I just learned of my brother's sudden death 2 days ago. Our relationship was complicated, and yet when I heard, I cried for several hours. I haven't really stopped. We were both abused children. As my brother grew older, he resented our mother for not stopping it, & me for not catching as much of the abuse as he had, although I have my own scars, both physical & emotional. I guess he needed someone to blame. Although I had idolized him growing up, he grew cruel & hateful, eventually abandoning the family after grad school, also leaving a confused & hurting first wife. My last contact with him was an argument over his unwillingness to speak to our dying mother, or acknowledge the funeral. He told me that he had told his new wife & kids that we had been killed in an accident so his wife wouldn't try to find me. She had wanted to meet me. He died last week from a heart attack. Someone from his wife's family found a cousin of ours on the internet, & notified her. I was notified by an aunt, & have been promised the cousin will call to tell me what she knows, but so far, nothing. After all the dust settled, I realized I still mourned him. I had hoped we would someday reconcile. I was shattered at his death. My company gives 3 days' bereavement, so I took it, hoping for more information, & possibly offering my nephews the possessions I had saved that I know he planned to give them one day. I searched for his 3 best friends from high school, only to find they already knew. To add insult to injury, my mother & I were left out of the obituary, & no service information was published, although none was mentioned when his wife passed a few years ago. I think they cremate & celebrate life instead. Worse, because no service was mentioned, my boss began calling the next day, insisting that if no Christian burial was taking place, then my leave might be canceled. She has called constantly over the past 3 days. All I have wanted to do is talk with the relatives here to see if we needed to do anything. I've notified others, & have basically tried to make sense of things. I'm a model employee of many years, so it's not as if I've given my boss cause to doubt me. The policy states they need some type of proof of death, & no mention of how the three days have to be used. I like my job, but could never have focused on work with all these sudden emotions. I needed the time. So far, no one has sent condolences of any kind. I don't know if there was a service, & because of this, my boss has decided not to send the flowers or card the company normally sends to the employee's home, which is standard practice. I am having trouble digging my way through all of this. At the heart of all of this is grief for a brother I grew up with, and will never reconcile with now. I am southern, and some rituals represent closure, & an avenue to express grief. None of those have been available, & even my friends have neglected even to express sympathy. I feel so lost for so many reasons right now. I am grateful he found ways to deal with his abusive childhood, although I know the after-effects lasted until his death. I have posted a picture of us as children on the online guest book, thereby announcing that I do still exist. I suppose I hope his sons will one day be curious enough to want to know me so I can tell them only the happy times, the adventures, etc. But for now, I am utterly lost. Grief without closure is terrible. He was the last surviving member of my immediate family, & I just feel alone in the universe right now. How does one grieve for an estranged family member?