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      Hi all,  I'm sure you've noticed some changes in the forums. We've again had to do some updates, so that's why things may look a little different. Nothing major should have changed.  Also, we are going to start adding advertisements sensitive to our community on the boards. This is something we are experimenting with, and we will certainly make sure they are in the best interests of everyone. We want to make sure our forums continue to stay accessible and cost free to all of our members, and this is a way to ensure this.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to privately message me or email me at Konnie@beyondindigo.com.  As always, we will be here with you, ModKonnie
Egreenwood

What if it never gets easier?

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Next month will mark 7 years since my sister died. She is the only person I’d unironically call a soulmate. It was a long illness and a raw, ugly experience beyond anything I could have imagined. But despite an excellent therapist and support system, I am still barely holding it together 7 years later. Her absence is an acute pain made up of guilt and anger and sadness  and lack of closure- a wound that never heals. I read about grief changing or becoming bearable, but mine hasn’t. Instead it feels like I believed I couldn’t live without her and now I’m trapped in the more horrifying truth that I can and I have to. It feels like I can’t connect with other people or get out of my grief.

Part of my problem is the idea that I SHOULD feel this way because if she mattered as much as I say she did, living without her really should be a nightmare and to have relief would be a betrayal. 

I’ve  had no luck meeting people who’ve lost a peer or sibling, which is just so unique. So I guess I’m hoping my comments won’t sound insane to this group.

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You've definitely come to the right place. I am so very sorry you are dealing with this. I'm not so sure why you feel you SHOULD feel this way. I lost a brother, and while it was definitely horrific, life does go on for those of us who are still here. Your sister wouldn't want you to feel this way, would she? 

We will be here with you,

ModKonnie

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I really, really feel you! It's been 15 years since my older brother who was 11 back then died of cancer and there's still not a day (or even an hour) when I don't think about him. It's like a quiet background to every moment of life which may get stronger or weaker but never quite disappears. I never really spoke about my feelings with family because I didn't want to upset them even more, to make them worry about me, to selfishly be the center of attention or, God forbid, pity or some special ~gentle~ treatment, to which they probably reacted by thinking that a 9-year-old won't comprehend, remember and miss much. Which, of course, isn't true because sufferings of someone with terminal stage of cancer, many chemo therapies etc, someone whose life technically stops long before he is buried, someone you used to spend 99% percent of your time with - this never fades away from your head. Most of the time I stay emotionally isolated from these sharp and painful memories but once a year or so they return in a very ugly manner. For example, once on the phone with me my mom mentioned how brother lost ability to walk after a mistake of one doctor (who made him, in unconscious state, straighten the body for CAT scan which was unbearably painful in normal condition). I resisted until the end of the call, but then burst out into the biggest hysterical cry that lasted for 40 minutes, I think. 1,5 years later I watched Home Alone with my boyfriend (which happened to be brother's favorite movie that we watched 100 times together) and the soundtrack alone brought childhood memories back, leaving me in exact the same condition as one described earlier. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a weak or fragile person: I never suffered from a divorce of parents (dad left family 2 years after brother's death), I went to live in the U.S. for a year at the age of 15 (i'm originally from Russia), I got scholarship in the best Russian university, lived away from home for 5 years without any financial support, studying and working at the same time, I jumped with a parachute alone 3 times and donated blood 34 times. But every once in a while I feel completely helpless, pointless, miserable and lonely, just making it worse by fantasizing about how life would have been with him near. And because SO many years have passed I feel like everyone forgot about his existence and feel even less right to talk about this issue with anyone, which is why I ended up writing so much text here. Above everything, my habit of not sharing feelings (which back then was almost instinctual but kinda well-intended) spreaded on other aspects of life too. Which left me emotionally distant from everyone, often putting up with inconvenience rather than channeling my displeasure and protecting my right for comfort and relying just on myself to resolve even simply daily problems (where asking others for help wouldn't burden them) to say nothing about complex, emotional ones. I never purposefully "close" myself, but every time I end up with someone (friends, colleagues, roommates, boyfriend or family members) saying "I literally never know what is on your mind". Maybe it's not normal to be so influenced by the loss of sibling, but something tell me I'm not alone.

image.jpg

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On 2/12/2018 at 3:12 PM, ModKonnie said:

You've definitely come to the right place. I am so very sorry you are dealing with this. I'm not so sure why you feel you SHOULD feel this way. I lost a brother, and while it was definitely horrific, life does go on for those of us who are still here. Your sister wouldn't want you to feel this way, would she? 

We will be here with you,

ModKonnie

I struggle with that question a lot. Would she? The impossibility of knowing for sure makes me reluctant to say she would. Towards the end she was often very angry, and that was targeted at me, maybe because she knew I was the one who could understand and forgive it, or maybe because I failed her. She refused to talk about her impending death and she was often really out of it on medication. In life, I sought her opinion, approval, and validation more than anyone else and the lack of closure and the murky emotions at the end make it very hard to settle on anything I can claim to know for certain.

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10 hours ago, Elizaveta said:

I really, really feel you! It's been 15 years since my older brother who was 11 back then died of cancer and there's still not a day (or even an hour) when I don't think about him. It's like a quiet background to every moment of life which may get stronger or weaker but never quite disappears. I never really spoke about my feelings with family because I didn't want to upset them even more, to make them worry about me, to selfishly be the center of attention or, God forbid, pity or some special ~gentle~ treatment, to which they probably reacted by thinking that a 9-year-old won't comprehend, remember and miss much. Which, of course, isn't true because sufferings of someone with terminal stage of cancer, many chemo therapies etc, someone whose life technically stops long before he is buried, someone you used to spend 99% percent of your time with - this never fades away from your head. Most of the time I stay emotionally isolated from these sharp and painful memories but once a year or so they return in a very ugly manner. For example, once on the phone with me my mom mentioned how brother lost ability to walk after a mistake of one doctor (who made him, in unconscious state, straighten the body for CAT scan which was unbearably painful in normal condition). I resisted until the end of the call, but then burst out into the biggest hysterical cry that lasted for 40 minutes, I think. 1,5 years later I watched Home Alone with my boyfriend (which happened to be brother's favorite movie that we watched 100 times together) and the soundtrack alone brought childhood memories back, leaving me in exact the same condition as one described earlier. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a weak or fragile person: I never suffered from a divorce of parents (dad left family 2 years after brother's death), I went to live in the U.S. for a year at the age of 15 (i'm originally from Russia), I got scholarship in the best Russian university, lived away from home for 5 years without any financial support, studying and working at the same time, I jumped with a parachute alone 3 times and donated blood 34 times. But every once in a while I feel completely helpless, pointless, miserable and lonely, just making it worse by fantasizing about how life would have been with him near. And because SO many years have passed I feel like everyone forgot about his existence and feel even less right to talk about this issue with anyone, which is why I ended up writing so much text here. Above everything, my habit of not sharing feelings (which back then was almost instinctual but kinda well-intended) spreaded on other aspects of life too. Which left me emotionally distant from everyone, often putting up with inconvenience rather than channeling my displeasure and protecting my right for comfort and relying just on myself to resolve even simply daily problems (where asking others for help wouldn't burden them) to say nothing about complex, emotional ones. I never purposefully "close" myself, but every time I end up with someone (friends, colleagues, roommates, boyfriend or family members) saying "I literally never know what is on your mind". Maybe it's not normal to be so influenced by the loss of sibling, but something tell me I'm not alone.

image.jpg

I feel like friendships are incredibly hard after losing my sister. It feels like this elephant in the room that I won’t bring up and they could never understand. It’s even hard with my husband, who I’ve known since high school and who was close to my sister too. He cannot comprehend the depth to which I feel the loss so acutely. There are very few people in our lives who I think will hurt us this deeply when they are gone, so it’s rare to know young people who’ve lost anyone like that. I was 28 when she died, I’m 35 now and I still don’t know anyone who has lost the person closest to them in the world, or who has see what the dying process from cancer is really like. My sister was in hospice at my parents home so we cared for her and I was completely unprepared for what that woukd be like. 

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Dear Egreenwood and Elizaveta,

I am so very sorry for your loss. I am in a similar situation in life. My dearest identical twin brother left us suddenly few weeks ago. He was 39, father of 2 little angels and a kind, strong and successful person.

We still don't know what took him but we believe his heart suddenly stopped. No history of any illness before that.

Believe me he was the closest confidant I ever had. We spent the maximum time together in the last 39 yrs of our existence. We were practically inseparable. Studied, played, slept, fought, travelled , drank ...we did everything together. Even after getting married we had our own lives but we're still bonded together like no other.

I too can't seem to find anyone who can even begin to comprehend my pain let alone understand. I feel alone, guilty, sad, and haunted by what ifs..my wife tries her best but she could never understand what losing a twin could mean.

I am here Egreenwood and Elizaveta ..if you need to talk. I certainly do..

Hope you find peace soon..

IMG_20180201_113257.jpg

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