Lauren - After I lost my older brother, I felt the same way. I didn't like to talk about it with people. It felt draining to talk about it, even with the rest of my family. So, I learned to mask my true feelings by being more light hearted. It got people around me to be happier, which is good in a way, but it never really reduced the pain I felt. It simply delayed it. When I realized this, I decided to try professional counseling and to my surprise helped a lot. There's something to be said about talking to a person who's bounded by the law to keep everything you say just between you two. If it's truly gotten to the point where you don't feel you can continue hiding your true self anymore, I recommend trying it. You're definitely doing great by joining this forum and sharing your thoughts.
Analise - You are not to blame for the loss of your brother. You were 7 years old. Responsibility for someone's life does not fall on your shoulders. I hope you can learn to let go of that remorse. Continue to write about how you're feeling because it gives you an outlet. A lot of times when we're depressed, people don't realize how relieving it is to just express yourself whether through spoken word, writing, or even art.
Mperkins - Yeah, I fought with my brother a lot as kids. It actually makes me smile to think about the stupid rough housing and arguments we'd get into. I feel it's the memories (good and bad) that help keep his spirit alive.
Overall, coming from a younger brother, I wish I could have given my life for his. At the same time, I'm glad he doesn't have to endure the pain my family and I have because I love him. And I know he wouldn't want his life to be in vain and I just want to make him proud. I think that's something we all need to remember for all of our loved ones. Kinda cheesy? Sure. Still true though.