The hardest separation

Brigid, dear friend to Miss D. and myself, lost her big brother yesterday.  He’d fought cancer for many months, but the disease finally won.  She’s written very movingly about him on her blog.  Go read her words for yourself – they’re worth your time.

The bond between adopted siblings is sometimes a particularly close one.  I’m not adopted, but I’ve seen it before, and I understand it.  When one’s adopted, there’s sometimes a sense that one’s been abandoned by those who should have loved you for yourself . . . but for some reason they didn’t.  The child wonders, sometimes so deep that there are no words to describe it, whether he did something so bad that they refused to keep him, or whether she was so far from what they wanted that they decided to throw her away and try again.  The interior monologues are sometimes truly that brutal.

For that reason, the bond forged between two children who come together when adopted into a new family is sometimes extraordinarily strong and tenacious.  They look out for each other, protect each other, keep a wary eye on their adopted family until they’re sure they won’t be abandoned again, stand up for each other in school . . . to use a military expression from my youth, they’re ‘foxhole buddies‘.  They’ve got each others’ backs, no matter what.  Brigid certainly seems to have been at least that close, if not closer, to her adoptive brother.

I know how my friend’s feeling tonight.  There’s an emptiness in a part of her very soul, a place that was full but is now hollow.  It’s a lousy place to be.  She has the warmth of others’ love for her, from her husband to her father to her friends, but that’s like an external blanket placed around a chilly center.  In time it’ll provide warmth, but right now that warmth can’t penetrate to the innermost core of her being, where a part of her from her earliest years is now raw and painful.

Say a prayer for Brigid tonight, and for her adoptive father, and for her brother’s soul.  They’re all in need of the comfort of this Easter season, when we celebrate rising to new life.  May her brother do so now, and may she – and all of us – follow him when the time comes.



  1. Very sad news indeed. I didn't know that Brigid and her Bro weren't related prior to their adoption. I guess I just assumed that these siblings had been taken in by their parents.

  2. Peter, please pass on to Brigid our condolences. First Barkley, now Big Bro. We grieve with thee…..

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *