The Loss of a Sibling

I honestly do not know where to begin with this post.  Rather, I’ll tell you there’s a reason that I haven’t been posting over the past week.

My baby brother passed away.

My baby brother.  Peter Michael Wynne. And yes, the entire family, cousins, siblings, aunts and uncles always referred to him as “The Baby”.  Maybe it’s an Irish thing….

It’s as simple as that.  He is gone.  I will never see him again and I’ll never speak to him again.  We will never butt heads over politics.  We will never see him at family weddings nor will we ever hear from him during the Holidays.

This is my favorite photo of us.  It was taken back in 1991 at Tice’s Farm in New Jersey. He was visiting us before Halloween.  See his hand on my shoulder?  I love that little nuance.

He has ceased to exist and I am sad, and angry AF and broken.

My brother, Pete and his wife’s family were enjoying a mini-vacation in Vegas. He felt ill. Nausea.  And went to an urgent care center.  He passed out. Cardiac Arrest.  Same as my dad.

And that was it.

I am so grateful that we got to spend time together during Oona’s wedding week.  Here’s Roman with Pete at the Red’s game. It was fun sitting behind him because he kept feeding me!

At 51 years young, this shouldn’t have happened.  He loved life too much.  He was one of the kindest and generous men on earth.

One of his favorite life moments–being on the field at Notre Dame after a football win.  This photo says it all.  He loved life!

Here is his obituary. It is beautifully written and describes him perfectly.

Wynne, Peter Michael of San Antonio, Texas formerly of Port Richey, Florida died suddenly on November 15, 2019 at the age of 51. Pete was preceded in death by his father and mother, Thomas and Germaine Wynne and Father-in-Law, Raul Torres. Beloved husband of Yanela Wynne. Loving father of Jasmine (fiancé Sam Kazarian) and Isis Wynne. Adored son-in-law of Aida Torres. Cherished brother and brother in law of Cathy Latrigue (Vincent), Theresa Cseh, Thomas Wynne (Beth), Germaine Baker (Charles), Raul (Monique), Ruben, Rene (Carmen) Torres. Pete was uncle to 15 nieces and nephews and great uncle to 5 nieces and 2 nephews. Pete was a Faithful man of God as a Fourth Degree Knight.

Pete was with the United States Air Force for 29 years. He retired in 2009 after 21 years of service. He was proud to have served in both the United States Air Force Presidential Honor Guard and Security Forces. During his active duty he spent time at Bolling AFB, D.C, from 1988-1992 as an Honor Guard member; performed military ceremonies and provided presidential security. He was at Osan AB, South Korea from 1992-1995 as Law Enforcement patrolman and town patrol. He was stationed in Minot AFB, North Dakota from 2001-2003 as a Security Forces Flight Chief and he finished his active duty career at Lackland AFB as a Security Forces 7 Level, Combat Arms and Advanced Officer Instructor in the 342nd Training Squadron in 2009. After retirement he went back to school and finished his Master’s degree while staying home with his beautiful newborn baby girl, Isis. In 2013 after completing his Masters and perfecting parenthood, he returned to Lackland AFB in the 802 Security Forces Squadron as a Civilian DAF Police Supervisor. In 2015 he was promoted to Assistant Operations Officer, the title he held until his recent passing.

Pete’s love for his country came first, Notre Dame Football was second until he met his wife Yanela in late 2006. In May of 2008 they married and he was able to spend the rest of his beautiful life with her and their two beautiful daughters Jasmine and Isis. He was not only an exceptional Airman; he was a dedicated, loving and devoted husband, father, brother and friend. He lit up so many people’s lives. He was a happy and selfless man, a true angel on Earth. An outpouring of love and kind words have been shared since his passing, a true testament on what a wonderful soul he was. He leaves this world with a lot of broken hearts, but his memory will continue to live in everyone.

Pete will be missed tremendously by his family, friends and his faithful pets.

The family will receive friends for visitation from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church on Thursday, December 5, 2019.

What makes matters even sadder is that his body had to stay in Vegas for a week until it was released to fly home to San Antonio.  And due to the Thanksgiving travel, his funeral service is delayed until December 5.  I cannot imagine the heartbreak of my Sister-in-law and my nieces.

With Roman..you can see how happy he is to be with Uncle Pete…

Jake with a very young “Uncle Pete” on one of our visits to Florida.  

…and with Oona.  My God, he was the favorite uncle of all my kids and they won’t have him anymore..

It’s difficult to function right now.  The Frenchman and I leave for Paris on Tuesday.  I haven’t even packed yet.  And if you read this blog on a regular basis, you know that I pack weeks in advance!  And the day after we return, I will be getting on a plane to head to Pete’s service.

He loved and served his country so very much. A perfect example of a PATRIOTIC and TRUE American.  He was an enlisted man!

Everyone has their personal coping mechanisms.  For me, I’m ok one minute and the next, I start to just cry.  It’s so random.  To make things a bit festive, I started decorating the bannisters for Christmas.   It wasn’t a happy moment.

A man of  deep Catholic faith, I remember how proud he was when Jake asked him to be his sponsor for Confirmation.

He was my brother Tom’s, Best Man.  Actually, Pete was best man to everyone!

The photo is a bit fuzzy, but this was taken at Disney World when he was just a kid!

I just want my brother back.  I can hear his voice.  I can visualize his animation when he gets excited.  And nothing will bring him back.

Back in his “single” days, he was often at our home for Christmas.  This is one of Oona’s favorite photos.  She’s so tired and out of it but Pete was there to carry her down the stairs to Santa’s gifts!

You got siblings?  Give them a random call if you haven’t seen them in a while.  Are you on the outs?  Fuck it.  Put the outs to the side and reach out.  My siblings and I don’t agree politically.  I’m the Independent of the family and it’s put a dent in our relationships.  With my brother’s passing, politics no longer matter.  It’s family that does.

My cubicle at work.  I just want Pete next to me!

There’s not much more to say in the post because I certainly don’t want to come across as morose and a downer.  I’m taking a little break for a week or so until this pass.

I love you baby brother!

And then I’ll be back with my sense of humor.

Love and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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86 Responses to The Loss of a Sibling

  1. Carole says:

    So sorry for your loss and will text my sister now….who I don’t always agree with….. Hug from Spain. x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sorry to hear about your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am sorry to hear about your loss.

    Like

  4. Margaret says:

    Aw, God rest Peter Michael’s soul. My thoughts are with you all at this sad time ❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  5. angelin2014 says:

    Lots of love and hugs, I was really sad to read about you and your familys loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Toni Soucie says:

    Cathe…..I am so sorry for your loss. Just by your descriptions, it is obvious that your brother was an amazing person. It is sad no matter when someone passes but to pass at such a young age with so much more to do and for his kids to lose their father, makes it even more tragic. Your pain of loss is palpable and I hope that the memories you have, and prayers from those who care, help you during this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. marsha57 says:

    I am so very sorry, Catherine. I cannot imagine your grief or that of your sister-in-law. You will be in my prayers as you go through these days. I’m glad you have these many pictures and memories to comfort you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marsha calhoun says:

    I was a bit worried at your uncharacteristic lack of posting, and now that I know the reason, I’d like to thank you for this heart-warming tribute, which you produced in spite of your pain and sorrow at the loss of this wonderful man. I look forward to your return, on the condition that it occurs when you are fully ready and not before.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Maryellen Reardon says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I believe deeply in an afterlife and as a practicing Catholic, your brother must have believed too. i know it doesn’t help today’s pain but I do believe we will be reunited with our loved ones again. God bless. Try to enjoy your time in France. Your brother lived with gusto; we must too.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. nathalie says:

    so sorry for you , Cathe … nothing to say , but , i think of you …from France

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Susan says:

    I am so so sorry for your loss. Keeping you all in my prayers. I didn’t realize you were from Port Richey; I lived in New Port Richey for 16 years.

    Like

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Susan. Yeah. My dad and mom moved to NPR after he retired from the NYPD. Pete and my younger sister moved with them. I stayed in NYC! Thank you for your condolences. XOXOXOXO

      Like

  12. Vivella says:

    You are in my thoughts Catherine, more than you know. I lost my brother many years ago when he was 36 and I was just 18 months older. He used to stay with us every Christmas, so each Christmas I still get sad not having him with us. Even though 27 years have passed, it is never over. Time does not heal such wounds, but as a consolation, one does learn to live with it! You carry them in your heart forever. Sometimes you remember the good things, other times the grief comes out of nowhere. Try to live in the moment…the future is promised to no one, Sending love from Cape Town, South Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kathryn says:

    So VERY sorry for your loss. You and your family will be lifted up in prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Momcat says:

    Oh Cathe I am so sorry to hear this. I lost my beloved older brother two years ago to a brain tumour and truly, I will miss him forever. I find comfort in remembering his humour and how he enjoyed life, his kids and nieces and nephews and his dogs. Like your dear brother he too was larger than life and the space they leave in our hearts when they go cannot be measured.
    I lost my mom three weeks ago and honestly the loss of a sibling is so very different, the grief is different. At my mom’s funeral ( as dictated by family tradition) the oldest and youngest child and oldest and youngest grandchildren ride in the limo to the church and graveyard with the surviving spouse. My nephew turned to me and said “Auntie, Dad’s not here, you sit with Poppa” I am the oldest child now. At the graveside the funeral director gave the three remaining sibs a rose to put on Mom’s coffin…I heard my sister in law whisper “What about David?” As I watched my nephew take the the fourth rose and lay it on the coffin….that’s when I finally cried. I will miss my mom for sure but she had a good long life, knew grandsons and great grandsons. My brother missed the birth of his first grandchild, will never know him. He was 64 and, like your brother, had so much to look forward to.
    Girl, the funeral won’t be easy but you have all of our positive vibes, love and prayers supporting you. Your brother isn’t gone, he has just stepped into a different room of the house. You can’t see him or hear him but he’s there. He will always be there in the faces of his children and his nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters.
    God bless and a big hug,
    Momcat

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      OMG. Momcat. My condolences on the loss of your mom. Its such a difficult time right now. I love the thought that Pete walked into a different room. That’s a great way to look at this. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving (even though it passed) and thanks so much for your comfort! XOXOXOXO

      Like

  15. Oh Cathe, How devastating. Thank you for telling us all about him. Truly an extraordinary patriot and around good guy. What a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jacqui Gauld says:

    Am crying buckets reading this, am truly sorry for your loss. Hugs and loving thoughts coming your way. I’ve lost both my big brothers 7 and 14 years ago and at times, it feels like it was justyesterday they both died. Return to the blog only when you feel ready and not before.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Condolences !
    R.I.P.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mary says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss, Catherine. May God be with you and your family at this sad time

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Juliet says:

    Oh my goodness – he is beautiful, what strong family genetics you have and I am so sorry for your loss – for everyone but especially you as that is such a loving tribute. I don’t really know what to say but I am so sorry

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Mary Ellen Ottman says:

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  21. vadalia says:

    Dear Cathy, Please accept my condolences. Your brother sounds like a wonderful man who died much too young. May your memories, which you have so lovingly expressed here, sustain you in your time of grief, and in the years ahead. Love, Carolyn Mann

    Liked by 1 person

  22. lovsjaz says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this wonderful man with all of us. Take good care. Your love for him is obvious. For your children to be able to experience a loving relationship with is very special and I’m sure that will carry them through this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. KB says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  24. cgcopy says:

    My deepest condolences, Catherine.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. J says:

    With sincere sympathy to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Sandra says:

    My deepest condolences, Cathy. I am very close with my two brothers, so I can understand how deep of a loss this is for you.

    Hope that France offers some respite from this tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you Sandra. I’m all packed and dragging my ass to get ready. I”m hoping once we arrive I’m in slightly better spirits. I think the Christmas decorations might lift them a bit! XOXOXOXO

      Like

  27. Molly says:

    So sorry you’ve lost your brother, Catherine. He was much too young. May he rest in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Catherine, I am very, very sorry to hear of your brother’s passing. It is so hard to lose a family member, but even harder when they are taken so young. Praying for you to find healing in the memories. Don’t be afraid to grieve. It is completely normal, necessary and healthy. You will cry, be angry, and be numb. Embrace every feeling. It is there and in those precious memories of your brother that you will heal. Hugs! – Amy
    https://stylingrannymama.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Cathe says:

    I’m so heartbroken for you and can only imagine what you’re going through.
    I was at a TEDx event yesterday and one of the speakers talked about expressing gratitude towards our family members while they’re still living and not wait until they’re gone. But when someone you love is so young you don’t think about it. Thank you for the wise and thoughtful reminder during such a difficult time. I hope while you’re in Paris you take the time to grieve and remember the good times you shared with your brother. Paris may be just what you need at this moment. We’ll still be here when you get back. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Leah N says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Baby brothers, we feel so protective of them, even after they are adults. Take as much time as you need, don’t feel you have to post sooner than you are ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Anne says:

    Catherine,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. I lost my “baby brother,” Harrison (8 years younger than me), when he died of a heart attack at age 48. I feel your pain. Your brother will always be a part of you. Smile at the wonderful memories of him and grieve when you need to. Grief comes in waves and is necessary for us to heal. After we loose a loved one, we must continue to live our own journeys while remembering those we hold dearly in our hearts. Praying for you. God bless.
    Much love,
    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Pamm says:

    I am so sorry…

    Liked by 1 person

  33. emjayandthem says:

    So very sorry, this is a terrible huge loss. Hugs- MJ

    Liked by 1 person

  34. vavashagwell says:

    How heartbreaking. I’m so sorry for your loss and his immediate family must be reeling in grief right now. He was too young to have this happen! We’ll be thinking of you in the coming weeks, you know you have a support system here. Love, Vava

    Liked by 1 person

  35. June says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Far too young. Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Denise says:

    I am so sorry for your loss…. Condolences to you and your family. You have a support system here and I sure I can speak for all, we are here for you. God bless!!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. doodletllc says:

    He is with you. But I know you know that. I listened to you and phoned my brother. He never answers the phone, but I left a message anyway…I love you, I said. I’m sure he heard it. Stay safe and well and keep the love for your brother in your heart.

    Like

  38. Susan Chadwick says:

    So very sorry for the loss of your brother. I too have lost a sibling, my twin sister, and it sucks so bad. No getting around the grief. Give yourself a lot of slack and cry when you feel like it. I’m just an hour north of San Antonio and wish I could come hug your neck! Hang in there and God Bless.

    Like

  39. Susan HONOUR says:

    God bless you and your family, prayers are with you. Xx

    Like

  40. J. Gilson says:

    It’s heartbreaking. My sincere condolences to you and your entire family.

    Like

  41. Terri Lee says:

    My heart breaks for you and for your family, Cathe. Your brother was so young, in his prime. It’s such a shock to lose someone like that. I wish I had the magic words that would take away your sorrow and pain, but I know that’s impossible. I do send my love though. I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers. XOXOXO

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Joni says:

    Sorry to hear about your loss Catherine…..sending prayers for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. ❤️🙏 I’m so very sorry Catherine. You and your family will be in my continued thoughts and prayers 🙏

    Like

  44. Susan D says:

    I lost my younger brother in 2005 at the age of 53, also from a cardiac arrest – just one week before my other brother’s wedding. My mum was in hospital after an operation for bowel cancer and I had to break the news to her. Not a happy time for us, especially for my other brother who was very close to him and just one week before his wedding at which he was meant to be the best man. You don’t expect to lose a younger sibling, nor do you expect to lose a child. It’s not the right way. It’s trite, but time does help.
    I wish you long life
    Susan D

    Like

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