh I was also the big brother that tormented his little sister and don’t worry she gave as good as she got.

Life, family, jobs separated us for many years. After I divorced and I moved to Clearwater we grew closer once more. She was even there and helped on the day I moved Kayla down to help her move her stuff in and get settled.

My sister took me aside at one point and in a very serious manner asked me “Is she a good woman?” My answer more then satisfied her and over the course of the past 13 months her and Kayla built a relationship.

I have heard it said that tragedy can either bring a family closer together or tear them apart.
The major part of my family was torn apart.

I can’t and won’t go into it here, that is way to personal.

In the end my sister was not alone, I was with her and the father of my nephew was also by her side. He went over and above for my sister doing more for her then anyone.

I’m going to get on a soap box for a moment.

Please please please
If you don’t have a will set one up now!
Have someone you know and trust set up as your medical surrogate. No one expects to die young yet no one lives forever.

Have someone you know and love that is willing to carry out your wishes and make sure they know what your wises are.

Make sure you have a living will made out and even a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate)

No one wants to talk about death and dying, it feels morbid and in bad taste.
But these things are so important to have in place.

I witnessed first hand what it can do not to have these things done and in place.

And on top off all this, know your family medical history…if you don’t know ask and find out.

The normal of my life for the past thirteen months has been doctor appointments, chemo treatments, procedures, CT scans, and blood work with my sister.

Now I need to find a new normal.

59 thoughts on “Breaking My Silence

  1. Kayla Lords

    Oh Daddy, I love you and my heart still aches for everything you’ve been through in the last year and especially the last few weeks. We will find out new normal together. You are not alone. (((HUGS)))

    Reply
  2. Peep

    Mr. John Brownstone, you are a pillar of strength, and an example to the boys of what it means to be a man, a brother, a father, and part of a family. Now it is time for you. Take time to grieve and heal from your loss. I’ve missed hearing from you. Hugs to you and Kayla.
    Peep

    Reply
  3. pretty in pink submissive

    hugs SS

    As someone who has already lost one sibling and the other one is very sick now, i understand your torment. I, too, am the oldest in our family.

    My only advice is to allow yourself to grieve, in whatever form that takes. Don’t allow anyone to tell you how that should be manifested. Then, when you think you are on the other side of the worst of it, and something comes along (and it will) that makes you feel like you’re back at square one – grieve again. That is part of normal. To do anything less than feel what you are feeling would be a disservice to you, your sister, and all whom you love and who love you.

    The greatest part of a man is embracing his emotions, good or bad, and either knowing how to deal with them or knowing when to lean on someone else. Kayla will continue to be at your back. You’re right – she is a good woman. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and read it often here online.

    Daily hugs from me,
    PP

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Kayla has been my rock through all this and especially of late she has kept me grounded in reality. When doubts crept in she pulled me back from the ledge.

      My thoughts are with you as well and I hope we do get to see you again soon.

      Reply
  4. Oceanswater

    Having just lost my sister two years younger than me i can relate. So sorry for your loss Sir. Every thing you said about will and medical POA is very true. I hope your new normal comes soon.

    Reply
  5. missamelia

    I am SO sorry for your loss. Having gone through two deaths recently, my Mother-in law loss her fight with cancer and my Brother-in-law committing suicide, I feel your grief. Can I add one additional thing to your great suggestion of having all your legal documents in order? Please, look into organ donation. I know it isn’t for everyone, but if you are not religiously or morally opposed to it, PLEASE DO IT! My mother-in-law lost a long battle with throat cancer, brought on by years of poor choices and less-than-ideal living. Her body was wrecked from the cancer and chemo. However, after she died, they approached my husband and asked about organ donation. He was surprised that it was even an option with her history. The only thing they could use were her corneas.
    She died in August, and the day before Thanksgiving that year, we received a letter. It was from a mother who had two small children and had lost her eyesight due to an unfortunate infection. She had received my Mother-in-laws corneas and she would be watching her children open their Christmas gifts for the first time in 3 years. Tears run down my face as I write this, because it makes the loss, somehow, better. We find great comfort in knowing that our loss brought such joy to another.
    Sorry for leaving such a long reply to your heart-felt post, I just try and remind people of this gift, every opportunity, because I know how positively it can help the families of the donor and the recipient.
    Sending Love, Prayers and Happy Thoughts to you and your family.

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      missamelia thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      What a wonderful story of how your mother-in-law was able to bring such a blessing to someone.
      While my sister was not a organ donor yes that is something to think about and do as well.

      My thoughts and good wishes to you and your family.

      Reply
  6. Susan Bramley

    I have not lost a sibling so cannot imagine what you are going through now. Unfortunately my only sibling and I don’t get on that well. Just know that all your friends are here for you as well. Trust in Kayla to help you through this sad time. Hugs from me.

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      While it has been said that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family is something that has been reminded to me several times in the past week.

      While I don’t know why you and your sibling don’t get on well one can always try and reach out.

      Our mom didn’t show up to my sisters service, it can be very sad.

      Reply
  7. Annie B

    You and Kayla are thought of often. I wish you peace and love as you both move through the pain of losing your beloved sister. May she fly high for eternity. Love to you both, Annie.

    Reply
  8. Shalom

    Please accept my condolences for the loss of your sister, sir John and Kayla. I will lift prayers of peace and comfort for you both during this sad time.

    Reply
  9. little monkey

    You are absolutely right in what you said about the paperwork and being prepared. Having gone through this with my mother, I know having all this in place before hand makes the whole process easier for the loved one left behind.

    I am so sorry for your loss Sir. It sounds like she was a remarkable woman, and you are a remarkable brother.

    Reply
  10. Cheeky Minx

    I wish I had the right words to express the pain I feel for you in the depths of my heart and soul. I can’t begin to imagine your loss as a brother and man.

    I’m am so very sorry your beautiful sister is no longer with you, touching you all every day with her love and light.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours right now. Take good care, JB.

    ~M x

    Reply
  11. Stephan & Leen

    Dear Sir,

    Princess and I are so sorry for your loss. Saying goodbye for ever when it comes to a loved one is very hard. It also takes time to process the emotions that go with such a loss. How long depends from person to person. We are not given the time to contemplate or to find peace with the new situation as life itself demands our presence continuously. Maybe that is a good thing. We work, we love, we enjoy time with friends making the mourning process more fragmented, easier to bear. Know that your sister will always be with you. Not only do you share the same blood but there are the memories too that will comfort you, make you smile or make you sad. Don’t forget, as her older brother, you have also shown your sister your unconditional love by standing next to her in her final moments.
    In due time, Sir, you will find a new normal. Things will be different but then again there are the memories. Your sister will live one as long as your think of her, remember her.

    We send you a zillion hugs.
    Take care.
    Stephan and Leen

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Thank you both for your hugs. What has helped me more then anything through all this is Kayla. She has been a rock that has kept me steady in a tumultuous time. She has served me unerringly in this time, giving me someone to lean on.

      I have been so grateful for the past 13 months as in that time we have built some new memories that I can always carry with me. The best part is that Kayla was a part of those memories as well.

      Often I think of the two of you and always wish you both happiness in the love you both share for one another.

      John

      Reply
  12. MCH

    John,
    We’ve never met, so first thing’s first… you and Kayla make a great team! I’m so sorry to hear the passing of your sister, my sincere condolences to you n your family.
    It was good that u had the opportunity to get close to her, and I’m sure your sister equally loved having u in her life.
    This is a difficult time in your life, right now, as you have to go thru the grieving process. It’s great that u hv shared this family love in yr post. Until then, John…God bless you n Kayla!
    MCH

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      MCH,
      Thank you, I don’t regret one minute of the time I spent with my sister if anything I am grateful for it.
      We reconnected in ways we hadn’t been since we were kids. In a way it seems funny that with out thought I just slipped back in the big brother role after so many years had passed.

      Reply
  13. Christina Mandara

    Everyone wants to avoid the subject of death. I know the importance of having a will, but still keep putting off getting one – even though I know what can happen if I don’t leave one and I have children. You’ve given me the impetus to make sure I search one out and do the job properly.

    I’m so sorry for your loss and hope that you and Kayla manage to find a little comfort in each other Xx Just take it one day at a time.

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Sadly even though my sister was given the diagnosis 13 months prior the majority of the family and I mean close family; sister, mother, father was in full denial bordering on delusional.
      That is what hurt and made a bad situation worse.
      Kayla has been my lighthouse in the storm, keeping me steady.

      Please for your families and your sake have the necessary plans in place. Hopefully you will never need them but if so…

      Reply
  14. Petals

    I am sorry to hear of your massive loss :(. I am a hospice nurse, and find it an honor and privilege to give physical comfort and dignity to those that are dying. Words don’t seem enough to comfort you in the pain you are experiencing. Your sister fought a valiant fight and she is more than a conqueror 🙂 As she moves to her new journey, you will find a new normal in time. Let her memories flow on and make you smile, and cry, but most of all remember the love you share as siblings. That will never fail. Blessings to you and yours.

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Petals, I apologize for taking so long to respond to you.
      Thank you
      I have earned a great deal of respect for both the Hospice nurse and the Hospice social worker that was a part of our lives the last few months. What you do for people is nothing short of being an angel in peoples lives.

      While the loss of my sister does leave a hole in my heart I also have all the memories of us growing up as kids and over the course of the past year her and I have built new memories that I will always hold near and dear to me.

      To say thank you for what you do and how you touch peoples lives in what can be such a tumultuous time just doesn’t seem enough.

      Reply
  15. Lilli

    I’m so sorry for your loss. As others have already said, allow yourself time and space to grieve. Though it may not seem like it now, you will find your new normal. There’s not much (maybe not anything) that turns a person’s world upside down as severely as the loss of a loved one. (((hugs)))

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Thank you Lilli, each day gets a little better then the last. I am slowly working through and processing all that has happened over the course of the past year. There are moments of tears but that is also accented with smiles.
      You and yours are also in my thoughts.

      Reply
  16. Livnah

    Dear JB,

    We’ve never met, spoken, or communicated electronically. In fact, this was the first post of yours I’ve ever read.

    As I attempt to write, “I’m so sorry for…”, I know it will bring little comfort to you. So, I’ve decided not to write it or anything like it. I know you will understand that the meaning and feeling of those words is behind everything I say to you here.

    Over the past few years I have cared for and been beside both of my parents as they came to the end of their lives. I’ve been with a pseudo SIL in her last stages of breast cancer with mets. I’m now helping my brother during his life with cancer. It appears cancer seems to like my family. If it only knew how much it is hated~!

    Although the past 13 months of your life may have been some of the worst moments, I’m sure it was also some of the best. Being beside someone you love as they go through the worst times of their life, being their support, their protector, and still their brother and loved one is one of the most important things you will ever do in life. You’re right in saying, “tragedy can make or break” a family. I know first hand. Don’t be surprised when others tend to remember things differently from fact, it will happen.

    My gift to you is to share the following: There is nothing you can do to fix what has been done. You will never be able to change what others felt, did, said, or didn’t feel, do, or say. The best thing for you is to let go of any issues you are carrying that remotely involve others. It’s not your burden to carry. They will have to answer for their actions. Keeping these things inside will only cost you more pain and suffering.

    You need to focus on your sorrow, mourning, feelings, thoughts, etc. Keep those close to you, those that you trust most, as your inner sanctum. Allow Kayla to be whatever you need her to be for you. With time comes some form of healing. The pain will lessen, the tears will be less frequent, but the love and the memories will always remain. The best part of your sister will live in your heart and in your memories. That is how she will live in and through you.

    Be blessed with a little comfort and love. I hope you feel the comfort and love that surrounds you both from your inner sanctum and apparently from the people you have touched through your posts. As I said, “Breaking My Silence” was the first post of yours that I’ve read. It touched me, so much so, that I had to write. I’m sorry it was such a long response but, I felt it needed to be said. I believe in everything the others said, and wish you the same, there was no need to repeat their beautiful words and sentiments. Know they are sent to you and yours.

    Know too, that you are not alone. You are sent positive thoughts and energy from your home front and from those of us much further in miles, but still close in feelings and thoughts.

    My wish for you is to have as easy a passage as possible as you deal with the death of your sister, and your feelings of loss, grief, and possible a little anger.

    Be well,
    Livnah Eden/Apple_of_Eden

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Livnah,
      I apologise for taking so long to respond to you, life has still been in flux.

      Your words struck me at the very depth of my core and from them I sat down and took a good look inside.

      Sadly I was holding on to the wrong things, thinking more about the things and people I couldn’t change. Because of that I stuck in a holding pattern.

      With your words and the support of Kayla I have been able to move past to the part of truly grieving for my sister.

      I am also at the point where I am no trying to embrace what has gone and celebrating her life. When I see a squirrel, I smile (she loved her squirrels that she fed) Her favorite cartoon was Unvle Grandpa, she admitted it is stupid but it never failed to make her smile or laugh.

      Thank you so much for your insightful comment I am grateful to you for it.

      (HUGS)
      John B

      Reply
  17. Jennifer

    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer last year. It is so true about having a will and a living will or power of attorney. It’s not just to protect yourself but also your loved ones. I just finished reading your blog and and enjoyed it immensely and look forward to continue enjoying it. Also, Kayla’s books are wonderful!

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Jennifer, thank you and welcome.
      My hope in writing this is that in some small way it has helped someone to avoid certain pitfalls.

      I will pass it on to Kayla that you enjoy her books, she has a new one in the works.

      Reply
  18. Wordwytch

    Hugs dear!

    We too are still reeling from the last five months. It’s hard to crawl out of that hole and back into Normal. Very hard. Lots of love and hugs.

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      WW, yes we both know what it is like…slowly but surely I am making my way out of the gray.

      Love and hugs to you and Wolf..

      Reply
  19. L/l

    Give yourself time…a new normal is possible. Condolences to you and your family. Thank you for sharing…

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Thank you L/l, bit by bit I am getting there. Each day is a little better, each days the waves come a little further apart.

      Reply
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  21. Amy

    John,

    I know this is delayed in coming but through my own experiences it seems that well beyond the pain, comes at times, more pain. Hugs my friend. I am so thankful you and Kayla have weathered this together and she has been there to ease your hurts. I love you both and I love following your own journey. You and Kayla will continue in my thoughts and prayer.

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Thank you Amy, if anything the past year has brought Kayla and I together even more. I couldn’t ask to have someone better by my side.

      Reply
  22. AmyRose

    Dear Sir, this is most difficult for me to write. Your pain is so very evident yet please know how blessed you are having those in your life who truly love you and who you can share your grief with. My Dad passed recently and what is so tragic that just like your story, the family that was taking care of him, was delusional and refused him any medical help even though he was suffocating in his own fluids. Hiding his true condition from me I never found out until after his death. I empathize with you in such a huge way for the pain I feel goes so deep I don’t think there is a bottom. Please respect you and take as much time as you need to grieve, and forgive those in your family who are “ill of mind”. I am pouring my grief into my art and have recently come out to admit I love kink so with help of some very dear friends, I am finding me. I am sending you Much Love and will carry you in my Heart with Hope you find Peace and Resolution about your sister’s death. With Love, Amy <3

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Amy Rose, I am so sorry for the lose of your father. Losing someone you love is never easy.
      I have found now that time is passing the waves while they can be just as strong are coming further between. Like you I have come to find a creative outlet, it has helped me immensely.
      Find your own peace Amy I am sending you warm thoughts and healing wishes.

      Reply
  23. Kitten Dita

    i just came across your web page and this is the first post i read .. this is an amazing post and totally agree with you Mr Brownstone, so many times i’ve read this happning. i will add also to that>> please include your pets in your will so many pets get abandoned after the owner passed away because the relatives or family don’t feel the same about them .. is not fair for these beautiful beings to be left out after their owner love them so much … just find a good friend or someone who will love to take care of your pet and will not end in the streets … thank you for sharing this beautiful post and sending you positive loving vibes your way..

    Reply
    1. John Brownstone Post author

      Kitten Dita, that is a very good point and one that IS very important. In my sisters case thankfully it wasn’t something we had to be overly concerned about as my youngest sister took L’s pet rabbit.

      Pets are part of ones family and should be thought of in the case of someone passing.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Reply

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