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Auntie Ruby

Walking on thin ice around my family.... scared to be there

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My first born nephew was killed in a vehicle accident, mid January.  The initial trauma is over... the funeral is over... 

 I don't know how to "be" around my sister.  I have to disconnect my previous relationship with her as it no longer applies.  She cannot function as a big protective sister to me... she is broken, her first born son is gone... 26 years after she painfully gave birth to that boy... He is gone.  She is no longer the rock that she was. Every move triggers an alien response. In the almost 50 years of having her as my only sibling.. my only sister... I only saw her cry once... before January 14th.  That was at my Dad's funeral.  But she did not cry in my arms.  We never cried together until that night that my nephew died.  Now she cries at the slightest memory, the mention of his name, pictures... She is a flood gate of emotion.  

 I feel like I have to redefine my role in her life and in the life of her family.  I was at her house yesterday and I came out lost... lost as to what to do, what to say, where to stand, how to respond.... Any move I make or any word I say, can plummet me through the ice.  There is no freedom to be... I am scared to be there.  Scared I will make the wrong move, scared I will damage the situation more... I am a live canon during the best of times... now... 

We had a challenging relationship before.  She was always more of a mom to me than a sister or a friend.  Now... I don't know how to start a friendship because we didn't have one in the first place.  But I can't let myself disappear either.  I don't know where to walk on this one.  We made it through the first three weeks.... now???? Who knows???? 


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Dear Auntie Ruby,

My deepest condolences and sympathies on the passing of your beloved nephew. I'm so sorry for your loss. Its a terrible tragedy. I know your sister is in a lot of pain. Always hard to know what to do for someone in situations like this. I would continue to try and be present for your sister. Its only natural to have a flood of emotions pouring out during this difficult time. I think in the coming months and even years. If your sister is open to grief counseling or a support group maybe this is something you can do together to build your bond. The grief journey is a long one. Sending you both hugs.

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