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 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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105 Responses to The Loss of a Sibling

  1. Susan HONOUR says:

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

  2. J. Gilson says:

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

  3. 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

  4. Joni says:

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

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

  6. Allison says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  7. 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

  8. Caitlin says:

    Dear Catherine, I haven’t checked emails for awhile and missed seeing that your younger brother had passed away. Please accept condolences from a stranger who experienced the sudden loss of her younger brother many years ago. He seemed a true gift to the world.
    There are no words to describe the anger and despair felt at the loss of one we expect to outlive us.
    Someone said to me after my brother’s funeral that it may not seem so now, but it will get better. Advice that was difficult to believe at the time, but with prayer (sometimes more a rant) and time healing began.
    May you find moments of joy in memories of your brother.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Caitlin. I’ve just now gotten to read your words. Thank you because I need to know it will get better. I’ve spent the entire holiday season slightly “off”–it’s hard to describe. The house looked lovely with all the decorations, the food was incredible. Having the kids all home was the greatest but something was just missing inside. I’m still randomly crying and my husband tells me it’s ok and it will get better. Thank you so much for validating and for your kind and comforting words. My sincere belated condolences to you as well. It’s tough when a sibling leaves. XOXOXOXO

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss, Catherine. Sounds like and looks like he was a great brother and uncle.

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