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How My Heart Got Broken


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My little sister, Liz, was my only sibling and best friend.  I was 1.5 years older but she was taller and stronger. We had a relationship that I don't think I'll ever have with anyone else.  She had no understanding of personal boundaries and, as a result, knew more about me than I can believe anyone ever even wanted to know about me.  She shared her secrets with me, too.  We were always on each other's sides- regardless of whether the one of us involved in the dispute was right or wrong.  She was my sister; of course I was on her side even when she was wrong.  I was always on her side.  Our parents weren't particularly attentive so we took care of each other.  I helped her with her homework and she would insist that I change into more "flattering" clothing before we would leave for school.  With her brawn and my brains, I felt like we could handle anything that came our way - as long as we could do it together.

Turns out there are a lot of things you can't do together.  Example number 1: Chemo.  Liz was diagnosed with Osteo Sarcoma (bone caner) in August of 2000 and died in August of 2001 at age 14.  I did as much of it with her as I could.  I suited up and went into her surgeries with her.  I sat restlessly next to her bed in the hospital many nights.  I joined her when she went on social activities so that I could help her keep up the appearance that she was stronger and more independent than she was.  I slept next to her in bed on her last night with my hand resting on her rib cage because I couldn't sleep unless I could feel it rising and falling.  I held her hand and looked into her eyes as she exhaled for the last time.  It hurt as if half of my heart was literally ripped from my chest at that moment- as if half of me had died with her.

I miss her every day.  Some days, I just think of her momentarily and then it passes.  Others, like today, I think about her and feel a deep sense of loneliness.  It literally hurts in my chest.  Some days the pain is more intense than others.

Can anyone relate?  Does anyone have any ideas for what I can do on the days that it hurts more?

Thanks in advance.


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Dear Alex,

I am very sorry for your loss. I know the hurt and pain is very hard to cope with.

Please know we are with you. Grief is a gradual journey, we have to keep taking moment by moment.

On those day it hurts, I try to find some way to honor our loved ones. Maybe do a random act of kindness. Try journaling, writing, reading or taking flowers to their gravesite. I also found these websites offer a lot of good guidance:

Grief in Common

What's Your Grief

Grief Healing Blog


Grief Recovery Method.

Thinking of you. Sending all my thoughts and prayers.

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