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Loss

I apologize for the disappearing act over the last week. I’m currently in the middle of a 10-hour road trip back to Charlotte after spending the last five days in Florida with my family.

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On Monday, September 19 at 11 p.m. I received phone call from my mom that my little brother Will had passed away. Needless to say, I needed to take a step back from the online space as I sorted through my feelings and grief.

Some of you may not know that I had a brother because for the most part, I’ve kept our relationship off of my blog. While we were close as children, our relationship has been somewhat strained for most of my adult life. Setting boundaries was extremely painful but also necessary for my own self-care. He ultimately passed away at the age of 27, just a month shy of his 28th birthday, from health complications related to addiction.

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The last time I saw my brother was Christmas of 2014, nearly two years ago. I always held onto hope that he could somehow turn it around but despite the tools and support offered, he couldn’t find the strength inside to make it happen. I can’t even begin to express to you how sad it makes me that the thoughtful, empathetic, expressive, adventurous boy I grew up with is gone. That I will never have the lifelong brother/sister relationship with him that I’ve yearned for over the years. The reality that I’ll navigate the rest of my life without that brother is still something that I’m working to accept.

For now I’ll focus on memories of the happy times we shared in our youth as well as the hope he leaves behind with his two little girls.

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They both live in Georgia with their mother, my sister-in-law and brother’s ex-wife.

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Jaidyn is 8.

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Kilynn is 4.

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I sat with my parents this morning as we discussed plans and next steps. I’ll be traveling back to Florida in the coming weeks for a memorial service. My best friend Dorie has been amazing throughout all of this and she’s set up a fund to help support the girls. I am so grateful to her for thinking of this and organizing it. I’m also appreciative of Tanner, who flew down on Friday night to join me in Florida and spent the weekend with us. He’s keeping me company on the long drive back to Charlotte.

I have really struggled over the last seven days with what to say in this space because this loss feels so private and personal to my family. It’s been a years-long battle with a heartbreaking ending. But, as I reminded my parents this morning and have written here many times before, we all endure tough and terrible things.

I’ve learned through teaching yoga, leading teacher trainings and just being a human on this earth for 33 years that you’re hard-pressed to find a person who hasn’t experienced great loss or struggle, both personally and within family dynamics. Talking about it is the right thing to do. Pretending like everything is fine when it’s not is the wrong thing to do. It further perpetuates the cycle of shame and guilt and beats down vulnerability, which is the pathway that we all so desperately need to love and authenticity.

It’s my prayer that my brother has found peace and that my family will too as we all work to heal and move through this.

All my love,
Jen

{ 286 comments… add one }
  • LeeAnn September 26, 2016, 6:49 pm

    Jen – I am so sorry. Sending such love.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:32 pm

      So much thanks LeeAnn.

  • Alicia September 26, 2016, 6:50 pm

    I don’t even know you, but somehow through your blog feel like I do, and please know I am deeply sorry for this incredible loss. Not only for you as a sister but your parents as well.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:32 pm

      Hi Alicia – thank you so much for taking a moment to comment. It means so much to me.

  • Heather September 26, 2016, 6:52 pm

    You and your family are in my thoughts. I’ve been in a similar situation, and I know you’re in a weird place right now.

    In 2005, my dad died from complications from a lifelong alcohol addiction. It’s a weird feeling to lose someone who is not in your life (because of a need for self care), but someone who you love & want the best for.

    I used to feel so much shame over my dad’s problems. I never talked about it. Itr wasn’t unil a couple of years ago that I realized that not talking about it was a problem as well.

    • Molly September 27, 2016, 8:57 pm

      Hi Heather and Jen,

      Heather – I just lost my dad just this past July to addiction. I’m 26. He was in my life but our relationship was difficult and stressful for me. I am having a hard time telling others what exactly happened, but you are so right. Hiding it really doesn’t help anybody.

      Jen, you are in such a difficult place right now. I am thinking of you and just know that you are not alone. Dealing with this type of grief is really, really confusing. You are probably feeling relief, anger, remorse, sadness… lots of things. I am thinking of you. Take care of yourself.

      • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:00 am

        Molly – I am so sorry to hear about your father. You couldn’t be more correct in the struggle of dealing with this grief. It’s all sorts of multi-faceted and complicated.

        Sending you lots of love and prayers.

        • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:31 pm

          Hi Heather – I cannot thank you enough for taking a moment to share a piece of your heart in all of this. It’s the worst thing. It is a weird place but also a really sad one. You always hoped there would be a different end result. It makes me so sad (and angry) that he just gave up on his life.

          I’m glad you’ve found strength to talk about it.

          Love,
          Jen

  • Shoshana September 26, 2016, 6:53 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Two years ago I lost my younger sister and we actually had a very similar relationship. We had both grown apart because of life choices and she wasn’t in a good place when she passed. I hope you find your peace with all of this.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:28 pm

      Hi Shoshana,

      Thank you so much for the comment and I am heartbroken to hear that you also lost a sibling to this most terrible disease. It’s so hard to let someone go when you’ve put that space in the relationship. I so wish it could have ended differently.

      I’m not sure when the peace will arrive but I hope it does at some point.

      Love,
      Jen

  • SarahMTSBB September 26, 2016, 6:56 pm

    I’m so sorry! Thinking of you and your family. Addiction is a terrible illness and causes so much pain. You aren’t alone unfortunately. You tried to help and that is all you can do. 😢

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:27 pm

      Thank you Sarah. <3

  • Carly September 26, 2016, 6:56 pm

    Jen,
    I’m a longtime blog reader but have never commented before. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I admire your strength through this and other challenges through the years I’ve been reading your blog. Sending prayers to you and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:27 pm

      Carly – thank you so much for taking a moment to comment. It means so much during this difficult time. I appreciate your kind words and prayers.

  • Katy September 26, 2016, 7:02 pm

    My heart hurts for you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending love and prayers.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:26 pm

      Thank you Katy. I appreciate your words and kindness.

  • Claudia Pacheco September 26, 2016, 7:02 pm

    Sorry for your loss my prayers to the family love you Jen

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:26 pm

      Thank you Claudia. I appreciate you being such a light in my life.

  • Lauren September 26, 2016, 7:04 pm

    Thinking of you and your family, I am so sorry for the loss of your brother.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:25 pm

      Thank you Lauren.

  • Audra September 26, 2016, 7:07 pm

    Much love and many prayers being sent up for you and your family. May you all find peace and comfort during this challenging time of loss.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:25 pm

      Thank you Audra.

  • Holly September 26, 2016, 7:08 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:25 pm

      Thank you Holly. It’s good to hear from you.

  • Kulana Granson September 26, 2016, 7:13 pm

    Jen,
    I am so sorry to hear this about your brother. Prayers sent to your family and precious girls.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:25 pm

      Thank you so much for the prayers and kindness.

  • Brooke September 26, 2016, 7:16 pm

    I’m so so so sorry for your loss.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:24 pm

      Thank you Brooke. I appreciate the condolences.

  • C September 26, 2016, 7:19 pm

    Hi Jen,
    I’ve never commented but lived in Charlotte for a little over a year and enjoy your blog. Before you said what your brother passed away with I just knew. As a struggling person myself, this was very helpful to “see the other side of things”. Thanks for making a difference for me today:)

    • Christy Rogers September 26, 2016, 9:00 pm

      Jen, I am so very sorry for your loss. Sending prayers for healing & strength for you & your family.

      • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:41 am

        Thank you Christy. <3

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:24 pm

      Hi C – thank you for taking a moment to comment. Thank you also for reading my blog. I am sending you so much strength and love. <3

  • Caitlin Boyle September 26, 2016, 7:20 pm

    I am very sorry to hear this. 🙁

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:23 pm

      Thanks for taking a moment to send a message Caitlin. It’s the worst thing.

  • Amy gray September 26, 2016, 7:32 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Both my brothers have struggled with addiction and it’s just such a painful thing to see. I hope he’s at peace now. I’m thinking of you and sending love!!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:23 pm

      Amy – I’m so sorry that this is something that you have also had to deal with. I am sending both of your brothers and your family strength. I appreciate your kind words.

  • Erica Ro September 26, 2016, 7:35 pm

    My heart is absolutely breaking for you. This hit terribly close to home for me because I have a little brother who is an addict. He is now 28 and four years sober. It seems his story is going to have a happy ending, and I am so very, very sorry this one didn’t. This is such a tragedy, but please know l you’re in all of our thoughts and prayers.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:22 pm

      Hi Erica – thank you for your comment. I am praying for your brother’s continued sobriety.

  • Barbara September 26, 2016, 7:38 pm

    Sending love to you and your family, Jen. So sorry to hear about this. You are in my thoughts.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:22 pm

      Thank you Barbara. It means a lot.

  • Claire September 26, 2016, 7:40 pm

    I’m so sorry! I hardly ever comment, but I have been reading your blog for years and it has helped me in so many aspects of my life. I also have a sibling who is battling addiction, and have also found it necessary to put up boundaries. I completely understand why you had to do that and am wishing you and your family peace during this terrible time.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:20 pm

      Hi Claire,

      Thank you so much for your comment. It means so much to me. I am so sorry to hear that you also have a sibling who is suffering from addiction. It’s the most heartbreaking thing to watch and to put those boundaries up…and to accept that you cannot change them.

      Sending your family strength.

      Love,
      Jen

  • Tara September 26, 2016, 7:43 pm

    Jen, I’m so sorry for your great loss and that of your family. I wish you comfort and healing.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:19 pm

      Thank you Tara. I’ve felt so supported and held by our amazing yoga community.

  • N September 26, 2016, 7:45 pm

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss. I too have an almost 28 yo younger brother struggling with addiction. It is so painful as a family to watch someone you love struggle with their demons when you know how much good they have to offer as a person. Setting boundaries is so necessary for self-preservation. Peace and prayers to you and your loved ones as you navigate the tough days ahead.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:19 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. It’s extremely painful to watch someone wrestle with their inner demons and know there is nothing you can do to take them away.

      I’m not sure when peace will come but I will do the work to make it though this process of grief.

  • Anne Marie September 26, 2016, 7:48 pm

    Jen my heart dropped when I read the title – I feel like I know you and therefore I’m heartbroken for you. Your readers literally love you and I hope you feel comfortable sharing some of your private thoughts and feeling in the next months and even years maybe as you navigate this new and unfamiliar path. You are right – many of us have been through this and we truly want to be there for you!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:18 pm

      Hi Anne Marie – thank you for the encouraging and loving comment. While I’m not sure what path this grief journey will take me down, I will share parts of it here as I feel it will help others.

      I appreciate the support.

  • Michelle September 26, 2016, 7:48 pm

    Jen,

    I’m so very sorry to read this. We have never met, but I’ve read your blog forever, and as I’ve said in the past, your influence has played a part in my life over the years, as I went down the personal trainer path and completed 500 hours of TT. I likely would not have done those things without “knowing” you – weird to say about someone I’ve never met in real life, I know! So, these words you typed today hit me right in the heart and brought tears to my eyes. For you and your parents and your beautiful nieces. Sending love and light your way, my friend, during this very difficult time. <3

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:17 pm

      Hi Michelle –

      I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your comment. It is a comfort to know that what I’ve shared here has been encouraging to others and helped others make positive life changes. Thank you so much for reading and for being a light in this world.

      I appreciate the condolences.

      Love,
      Jen

  • Rebecca September 26, 2016, 7:48 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss! Wishing you and your family comfort in this time.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:15 pm

      Thank you so much Rebecca.

  • Jeannie September 26, 2016, 7:49 pm

    Jen, So sorry for your loss. Addiction has touched my life and broken relationships as well. Prayers for your family and especially those beautiful little girls. So sad. xo

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:15 pm

      Thank you Jeannie. It means a lot to me that you took a moment to comment and send prayers.

  • Kim September 26, 2016, 7:49 pm

    Sorry for you and your families loss. Prayers to all.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:14 pm

      I appreciate the prayers Kim. Thank you.

  • Katie H September 26, 2016, 7:51 pm

    Oh Jen I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:14 pm

      Thank you so much Katie.

  • Anne M September 26, 2016, 8:02 pm

    Jen, my thoughts and prayers are with your family. I’ve been reading your blog for about three years now, and many of your posts have touched me and inspired me to become a better human being. Thank you for being open and sharing your thoughts with us. Peace

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:36 pm

      Hi Anne – thank you so much for reading and taking a moment to express your condolences. It means so much to me. I appreciate you kind words and support.

  • Meg September 26, 2016, 8:08 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. A family member of mine has also struggled with an addiction for most of my life. It is such a hard thing to go through, and I am so sorry to hear this news. You and your family are in my prayers!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:42 pm

      Meg – thank you for your prayers. Sending you and your family strength as you also navigate this awful disease.

  • Ashley September 26, 2016, 8:10 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:37 pm

      Thank you Ashley.

  • Amy September 26, 2016, 8:10 pm

    Dear Jen,
    I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Unfortunately, I understand a lot of what you’re going through because I lost my brother this past January. Our pain is a unique pain and I wish you peace as you begin your healing journey. Please feel free to be in touch.
    All the best to you & your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:39 pm

      Hi Amy –

      My heart broke to read that you also lost your brother to this terrible disease. It’s the hardest thing and so hard also to understand. I don’t understand why he gave up on his life. I feel so sad and also angry at him for it. I am not even sure how to start the process of finding peace but I hope it will one day come. I appreciate your love and support.

  • Maria September 26, 2016, 8:22 pm

    So sorry for your loss and praying for peace, resilience and rest for your family. I lost my mom three years ago to cancer and know the longing feeling all too well, but there are moments of peace that will come.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:40 pm

      Hi Maria –

      Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words. I am so sorry you lost your mom to cancer. Loss is hard no matter which way it happens. I am praying for those days of peace ahead.

  • Erin September 26, 2016, 8:27 pm

    Jen, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. You, your family and his little girls are in my thoughts.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:41 pm

      Thank you Erin.

  • Siobhan September 26, 2016, 8:28 pm

    Jen – I hate that this post hits close to home. From a long time reader, positive thoughts for you and your family as you navigate this difficult time. So sorry for this difficult loss.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:45 pm

      Hi Siobhan –

      I appreciate you taking the time to comment and share your condolences. It means so much to me and thank you for the support.

  • Lauren September 26, 2016, 8:32 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear of your brother’s passing. My heart is with you, your family and his.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:45 pm

      Thank you so much Lauren. I appreciate the support.

  • Katy September 26, 2016, 8:32 pm

    There are no words. There’s a song I love that we sing at church with the following lyrics: “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal”. I truly believe that and that your brother is in a better place. I am so sorry for your loss and will be praying for peace, comfort and strength – especially for those two precious girls. ❤️❤️

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:45 pm

      Thank you for sharing Katy. I appreciate the prayers. <3

  • Amy welton September 26, 2016, 8:34 pm

    Jenn,

    My sincere condolences and heartfelt prayers to your entire family!!!!!! I am so very sorry for your family’s loss. I will be thinking of you and praying for you and your family and your precious nieces. You are surrounded by love!!!!

    Love,
    Amy

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:44 pm

      Hi Amy – thank you so much for your comment and prayers. I have felt so supported and held by our amazing community. I am truly blessed in that regard.

  • Andrea September 26, 2016, 8:34 pm

    I’m sorry about your loss

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:46 pm

      Thank you Andrea. <3

  • Christina September 26, 2016, 8:43 pm

    Oh Jen….there are no words. Lots of love to you and your family, especially your sister in law and those two precious little girls.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:47 pm

      I appreciate the comment Christina. It means so much to me.

  • Susan September 26, 2016, 8:49 pm

    So sorry to hear this. Prayers for you and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:47 pm

      Thank you Susan. <3

  • Emily September 26, 2016, 8:49 pm

    I am so very sorry. I have been checking on your blog because of the riots but my heart sank when I saw the this. I hope you can find peace in that he no longer has to struggle with his addictions. Praying for you and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:44 am

      Hi Emily – thank you so much for taking a moment to share your condolences. It means so much to me.

  • Lauren C September 26, 2016, 8:53 pm

    I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss. Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family, and I hope you all are able to find comfort in this time of grief.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:43 am

      Hi Lauren – I appreciate the prayers and kind words.

  • Alka September 26, 2016, 8:53 pm

    Hi Jen

    Sending Lots of love and positive energy!!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:43 am

      Thank you Alka.

  • Susan September 26, 2016, 8:54 pm

    Jen, I am so sorry for you loss. Prayers for you and you family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:43 am

      Thank you Susan. <3

  • Shari Box September 26, 2016, 8:56 pm

    Jen,
    So sorry to hear about your brother. Namaste🙏🏼

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:42 am

      Thanks for being so supportive this week Shari. I am grateful.

  • Claire September 26, 2016, 8:56 pm

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. In time, you will be stronger because of this loss. Always remember that sadness will strike over the years—sometimes when you least expect it— and it will be ok. Take your time.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:42 am

      Thank you for the encouragement Claire. xx

  • Lauren September 26, 2016, 8:57 pm

    Jen I am always so impressed with your ability to be so vulnerable in this space. Hugs and prayers to you and your family!!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:42 am

      Hi Lauren – the vulnerability piece is something I’m working on step by step. It pushes me outside of my comfort zone but rewards me every time I do. I appreciate the kindness and support.

      • Lauren October 1, 2016, 3:24 pm

        Jen, just that you took the time to respond to all of these comments….amazing. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to open yourself up to write a post like this. You obviously struck a cord with many people that relate with you on a very sensitive topic. I hope that in absorbing the comments of readers….those that shared their stories and those that sent prayers and positive thoughts your way….it can help even in the smallest way to help you as you begin to process, grow and hopefully heal from this tragic situation. Thank you for continuing to handle things with such grace and eloquence. Virtual hugs your way today!

        • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:48 pm

          Thank you Lauren. It may take me weeks to get to thanking everyone who has offered me support but I am so grateful that I can’t not thank everyone. I don’t know if I couldn’t navigate this without it.

  • Arthi September 26, 2016, 9:06 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Sending lots of positive energy, love, and prayers to you and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:41 am

      Thank you Arthi. Your comment means so much.

  • Erica L September 26, 2016, 9:10 pm

    Jen, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I have a younger brother that battles addiction. All of your words and thoughts are so familiar to me. I am praying for your family during this difficult time. Hugs

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:40 am

      Hi Erica – thank you for the comment and support. I am so sorry to read that this is something your family also struggles with. I know it’s so difficult. Sending you and your brother strength.

  • Ally September 26, 2016, 9:15 pm

    I’m so very sorry to hear about your loss. My heart hurts for your family but commend you for the openness and honesty you demonstrate in such a difficult time. Wishing you peace and healing.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:40 am

      Thank you so much for the love and support Ally.

  • Rosey September 26, 2016, 9:19 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. My mother has struggled with addiction for 10 years. We almost lost her over the winter. We actually discussed hospice, but then she made a miraculous recovery. It has been an up and down battle since. Thank you for your honesty when you described your relationship with your brother. Some days I feel like I don’t want to see my mother any more, but I guilt myself into continuing the relationship (even though sometimes it feels unhealthy for me).
    I know the pain of addiction and of watching someone else slowly kill themselves. Please know your brother would have stopped if he could, it just wasn’t possible for him ❤️ Prayers for you and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:39 am

      Hi Rosey – thank you for the comment and prayers. I’m sorry to hear about your mom. Setting boundaries is the freaking hardest thing but necessary for our own mental health. It is incredibly heartbreaking and painful to watch someone else self-destruct and to essentially feel helpless through it. Your words are a comfort around that. They touched me this morning. <3

  • Molly September 26, 2016, 9:26 pm

    So so sorry to hear this.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:38 am

      Thank you Molly.

  • Stephanie September 26, 2016, 9:32 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this. Lots of prayers for you, and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:38 am

      Thank you Stephanie.

  • Sarah September 26, 2016, 9:36 pm

    I have read your blog for years and couldn’t help but comment today- I am so sorry for your loss and am sending positive and peaceful thoughts your way.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:37 am

      Sarah – it means so much that you shared your condolences. Thank you.

  • Amy September 26, 2016, 9:45 pm

    I am so sorry and heartbroken for you. Praying for you and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:37 am

      I appreciate the prayers Amy.

  • April September 26, 2016, 9:47 pm

    Jen, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:37 am

      Thank you so much April.

  • Sarah September 26, 2016, 10:09 pm

    Jen, I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. I’ve been reading your blog for years and while no situation is exactly the same, I completely understand and feel for your loss. I lost my older brother (and best friend) 14 years ago and reading this post brought back all of the emotions of that moment in time. It never gets easier to think about the loss moving forward, not being their to celebrate the good, but I do hope that you can cherish the good memories from the past and the beautiful daughters that he has left behind. Sending you lots of love!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:37 am

      Hi Sarah – thank you so much for the comment. I am so sorry that you too lost your brother. Losing a sibling is confusing and hard and heartbreaking. I am grateful for his two girls and look forward to being a bigger part of their lives as time goes on.

  • Jen September 26, 2016, 10:09 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and yours.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:36 am

      Thank you so much Jen.

  • Anne P September 26, 2016, 10:13 pm

    Oh dear, I never comment but I have to tell you that I lost my dad to addiction via suicide when I was 14. It’s so hard, and we don’t know why, just know that you are not alone. You are right, there is no shame. Keep talking. You will heal and grow and shine again. I’m praying for you and your family and your brother. Sending my love!!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:35 am

      Hi Anne – thank you so much for taking a moment to comment. I appreciate it so much. I’m sorry to hear about your dad. I know healing will come in time. <3 Thank you for the prayers.

  • Sandra September 26, 2016, 10:25 pm

    Thinking of you and your family in such a difficult time and praying for those beautiful girls.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:30 am

      Thank you for the prayers Sandra.

  • Angie September 26, 2016, 10:29 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your bravery in sharing. Peace and healing to you and family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:30 am

      Thank you Angie.

  • Maeve September 26, 2016, 10:30 pm

    Jen,

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my aunt, who lived with our family for months at a time, to liver failure stemming from her near-decade long struggle with alcohol addiction. It is so difficult (maybe impossible) to reconcile the caring, kind, gently soul I had known prior to her addiction with the person she became when intoxicated. I choose to remember her as she was when not struggling.

    My experience taught me a person’s ability to recover from addiction is not a measure of their love for those who care for them most. My aunt loved my mom, her two children, me and my sister and I have absolutely no doubt your brother loved you, your parents, and his beautiful daughters (Jaidyn looks just like you!) very much as well.

    Sending you so much love and healing, Jen.

    • Tara September 27, 2016, 12:45 pm

      Maeve,

      What a lovely though you share above:
      My experience taught me a person’s ability to recover from addiction is not a measure of their love for those who care for them most.

      i think you hit it on the head. addiction is about the person first and foremost not a reflection on those around them. you cannot “love” a person into stopping/quitting. the harder you try sometimes the worse it gets. thank you for that reminder.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:30 am

      Hi Maeve – thank you for your condolences and support.

      I am so sorry to hear about your aunt and you are so right to remember her beyond her addiction. Thank you for sharing the thoughts about the ability to recover from addiction not being a direct relation to the love the addict has for their family. That really touched me this morning.

  • Callie September 26, 2016, 10:33 pm

    I’m so so sorry for your loss. It is one that I can’t even imagine going through. Saying a prayer for you and your family during the difficult time. I appreciate you sharing his story, you have such a way with words.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:28 am

      Thank you Callie. I appreciate the prayers and the kind words.

  • Alli Murr September 26, 2016, 10:33 pm

    Jen, I am so sorry for your loss. Lots of prayers for you all. peace and love~alli

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:28 am

      Thank you Alli. It means so much to hear from you.

  • Julia September 26, 2016, 10:35 pm

    I am a long time reader, and have admired and felt inspired by you so consistently throughout the last 4+ years (including inspiring my career change and decision to become a yoga teacher). This news hits home, as I nearly lost my mom to addiction when I was 17, and have lost both her sister and brother to the same disease. It’s truly a family illness that forces us to look deep within ourselves, to know and set boundaries, to live empathically, to be kind to ourselves and others. Know that you are not alone, and that I’ll be thinking of you and your family. Om shanti shanti om

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:28 am

      Hi Julia – thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. And for sharing the piece about teaching yoga, that warms my heart on this Saturday morning.

      I am so sorry to hear that the disease of addiction also impacts your family. It’s truly so freaking tough and emotional. It pushes you to your limits on how much you can endure and love…both with yourself and with the addict.

      I appreciate your supportive and kind words.

      Yes, om shanti peace. <3

  • Parita September 26, 2016, 10:38 pm

    I’m so very sorry for your loss, Jen. My thoughts and prayers are with your brother’s little girls, you, and your parents. Sending lots of love and peace your way.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:26 am

      I appreciate the condolences and kind words.

  • Klara September 26, 2016, 11:09 pm

    How hard…So very sorry for your loss!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:25 am

      Thank you Klara.

  • Heidi September 26, 2016, 11:12 pm

    Jen,
    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. Sending much love to you and your family during this difficult time.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:25 am

      Thank you Heidi.

  • Emma September 26, 2016, 11:12 pm

    Jen, I am so sorry for your and your family’s loss. I work in the addictions field – substance abuse is terrifyingly difficult to deal with and can have such devastating effects on so many people beyond the person who is struggling. I wish you and your family, especially your brother’s little girls, the utmost peace and love during this difficult time. Take time to grieve, and remember that no feelings are bad feelings.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:25 am

      Thank you so much for the kind words and reminder to feel my feelings, no matter what they are and how they feel. This grief will definitely be a process and a roller coaster but I know it’s one I have to get on and ride until the end. I am grateful to have so much support through the online community, my yoga community, my friends and external sources.

  • JennyV September 26, 2016, 11:39 pm

    My heart has been so broken for your family since I first learned of your brother’s passing. I hope you were able to begin grieving what was and what is together with family and on your own while in Florida.

    I recently heard “Let your pain be your platform” and I see this through your post. Your honesty, openness, and truth may very well help liberate others who are on either side of addiction or strained relations. There are no perfect families nor perfect people – brokenness meets us in many different forms. Your pain and story is unique to you and yet it’s so relatable.

    Your nieces are beautiful. Praying their spirits will bring joy and light to all they meet.

    Hugs and so much love to you!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:24 am

      Hi Jenny – thank you so much for sharing that thought. I have quickly learned in being open about this that I am not alone and it breaks my heart to hear how many others are suffering with the effect of a loved one’s addiction. To think that so many of us suffer silently without talking about it makes me so sad. You are so right in that there are no perfect families or people. <3 We are all just doing the best we can.

      Grateful for you! xx

  • Maia September 26, 2016, 11:50 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss Jen.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:22 am

      Thank you Maia.

  • Hillary September 27, 2016, 12:23 am

    Sending you much peace, love, and hugs. No need to apologize for missing out on a few blog posts… take as much time as you need to heal… we will be here for you when you’re ready. Your vulnerability is contagious, Jen. Hugs xxx

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:22 am

      It’s something I’m working on every single day and I hope I can continue to open and share more and more. I really believe we only have love to gain from it. Thanks for the love and support.

  • Lauren September 27, 2016, 12:50 am

    Aw, Jen, I’m so sorry to hear of the loss in your family. Keeping you in my thoughts. Thanks for sharing. <3

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:21 am

      Thank you for the prayers and thoughts Lauren. It means a lot.

  • Kathryn September 27, 2016, 1:03 am

    There are no words Jen. My heart is heavy and sorrowful to hear this. Your family and those beautiful girls are in my thoughts and prayers tonight. Thank you for trusting us with this.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:21 am

      Thank you Kathryn. It means so much that you shared your condolences, no matter the words. <3

  • Nicole September 27, 2016, 3:32 am

    Thank you for sharing and I pray for your healing. I’m on an international vacation and your blog is the almost daily inspiration for me to lead a healthy lifestyle. As I enjoy a beautiful city and try to use the hotel gym often, I was curious about the blog post sabbatical. So glad to hear that you’re already starting the healing process. It’s true that we all go through hardships, some greater than others. Just keep slaying and being yourself, we’re all stronger than we think.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:20 am

      Hi Nicole – thank you so much for reading and for the kind and supportive words.

  • Meredith (The Cookie ChRUNicles) September 27, 2016, 5:00 am

    I am so sorry to hear this. my thoughts are with you and your family

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:20 am

      Thank you Meredith. It means so much that you reached out.

  • Mel September 27, 2016, 5:12 am

    I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. I truly hope your brother is at peace and that you and your family can find the same peace. Thoughts and prayers to everyone.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:20 am

      Hi Mel – thanks for the condolences. I pray the same.

  • Courtney September 27, 2016, 5:20 am

    I am very sorry for your family’s loss.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:19 am

      Thank you Courtney.

  • Doro September 27, 2016, 5:22 am

    I’m so sorry for you and your family. I’m sending all my love and prayers to you.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:19 am

      Thank you Doro. <3

  • Pamela September 27, 2016, 5:25 am

    Oh Jen I am so so sorry. Addiction is devestating and so difficult to be free of. I agree with others who say how hard and confusing it is to lose someone who we’ve had to set strong boundaries with. I also had to do the same with my own brother. It’s so difficult but you aren’t alone. Sending you so much love. Please be so so good to yourself.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:50 pm

      Hi Pam –

      Thank you so much for taking a moment to comment. I appreciate your support so much. It’s been so hard to accept this loss given the space there was in our relationship. I long for a different relationship with a different ending. I don’t even know how to start to heal but I know that I’ll find my way.

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to set similar boundaries. It’s a difficult thing to wrestle with but necessary at times for our own mental health.

      So much love,
      Jen

  • alisha September 27, 2016, 6:56 am

    Jen, I am so so so sorry for you loss. Thank you for sharing what you are going through. I will be praying for you, your family, and the beautiful two little girls.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:51 pm

      Hi Alisha,

      I appreciate the love, support and encouragement.

  • Joy September 27, 2016, 7:14 am

    Oh my goodness, Jen. I am so very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the pain of a strained relationship and then losing him…you’re very strong for even writing about it. I hope you find peace. I’m so glad you have a supportive family to help you at this time. My thoughts are with you.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:52 pm

      Hi Joy – thank you so much for your comment. It means so much to me.

      It is extremely heartbreaking to lose someone after a period of space and estrangement, especially when you longed for so long for the relationship and outcome to be different.

      I am grateful for all the support and know I will need it moving forward.

  • Connie September 27, 2016, 7:36 am

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss! I hope you and your family find peace and are able to move past this tragedy. Addition is truly heartbreaking for everyone involved near and far.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:53 pm

      Thank you Connie. This has been the most difficult thing to navigate through.

  • Erin September 27, 2016, 7:42 am

    Jen,
    I am SO deeply sorry for your loss. I have been following your blog for awhile now and feel like I know b/c you share so much of yourself. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Bless you for having the strength to share this loss on your blog, as addiction has touched so many of our lives.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:54 pm

      Hi Erin,

      Thank you so much for taking a moment to share your support and condolences. It means so much to me. There was something inside of me that just told me I had to share it. I hope it helps others find comfort and strength.

      Love,
      Jen

  • Erin September 27, 2016, 8:19 am

    Jen,
    I am so sorry for your loss. As a sister and as a mother, my heart shatters for you and your parents. I am sending love and light to the depths of your pain.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:54 pm

      Thank you Erin. It’s a heartbreaking situation.

  • Emily My Healthyish Life September 27, 2016, 8:19 am

    My heart breaks for you and your entire family. I’ll be keeping you, and your brother’s beautiful girls, in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:55 pm

      Thank you Emily. It means so much that you reached out.

  • Anne Marie September 27, 2016, 8:28 am

    Jen,
    As a long time reader, my heart goes out to you and your family. I can’t imagine how difficult this must be.

    Thank you for sharing with us, your blog has made a huge impact in my life and your willingness to be open and vulnerable with the whole internet is beautiful and empowering.

    Lots of love. Take care of yourself during the difficult days ahead.

    xo

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:56 pm

      Hi Anne Marie – I can’t even begin to thank you enough for your love, support and kindness. <3

  • Leslie September 27, 2016, 8:33 am

    Jen, I’m so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family. Xo

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:56 pm

      Thank you Leslie.

  • Kate September 27, 2016, 8:34 am

    Hey Jen – I agree, acting like everything is fine when it isn’t is harder than just doing real life. So brave of you to share. Got the call about my brother about a year ago, he was 25. Sending prayers for peace to you and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:57 pm

      Kate – I am so sorry that this was also a call that you had to receive. It was one I dreaded for a long time. I’m so sorry about your brother. How are you doing now?

      I appreciate the prayers.

      • kate October 3, 2016, 1:16 pm

        Jen! I can’t believe you took the time to respond to all of these, how thoughtful! It’s also a call that we, like you, dreaded for years. 1.5 years later, my biggest concern is my parents, honestly. To see them go through this, well it’s sure aged them. Such a hard road to navigate, but we’ll get there. I am sure learning a lot – a lot about patience, acceptance, and moving forward. Since he’s passed my fiancé and I have gotten engaged, bought a home, and it’s hard to realized there’s one less call to make during these exciting times. My brother and I were very close until about 5 years ago, when I started pulling back to try and protect myself, but we still talked a few times a year. Not the best choice, but you can’t regret something that felt right at the time. You know? When he passed a coworker gave me a card and wrote “there are better days ahead”…it’s really easy to forget that when you’re grieving. so, to better days. xo

        ps: a week before he passed we adopted a puppy. I truly believe she was given to me by a higher power – I never thought I’d need a dog’s love so much! so keep on loving on those dogs (I saw on insta you let zoey break the rules and get on the bed for cuddles…that’s my life!)

  • Pam September 27, 2016, 8:46 am

    Dear Jen,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I know you will use this as a platform for inspiration in your classes and work. So many families are affected by addiction and your willingness to be vulnerable will help heal others. Thank you for your beautiful sharing heart. It took courage. Please know you are loved by me. 🙏 Namaste

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:59 pm

      Hi Pam –

      It means so much to hear from you. Thank you.

      There was something inside of me that told me that I had to share this and put it out there. I hope that it’s helpful for others who may be facing similar situations. There’s nothing about it that’s easy but we’re not alone.

      I took class with Kelly last Sunday. It was the most perfect place for me to be in that moment.

      All my love,
      Jen

  • Stephanie September 27, 2016, 8:50 am

    I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. Addiction is a horrible horrible disease, and unfortunately, it affects so many people. Thank you for sharing — I know you’ve helped other by doing so.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 2:59 pm

      Thank you Stephanie. <3

  • Lauren L September 27, 2016, 8:54 am

    Jen, I am so incredibly sorry for your family’s loss. Thank you for opening up and sharing, I know it isn’t easy, but it’s so true. Life is hard and we are all going through struggles, being vulnerable helps us all get through it. Sending love and light to your loved ones.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:15 am

      Thank you so much for the condolences and support Lauren. It is hard but it’s real. We all struggle as much as we triumph and it should be okay for us to be open about both ends of the spectrum.

  • Debbie September 27, 2016, 8:56 am

    No need to apologize for the blog being quiet. You are facing a hard time, and I think I speak for all your readers when I say that I am sorry to hear this has happened, but you can rest and take the time you need to heal and we’ll be here waiting when you are ready. I wish the best for your family as you grieve the loss of your brother.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:14 am

      Thank you for the kind and encouraging words Debbie. It means so much. <3

  • Kat September 27, 2016, 9:00 am

    Jen, I am so sorry for your loss. Addiction takes far too many lives, and I’m sorry it has taken the life of one of your family members. My thoughts are with you and your family. xo

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:14 am

      Thank you Kat. It means so much to hear from you. <3

  • Erica September 27, 2016, 9:15 am

    Jen, Thank you for feeling open enough to share your loss with us. This community rallies for you through thick and thin. I’m so sorry for your loss and know how devastating addiction can be for families.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:14 am

      Hi Erica – I can’t even tell you how grateful I am for the support of this community and my community here in Charlotte. It has definitely helped to carry me through this initial phase of grief.

  • Alicia September 27, 2016, 9:28 am

    Jen ,
    I thought about you this morning, before I read this post, wondering where you were since your posts weren’t updated.
    My heart hurts for you and your family’s loss. And you are right, keeping it inside doesn’t help; speaking / writing about your loss is a great way to heal.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:13 am

      Thank you for the love and support Alicia. I hope that I can help others through sharing our difficult journey. It’s heartbreaking but real.

  • Kim K. September 27, 2016, 10:07 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Jen.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:13 am

      Thank you Kim. I appreciate the prayers.

  • Gabriella September 27, 2016, 10:10 am

    Jen I am truly sorry for your loss! Sending all my love and good vibes <3

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:12 am

      Thank you Gabriella. I appreciate the prayers.

  • Michelle September 27, 2016, 10:21 am

    My heart goes out to you and your family, Jen. I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:11 am

      Thank you Michelle.

  • Melissa September 27, 2016, 10:58 am

    I’m sorry about your loss. I can’t imagine the grief you and your family are suffering. I will remember you all in my prayers.
    I appreciate you sharing your loss. It is your blog and your life and you get to choose what you share, but it is nice to know more about your loss so we are not left guessing as readers. You never know who may be touched by sharing those details. Your nieces are such beautiful girls and I know you must be proud of them.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:11 am

      Thank you so much Melissa. I appreciate all of the love and support everyone has shown as I have opened up and shared on a more personal level. This is real life.

      I look forward to playing a larger role in my nieces lives. It’s a blessing to have them.

  • Julia September 27, 2016, 11:06 am

    Thank you for your beautiful sharing heart. I appreciate your honesty and will be praying for your family.

    – Julia

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:10 am

      Julia – thank you so much for talking a moment to share condolences and kindness.

  • Holly September 27, 2016, 11:18 am

    So sorry for your loss. Sending prayers for peace.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:09 am

      Thank you Holly. <3

  • maya September 27, 2016, 11:39 am

    I am deeply sorry Jen. I wish you and your and your brother’s family healing and peace in such difficult times.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:09 am

      Thank you Maya. <3

  • DeeDee September 27, 2016, 11:48 am

    I also have a brother who struggles with addiction, and I’ve experienced the impact it has on the entire family, and the loss you feel even when that person is still on this Earth. I’ve yet to have to deal with that loss becoming so final and permanent, but it’s something we’ve all talked about as a possibility. I’m very sorry for your family’s loss, both the one you are experiencing now, and the ones you’ve experienced over the years of his addiction.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:09 am

      DeeDee – I am so sorry to hear this. It does impact the entire family and you couldn’t be more right about feeling loss when they’re still here on earth…because they’re here but not really here in the way you know they could be. It’s the phone call you always dreaded receiving. I pray he has found peace and that as we heal and grieve that we will too.

      Sending you strength.

  • Carrie September 27, 2016, 12:01 pm

    Jen, I wish you and your family peace during this difficult time. May you find strength in the wonderful memories of your brother, and may others dealing with addiction in their families find comfort in knowing that they are not alone.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:06 am

      Thank you Carrie.

  • Tara September 27, 2016, 12:34 pm

    Thank you for sharing and i am sorry for you and your families loss. I will be thinking of you. Addiction hits all families in some way. I just ran on a marathon relay team and we ran in honor of one girls best friend passing from a heroin overdose. My step sister has struggled a lot with drugs for all of her adult life. she has stolen from our family, gotten violent with us, and ultimately drained her grandmother and my parents of some retirement money for various rehab stints. its so difficult to understand and i am in awe of the power of addiction. Right now my step sister has one child and is pregnant with another. She is currently clean (that we know of she lives across country). i know my parents worry all the time about her and the kids and likely she will never regain their trust fully. I think you are right….the right thing to do is bring these things out into the open and talk about them. knowing what my parents have went through with my step sister i will pray especially hard for your parents at this time. i hope they can eventually find peace.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:05 am

      Thanks for the condolences Tara. I’m so sorry to hear about your step-sister and I’ll be sending prayers for her continued recovery and sobriety.

  • Christine September 27, 2016, 1:47 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear your sad news. I’m thinking of you and I hope you and your family find peace.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:05 am

      Thank you Christine. I appreciate the condolences.

  • RK September 27, 2016, 1:52 pm

    Jen,
    I’m so sorry to hear about you brother. I hope you find comfort in being surrounded by family and friends. Sending you hugs.
    R.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:04 am

      Thank you. I feel very supported and very grateful for it. <3

  • Anne September 27, 2016, 3:09 pm

    I am so sorry, Jen. As a regular reader and also part of the PBR half marathon my instincts were telling me something was wrong. It literally broke my heart when I saw this go up. I am thinking about you and your family. Sending a huge virtual hug your way. xx

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:04 am

      Thank you Anne. I appreciate the condolences and support.

  • Julie September 27, 2016, 3:25 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss! My thoughts & prayers are w/ you & your whole family. Sending extra love to your mom & dad.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:04 am

      Thank you Julie. They need the prayers.

  • Suzanne September 27, 2016, 3:40 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers. ❤️

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:03 am

      Thank you Suzanne. I appreciate the prayers.

  • Lisa September 27, 2016, 4:09 pm

    My heart just broke reading this. I am so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:03 am

      Thank you Lisa. <3

  • Erin September 27, 2016, 4:12 pm

    Jen, I am so sorry for you loss. My prayers will be with your family as you grieve in the coming weeks. I have lost 3 dear friends, all in their 20s, in the past two years to addiction. It is absolutely heart breaking. While I completely respect the privacy of your family, I want to encourage you to talk about it to (if and when you feel ready). Addiction is a very scary disease that is sweeping this country. You have a platform in this blog to reach people who need help, encourage friends and family who are dealing with this, and help others cope with loss. I strongly believe we have to talk about it and not be afraid of the stigma behind this disease. It is taking way too many lives each day. Lots of love to you and your family, and know we are all here for you during this devastating time. Xoxo

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:03 am

      Hi Erin – I was in shock to read your comment. I can’t believe how widespread this disease is and how many it impacts. Since opening up about it, I have received countless emails, comments and messages from others dealing with addiction in various ways in their lives. It’s heartbreaking. Thank you for the prayers and support.

  • Ciara September 27, 2016, 4:22 pm

    Jen, thank you so much for courageously sharing from your heart. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Much love and light sent your way.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:02 am

      Thank you Ciara. I so appreciate the kind words.

  • Kiki September 27, 2016, 6:31 pm

    Jen,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:01 am

      Thank you Kiki.

  • Julie Running in a Skirt September 27, 2016, 7:50 pm

    Oh Jen! I’m so sorry for your loss. I really appreciate you sharing the story as openly as you could as I’m sure the circumstances are even more painful. Prayers to you and your family in the coming weeks.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:01 am

      Thank you Julie. <3

  • Marilyn Supper Thyme Stories September 27, 2016, 8:30 pm

    Sending love to you and your family. Praying specifically for peace and comfort – I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:01 am

      Thank you for your prayers Marilyn. It means a lot.

  • Ashley N September 27, 2016, 10:04 pm

    I will be saying prayers for you and your family as you navigate through the loss of your brother.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:59 am

      Thank you Ashley.

  • Jackie September 27, 2016, 10:21 pm

    Jen, I am so sorry for you and your family. This hits so close to home, as my family and I are dealing with the incredible heartbreak that comes from dealing with a loved one’s addiction. You are so right about sharing and talking about this, however. I have been pretending everything had been ok for so long, and it only hurts more in the long run. I wish peace for you and your family as you all work through this.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:58 am

      Hi Jackie – I am so sorry to hear that your family is also dealing with addiction. It’s heartbreaking and can tear apart families. I hope that you guys can be open and honest about the addiction, your struggles and emotions in dealing with it.

      I appreciate the condolences. xx

  • Nikki September 27, 2016, 11:11 pm

    Jen – This must have been very hard to share in this space. As my love Brene Brown writes, “When we find the courage to share our experiences and the compassion to hear others tell their stories, we force shame out of hiding, and end the silence.” As with many of your readers who have commented here, I’d like to say that while I can’t completely grasp the pain you must be feeling, I can tell you that you’re not alone.

    My heart aches for you and your family. Sending you so much love and hope that you, his wife and kids, and your family are able to heal (of course, in time) and move forward together in love. As always, thank you for being vulnerable and brave enough to put your heart out there for all of us to see.

    xoxo Nikki

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:55 am

      Hi Nikki – you actually wouldn’t believe how much Brene Brown’s teachings have helped me start to open up about my family dynamics and brother’s addiction over the last couple of years. First among my friends then my students and then this blog space. Putting it out there has been an amazing affirmation that we are never alone in what we are feeling no matter how alone we may feel.

      Thank you so much for your condolences and love. Healing will be a long process but I hope that we can all find some sort of peace.

      Love,
      Jen

  • Jackie September 28, 2016, 12:39 am

    Jen, I am so sorry for your loss. This is heartbreaking.
    Thinking about you and your family.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:53 am

      Thank you so much Jackie. I appreciate the condolences during this time.

  • Ashley September 28, 2016, 12:43 am

    there aren’t really words to express how sorry I am for your loss. thank you for being brave and willing to talk about an issue that is so taboo and yet so real. the stigma that surrounds addiction often leaves families needlessly suffering alone. hopefully things are changing. Much love to you.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:53 am

      Thank you Ashley. I am heartbroken and really struggling to make sense of all of it. I am glad I decided to share. It was the right decision after a lifetime of not talking about it.

  • Cary September 28, 2016, 8:31 am

    So very sorry about your brother. Prayers for peace and healing.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:52 am

      Thank you Cary. I appreciate the prayers.

  • carter glenn September 28, 2016, 9:32 am

    Praying for you, I am so sorry. Thank you for your honesty.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:52 am

      Thank you Carter – it means so much that you shared your condolences.

  • Karen September 28, 2016, 12:47 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. My younger brother passed away a few weeks ago from an overdose. We knew he had addiction problems and he was trying to get help. Take care of yourself.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:48 am

      Thank you Karen. I am so sorry to hear about your brother. It’s tragic, senseless and heartbreaking. I will be sending you, your brother and your family lots of prayers, light and love. Please reach out if you ever need to talk or need support.

  • Kelsey September 28, 2016, 1:18 pm

    Jen-

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. Your post is so beautiful and inspiring, and hits very close to home.

    Both my father and brother suffer from and struggle with addiction. It’s been a lifelong issue in my family; I always knew we weren’t living the most normal life, but I never realized how bad it was until I was older because my mother compensated for so much that was missing from my dad (he was kind and loving, but also volatile and unreliable). Unfortunately, while she did her best to raise us she ended up coddling us too much and trying too hard to cover the truth, and in the end my older brother ended up just like my dad. My parents have since separated and my dad now battles depression and suicidal tendencies as well as addiction.

    I am trying my absolute best as an adult to help them all and keep our relationships strong, but the best thing I ever did was leave. I live 2000 miles away, and while I talk and visit my family often, it’s a hard truth to accept that we will never have that idyllic family relationship that I see others have.

    We’re all working on it, and I so desperately hope that my dad and brother can turn things around, but I am constantly worried for them. Every late night call from my mom terrifies me, a couple of days with no contact sets me on edge that something has happened, and it’s a rough way to live.

    I spent my teenage years embarrassed by my family and never talking about it, but I don’t hide it now. It helps me to be honest about where I’m from, and I find many people can connect with so many things that have happened.

    Sending you and your family love and hugs.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:47 am

      Hi Kelsey –

      Thank you so much for your comment and for your condolences.

      I am so so so sorry to read about your father and brother. I am also so so so sorry that you grew up in an environment where everything was “normalized” and “not talked about.” So did I.

      You are smart to put some distance between you and your family, although you are still actively working to have a relationship with them. I know it’s difficult but taking care of your own mental health has to be your number one priority. You won’t help anyone if you’re feeling crazy too.

      I will be praying for your father and your brother. I seriously couldn’t relate more to your struggles and family dynamic. I spent 33 years of my life not talking about it and NO MORE.

      All my love,
      Jen

  • Janice September 28, 2016, 4:04 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:44 am

      Thank you Janice. It means a lot that you shared your condolences.

  • Liz September 28, 2016, 4:56 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss and for what you and your family are going through. My father died suddenly and had issues with alcohol addiction. It’s such a difficult thing to talk about, and, even though I know other families go through painful times dealing with addiction, it’s never something we really discuss. That’s my long-winded way of saying I appreciate your willingness to be so open on your blog.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:41 am

      Hi Liz – I’m so sorry to hear about your father. Sudden deaths are really hard to negotiate emotionally. And yes, addiction is a very difficult thing to discuss but I’ve quickly learned in being open about it that I am so not alone. I cannot even believe how many this disease has impacted in various ways. It’s terrible. Thank you for the comment.

  • Caitlin W September 30, 2016, 4:32 pm

    Sending prayers your way Jen. Hoping you feel peace during a difficult time!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:27 am

      Thank you so much Caitlin.

  • Kristen September 30, 2016, 9:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing and being so honest. I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 9:25 am

      Thank you Kristen. I really appreciate the condolences.

  • Jenn October 1, 2016, 10:11 am

    I’m a little late with this comment, but I just wanted to say I’m so sorry for your loss. Addiction puts you in such a tough place; you need to set boundaries for the sake of your own mental health, but you’re always truly hoping that the person you love will find the strength to pull through. Thank you for sharing your experience. Sending love and good thoughts to you and your family during this difficult time <3

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:19 am

      Hi Jenn – thank you so much for the comment. Addiction is so tough because of the boundaries you set. I’m really wrestling with that right now and questioning if I did enough and if he really knew and understood that I cared, even while I couldn’t be a part of his day-to-day life. I appreciate the support and condolences.

  • adrianna October 1, 2016, 10:12 am

    I’m catching up and am stunned to read this…I am so sorry and sending many prayers and hugs to you and your family. Addition is such a difficult, straining, emotional roller coaster and it’s beyond hard to have a sibling with the battle. We have a similar situation (different addiction) and while she has not passed, every year has been filled with so many ups and downs, and its made me skeptical that she’ll ever full heal. Anyways, you are not alone and we are all thinking of you and your family and sending love <3

    • Jen DeCurtins October 1, 2016, 10:17 am

      Hi Adrianna – thank you so much for taking a moment to share such kind words and support. I am so sorry to hear about your family member. No matter the addiction, the disease is real and hard on both the individual as well as their family and friends. Sending you, your family and her strength.

  • Kira October 2, 2016, 1:41 pm

    I don’t know a single person whose life hasn’t been touched by addiction. For many years, I was terrified of waking up to that same phone call related to my younger brother. He is doing better currently, but who knows how long that might last? Prayers for you and your family. You are not alone.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 3:01 pm

      Hi Kira – thank you so much for the comment. Addiction is widespread, prevalent and doesn’t discriminate. I’m happy to hear that your brother is doing better. I will send prayers for his continued recovery.

      All my love,
      Jen

  • Tamara October 2, 2016, 9:20 pm

    Jen I’m so sorry to read about you and your family’s loss. Addiction can affect anyone, and its hardest on the families. Much love to you all. Hugs from Australia.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 2, 2016, 9:27 pm

      Thank you so much Tamara. I appreciate the comment and the kind words. <3

  • Melissa October 4, 2016, 10:04 pm

    Jen, I am just catching up on your blog postings. I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. Addiction is a very tough battle not only for those going through it, but also and mostly for the family and friends of those involved. Sending love and light to you and your family during this difficult time.

    • Jen DeCurtins October 5, 2016, 2:24 pm

      Hi Melissa – thank you for your condolences. It’s all very heartbreaking. I appreciate your support.

  • Hannah October 4, 2016, 10:24 pm

    Sending love and light to you and your family. ❤️

    • Jen DeCurtins October 5, 2016, 2:24 pm

      Thank you so much Hannah.

  • Stephanie October 5, 2016, 7:07 pm

    Hi Jen,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I also lost my brother a few weeks ago (Sept. 13th), to addiction. He also leaves behind two daughters (twins, age 6). I can’t tell you how pretty much everything you’ve written here resonates with me. I feel guilt over having pulled away from him in the past few years, when I realized I couldn’t control his behavior and was causing myself harm by trying. I also really appreciate your posts on grief — I found comfort in them, and definitely relate.

    Thank you for using your platform to talk about it. I can’t believe how many people we’ve met in the past few weeks who’ve lost loved ones to this disease, and it is incredible how many people have even just commented here sharing stories. The more I read about it, the more I understand how tragically common it is — seems like there needs to be more of a spotlight on it. So thank you for sharing your story!

    Praying for you and your family.

    Stephanie

  • Melissa October 6, 2016, 10:20 am

    My ❤️Hurts for your loss 🙏 .

    • Jen DeCurtins October 9, 2016, 10:42 am

      Thank you Melissa. <3

  • Beth Straeten October 18, 2016, 1:03 pm

    Jen,

    I can’t imagine how hard this was to write. Praying for you and your family. You are such an inspiration!

    • Jen DeCurtins October 18, 2016, 2:15 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind words Beth. <3

  • Michelle December 6, 2016, 7:48 am

    Hello!

    My name is Michelle and I’m a fellow runner/blogger.

    I was browsing runner blogs the other night and found yours.

    I felt like I had reach out to you and extend a virtual hug.

    I was reading your blog and saw your brother passed in September. I thought what a sad coincidence. That I know what you are going through because I lost my brother a few months prior, in July. Then I read it was related to drug complications and knew I should reach out. My brother died of an overdose. I’ve written a bit about his death and our relationship on my blog. Like you, I had a very strained relationship with my brother because of drugs. When he passed we were not speaking.

    I wanted to share this particular blog that I wrote with you.

    https://longdistancelawyer.us/2016/08/international-overdose-awareness-day/

    My brother knew I loved him. Your brother knew you loved him.

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