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Let's guide each other

Discussion in 'Loss of Sibling' started by Chessi, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Chessi

    Chessi Member

    I'll start with my story, because I've never posted on here before and I feel it's the best context for introducing myself. If you're short on time or can't bear to read it in your current state, which I understand entirely, please feel free to skip ahead to some questions I have for the community (in bold below).

    My sister was 22 years old, 2 years older than me.

    We were very close -- growing up wearing the same outfits, playing the same games; suffering the same family problems & supporting each other through it all. I was like her sidekick & she was my superhero.

    When we was 14, she started having mental health problems so severe she ended up in hospitals. I remember visiting her one Christmas after a particularly bad suicide attempt. I'm still disturbed by the thoroughness with which she cut herself, once leaving no square inch of her legs untouched. I'm disturbed that my best friend changed. But more so, I'm disturbed that I, at 12 years old, had no clue what to do except push her away. And she pushed back.

    The closest relationship I'd ever had was broken during what I thought would be the hardest part of my life.

    But then, she recovered. After stays in mental health residencies and countless therapists, my sister was finally happy. Enjoying life. Going after her goals.

    She was so kind throughout all of this, except to herself. Always volunteering. Always working towards a career to help others. Always bringing little gifts home whenever she fetched the groceries.

    She had finally recovered, and for a year or so, her relationships were mended -- including with me.

    I still kept her at arms length sometimes -- how could I not, after everything? Yet I wish I didn't.

    Because she died this December of a random heart attack, due to some genetic condition we didn't know about.

    No, not suicide, though for the first month we weren't sure, and the very thought of that was devastating.

    But she was better. She died happy.

    She fought so hard and only had one year of life to experience actual joy.

    That was 6 months ago. I miss her greatly, and nothing's been the same since. I feel distant from my friends sometimes, who don't know what to say as they're college students without any experience in this. The sentiments of "It should've been me" and "I can't go on without her" are less strong now, but I still feel waves of grief like tsunamis.

    There are days, still, that I can't breathe.

    And then, there are days that I feel more normal. The highs are still lower than they've ever been before, but at least I have highs sometimes.

    My family is devastated, each of us handling it in our own way and trying to accept that we aren't all feeling the same emotions at the same time. That we don't all grieve the same way.

    It's really, really hard. It's a fight every day. I've found some comfort in spirituality, but all I can really tell myself is "one foot in front of the other." Or, as the great Dory once said, "Just keep swimming."

    That is my story, and why I'm here.

    I hope you all can find some comfort and peace somewhere. I'm curious to hear where you do. I'm curious to speak with other people who have experienced losses like mine.

    So let's guide each other.

    Feel free to answer none, one, or as many of the questions as you feel comfortable. Or answer your own. I'd like to share experiences of grief and hear yours.

    What helps?

    I know it never goes away, but how long did it take you to start feeling the highs like you did before the loss, without abyssal trenches of lows? What was your grief timeline, so to speak?

    How do you continue to honor your loved one in your life?

    What motivates you to carry on?

    What do you find helpful in terms of spiritual/religious practice?

    How do you navigate friendships and relationships differently now? Did you rethink any friendships?

    How is your life different now?

    How are you different now?

    Lots of love and peace to you all,

    Chessi
     
  2. glego

    glego Well-Known Member

    First let me say, so sorry for your loss. You're not alone.

    What helps? Supportive friends, this site reading stories.

    I don't think you ever know the timeline, some days, busy ones I feel quite normal, but it's always there. I miss him.

    I honor him by taking care of our home, he loved this place.

    Carrying on, hmm I feel we're all here for a reason, I have to fulfill that.

    I'm not religious, I consider myself spiritual we're here to help each other out.

    Almost everything is different, it will be 8 months soon, trying to navigate.

    I don't know how I'm different yet, we were together close to 37 years between dating and marriage. I'm still coming to terms with his being gone.
    ***

    Be happy that she found happiness, that in itself is a good thing. Losing someone you love is difficult, don't put any expectations on yourself, let yourself grieve. The timeline will be what it is, it's okay to let it take it's course.
     
    RLC likes this.
  3. Chessi

    Chessi Member

    Thank you for your response and wisdom. I'm so grateful to hear from someone going through the same pain. Stay strong... <3
     
  4. RLC

    RLC Well-Known Member

    Chessi,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your sister, best friend, hero. You lost a lot of people in one person, so to speak. She meant the world to you so of course you’re devastated and feeling so much pain. This was only 6 months ago, don’t push yourself to feel better. It happens gradually. I lost my husband to a sudden and massive heart attack. We were together 44 years, we were as one. I feel as if my left side is gone, there’s a hole in heart. He was taken from me in 2 hours and he had no health issues. I was told, that even if he had gone to a cardiologist the day before, he would have gotten a clean bill of health. I can honestly say I went into shock, and it’s been a long hard journey. It’s been 19 months since I lost my soul mate. I found this site at 11 months, I was not in a good place then, this site and all the people here have helped me more then I can express. Talking with and sharing stories on here helps more then I ever could have imagined. The people who are on here know and understand the pain that comes with such a loss. It feels like a warm hug that you so desperately need, to have people understand what you’re feeling and going through. People in our daily lives try to support and offer help but if they haven’t had this kind of loss, they just don’t know how to help or what you need.
    I push forward, because I know Ron would want me to. I still want to make him proud. He was my world and I still want him to be proud of me.
    There is no timeline, everyone of us is different in how we move forward. As you heal, but never forget, you kind of don’t even realize you’re feeling some better. It happens so slowly so gradually, one day you’ll realize that your memories can make you smile instead of make you cry. It’s a winding and bumpy journey that take your emotions up and down all along the way. I’m in a rough patch right now, I have so many things overwhelming me, things I’ve never done before that need attention and all I want is to talk to Ron, and get his help. I’m getting through these things slowly but surely. It’s difficult doing things alone when you’re used to your life partner being by your side.
    I honor Ron in everything I do, every single thing. I have made a memorial garden for him that also helps keep me busy. Syaging busy helps a lot but not too busy because then you can feel overwhelmed. I carry his wallet, and cell phone and wear his wedding band. On days that have meaning to us, I try to do what we would have done. And have some of his favorite food. I wear a chain with a small urn and some of his ashes and have his fingerprint on the chain too.
    My life is different in every single way, nothing feels the same. I closed our business, which was terribly difficult, so I don’t go to work any more. We planned to retire this year on my birthday. I won’t be traveling like we planned or doing the house fixes and changes we planned. I now mow the lawn and do any small repairs. Where before Ron wouldn’t let do any of those things. I have RA and Ron took such good care of me.
    We didn’t have a bunch of friends we didn’t need them, we were together 24/7, but I have lost friendships over how I’ve been treated, and family members too. I think I. Very different, the stress of losing Ron has made me age and I’ve lost a lot of weight, I don’t recognize myself. I’m much more emotional, if someone does something nice for me it makes me cry. Just feels good to be treated like someone cares, I miss our loving life so much.
    Ron is my motivation and inspiration, he’s still my everything. And my 2 children help me to keep going. What’s helps me the most is staying busy, deep breathing exercises and this site. Keep posting on here and share your thoughts and story and how you’re feeling, and read other stories. It helps a lot.
    Again, I am so sorry for your loss, use your sister as your inspiration, she would want you to push forward.
    I don’t know if I said anything helpful, but it’s a long process, and signing up on here will help you.
    Take care, and wishing you all the best. There will be better days ahead, keep working towards them.
    Robin
     
  5. Chessi

    Chessi Member

    Robin -- I am so sorry for the terrible and sudden loss of your husband. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your story with me.

    I keep a necklace as well. It helps. I will try some of the wonderful things you've done to push through. You are incredibly strong & you have inspired me. Thank you.

    Wishing you happiness.

    Love,

    Chessi