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Missing my big sister; over 2 weeks without her


KFP47

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Good Grief

My heart is so very heavy today. It is filled to the brim with grief and regrets. It is weighing my body down so that I feel tired just from being upright; it is physically draining to pretend I can stand on my own. It weighs my mind down, too; as if my wondering thoughts are not enough, I’m extra forgetful and lack the now foreign skill of concentration. This byproduct of grief is a total surprise to me.

The regrets hurt like a sunburn. They’re constantly there, if you move at all, you’re all too aware of them again and again; you must sit totally still, distracted. Yes, I know, I know. I shouldn’t have a single regret; any rational person would say, ‘you cannot live with regrets’ you foolish girl. But the regrets blind me whenever I see her name, her belongings, her favorite things. My mind repeats: I should’ve done more for her… and then… I shouldn’t have regrets. I hate the word should. Shoulda coulda woulda. I’m trying not to say these internalized regrets out loud, because they will most definitely smolder my lips if I do. Won’t they? Later, will I have regrets about how I grieve, too? Does this cycle actually end? I’m regretting my regrets already. There has to be a loophole; can I justify it as ‘hindsight is 20/20’ and get away with it? Don’t try to tell me what I should do or feel or be. How’s that for passive-aggressive.

And why don’t I enjoy food? I’ve always loved food. No one mentions that when you’re starting to mourn. Good Grief! I’m so unprepared.

But I was a little prepared… I watched my sweet big sister go through so much, too much, the last year. I try to picture her smiling, but it is hardto do without a photograph. When I picture her, she is emulating my own emotion on her face; so I shutter and try to shake the image from my head. I can still hear her voice though… will I always remember her voice as clearly as I do now? What will it say?

I cannot be trusted to shower. I’m alone with my thoughts, mindlessly conditioning my hair. There are no distractions, which I unconsciously crave when I’m lost in thought. I’m going to be a gross, smelly, greasy outcast if I keep this up. I’m going to have to buy a shower radio.

There are some people I see pretty regularly who I am choosing not to tell yet. A co-worker and my chiropractor are two of the uninformed. I just want to pretend, for a little while, that everything is fine and normal. It’s easier to pretend when you know the other person is unaware; like when ordering Starbucks as a perky customer. Those moments are my best lately. No one watches you with unsure eyes, wondering if I’m going to start crying mid-conversation. Then one of these uninformed people saw a baby picture of her I have on my cell phone and I felt sort of caught. It’s probably not a normal thing to have on your cell phone wallpaper, but I just couldn't divulge this ‘secret’ because then I couldn’t play pretend any longer. Then I’d have to tell one more person. Fight or flight. I’m holding on to the past tightly; can’t be healthy leading a double life. But I don’t think I can embrace this either.

I miss laughing – like really laughing. No one wants to joke around with the grieving girl. Or is it that nothing seems funny anymore? Won’t it heal me for a fraction of a moment? Maybe for an entire second I’ll forget about this loss and stop hurting. What an awful thing to actually write, much less do; I cannot forget about this. So conflicted. What I do want for sure, with all my heavy heart, is to go back to a time when she was still with us, still healthy and happy.

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Oh kfp47 - How my heart hurts for you. What you describe is exactly what my younger daughter,

Jill, is going through except she won't verbalize it. Background: tomorrow will be one year that

my older daughter, Sarah, died from leukemia. What did your sister suffer with? I understand

what you mean when you say you can't concentrate, you don't want to shower, hell, I didn't want

to do anything! Jill does not grieve in front of me and her dad. She will mention Sarah's name

and talk about the things they did together, but she won't cry around us. Sarah and Jill were

very very close. How about you and your sister? Just by the way you speak of her, it sounds like

you were close too. Please write back if you feel up to it...I'd love to chat with you! My prayers

for a slice of peace for you today.

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Wow, you have eloquently conveyed a lot of the emotions I felt when my older brother, Eddie, passed away about 6 years ago. I wasn't ready for it either and didn't understand how it could happen. More importantly, WHY did this have to happen to him? And to some selfish degree, why did it have to happen to me. I didn't focus as much on the regret portion because I was/am afraid to think about the tailspin it may put me in. Ultimately, whether you like it or not, it really isn't a good idea to think about it. But you've already addressed that.

I won't tell you what you "should do or feel or be", but I will tell you what I experienced and learned from my own loss. Eddie was my mentor, the closest person I ever had in my life. The emotional pain I endured right after his death was at times insufferable; where like you, I just didn't want to think anymore. I would lose focus, lost my motivation to exercise, sheltered myself a bit more from socializing, and though I didn't show it - really disliked being around happy people. It felt as though the rest of the world didn't understand nor cared.

However, spending time with my oldest brother and mom, who I felt were taking it even worse than me, had put things into perspective. I saw how my mom would cry at the slightest thought of Eddie. And I saw how angry my oldest brother would be at what seemed to be the world. And I realized that that wasn't what Eddie would want for any of us. I knew he especially wouldn't want me, his little brother, to steer away from a successful path that he helped nurture. The best thing I could do for him is live a great and fulfilling life. And that's what I have set myself to do.

I started an online memorial community that would help others through their time of grief in Eddie's name and it brings me solace knowing it has helped people. I have also started to join online forums, such as Grieving.com, to speak more openly about my experience in hopes of helping others. I also learned to be more open about what's happened with Eddie, because hiding it didn't make sense. He existed, he was important and I want the world to know that.

I have no doubt your sister is proud of you now and would want you to live happily, healthily and with ambition. Thank you so very much for sharing your story. I can relate. The pain never really goes away, we've just grown stronger by living with it.

Warm regards,

Fleming

Warm Tribute Online Memorials

Good Grief

My heart is so very heavy today. It is filled to the brim with grief and regrets. It is weighing my body down so that I feel tired just from being upright; it is physically draining to pretend I can stand on my own. It weighs my mind down, too; as if my wondering thoughts are not enough, I’m extra forgetful and lack the now foreign skill of concentration. This byproduct of grief is a total surprise to me.

The regrets hurt like a sunburn. They’re constantly there, if you move at all, you’re all too aware of them again and again; you must sit totally still, distracted. Yes, I know, I know. I shouldn’t have a single regret; any rational person would say, ‘you cannot live with regrets’ you foolish girl. But the regrets blind me whenever I see her name, her belongings, her favorite things. My mind repeats: I should’ve done more for her… and then… I shouldn’t have regrets. I hate the word should. Shoulda coulda woulda. I’m trying not to say these internalized regrets out loud, because they will most definitely smolder my lips if I do. Won’t they? Later, will I have regrets about how I grieve, too? Does this cycle actually end? I’m regretting my regrets already. There has to be a loophole; can I justify it as ‘hindsight is 20/20’ and get away with it? Don’t try to tell me what I should do or feel or be. How’s that for passive-aggressive.

And why don’t I enjoy food? I’ve always loved food. No one mentions that when you’re starting to mourn. Good Grief! I’m so unprepared.

But I was a little prepared… I watched my sweet big sister go through so much, too much, the last year. I try to picture her smiling, but it is hardto do without a photograph. When I picture her, she is emulating my own emotion on her face; so I shutter and try to shake the image from my head. I can still hear her voice though… will I always remember her voice as clearly as I do now? What will it say?

I cannot be trusted to shower. I’m alone with my thoughts, mindlessly conditioning my hair. There are no distractions, which I unconsciously crave when I’m lost in thought. I’m going to be a gross, smelly, greasy outcast if I keep this up. I’m going to have to buy a shower radio.

There are some people I see pretty regularly who I am choosing not to tell yet. A co-worker and my chiropractor are two of the uninformed. I just want to pretend, for a little while, that everything is fine and normal. It’s easier to pretend when you know theperson is unaware; like when ordering Starbucks as a perky customer. Those moments are my best lately. No one watches you with unsure eyes, wondering if I’m going to start crying mid-conversation. Then one of these uninformed people saw a baby picture of her I have on my cell phone and I felt sort of caught. It’s probably not a normal thing to have on your cell phone wallpaper, but I just couldn't divulge this ‘secret’ because then I couldn’t play pretend any longer. Then I’d have to tell one more person. Fight or flight. I’m holding on to the past tightly; can’t be healthy leading a double life. But I don’t think I can embrace this either.

I miss laughing – like really laughing. No one wants to joke around with the grieving girl. Or is it that nothing seems funny anymore? Won’t it heal me for a fraction of a moment? Maybe for an entire second I’ll forget about this loss and stop hurting. What an awful thing to actually write, much less do; I cannot forget about this. So conflicted. What I do want for sure, with all my heavy heart, is to go back to a time when she was still with us, still healthy and happy.

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Thank you Shellyku!

Sorry to hear about Sarah; today is a big day for you, I hope you have some memories to hold close to your heart. I think Jill and I grieve similarly, you're right. I'm sure she just misses Sarah and prefers to privately mourn, I know I do. It can be hard to talk about when you don't want to mourn in public. How old is Jill?

My sister was 32 (I am 27) and she had liver disease that progressed rapidly because she was an alcoholic. We were pretty close, but now I wish we had been closer lately. Once I got married and moved an hour away, we were not in touch as much. But she was my Maid of Honor and we lived together for a 6 months when I got out of college. Those were good times I like to remember/focus on. Back then I didn't know she was an alcoholic, and neither did she, really. I do regret distancing myself from her just because she would quit rehab or show up to family events drunk. She was better than that and I wish could've told/shown her that more, maybe it would've helped.

I loved your "slice of peace" prayer, it just touched my heart in a big way for some reason.

Oh kfp47 - How my heart hurts for you. What you describe is exactly what my younger daughter,

Jill, is going through except she won't verbalize it. Background: tomorrow will be one year that

my older daughter, Sarah, died from leukemia. What did your sister suffer with? I understand

what you mean when you say you can't concentrate, you don't want to shower, hell, I didn't want

to do anything! Jill does not grieve in front of me and her dad. She will mention Sarah's name

and talk about the things they did together, but she won't cry around us. Sarah and Jill were

very very close. How about you and your sister? Just by the way you speak of her, it sounds like

you were close too. Please write back if you feel up to it...I'd love to chat with you! My prayers

for a slice of peace for you today.

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Good morning kpf47 - I'm so glad you wrote back. Yesterday was strangely peaceful...quiet sadness.

Jill, her husband, and Sarah's husband came over and we sent out for supper. Just hung out. To

answer your question, Jill is 27 also...she'll be 28 early October. Sarah was 29 when she died (for

only 9 days, her birthday is August 9). Jill found out the day before Sarah's birthday this year that she

is pregnant with their first child, which is a blessing for sure. Hard to know how to feel right now...sad

and happy at the same time.

I am so sorry about your sister's alcoholism and liver disease. Dealing with that has to be very hard.

You speak of her checking out of rehab; I have a sister-in-law who went through the same thing until

it got to the point that she would lose her daughter unless she went away to rehab for 6 months. She

did do that and is sober to this day, 7 years later. How I wish your sister could have done that. I hope

you know that you could not save your sister, as much as you would have liked to. Addictions like that

must be dealt with by the person themselves. Please don't take this the wrong way...I didn't know her

so I shouldn't make a judgement about her, just knowing how hard it was, and still is, for my sister-in-law,

there's not much another person can do.

kpf47, I pray you are able to go through today with some good memories of your sister and not too

much guilt because maybe what your grief and the 10-step program have in common is: 1 day at a time.

I hope you keep in touch. I love the way you write, very unique. You sound like a really cool chick!

All my love and prayers...shellyku

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Thanks Fleming. So sorry about Eddie. You're absolutely right: why us? They moved on and we are left behind to pick up the pieces - it's hard as hell. After 6 years, it must hurt in a different way than where I am at right now (less than a month) - how would you describe the difference over time?

The regrets are so stuck in my mind that I have to figure out a way to deal with them. I don't have the ability to disregard them or simply stop thinking about them. Any tips? I am ok with people telling me what I should do... sometimes. But it was getting to be a bit much the day I wrote this. Everyone was saying you should feel lucky, or should try to think about the memories, or should get rest. I cannot do all these things, especially all at once!

Lastly, I love your outlook on what would your brother/my sister want for us? I can tell you it is not this depressing mood, moping around, keeping to myself all the time, dwelling on the negative... I will meditate on that this concept this weekend. Thank you for that!

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