This I Believe

Anna - Melbourne, Florida
Entered on September 22, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

My name is Anne and I’m a doctoral student in clinical psychology. My beliefs were shaped quickly and early on in life by one stand-out event and one stand-out person and have been followed up during subsequent events and encounters.

My life changing event was the death of my 3-year-old brother from a rare liver cancer. I was 6 when he became ill and 7 when he died. I was old enough to know exactly what was happening even though I was often dismissed due to my young age. My family, especially my parents, did their best to help me through this horror, but nonetheless, I seemed to fall through the cracks, which I’m sure was due to overwhelming grief.

I used that opportunity to observe everyone and their reactions. Through these observations, I became aware of what I agreed with and what I did not. In addition, prior to his death, I observed my brother during his own struggle, and I believe I learned the most about my values and beliefs from him.

I have since gone through therapy for a number of years and have grown stronger with each passing anniversary of his death. I know that his short time here was for a purpose (many purposes, I am sure). If nothing else, such a young boy taught me the most life lessons I’ve ever learned.

I value family and friends (support), love, respect, strength, loyalty, honesty, trust, freedom, compassion, and life. Because of my inspirational little brother Jeremy, this I believe.