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Shan21091

Anniversary of sister's death

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It will be eight years this December since the loss of my younger sister. I'd like to think things got easier as the years have gone on but they haven't. She has been appearing in my dreams lately so that makes me feel close to her. I often think about what she would look and sound like. I keep good memories close to me but still feel an enormous amount of guilt for any fight we had  or any time I was mean to her. I admired her so much, and in a lot of ways wished to be like her. I have become extremely close to my other siblings, and have become strong in general. Every day is still a constant battle, but knowing she is at peace in a better place helps me.

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I am sorry you lost your little sister.  I understand your feeling it hasn't gotten better, my husband has been gone eleven years now and I still deal with the loss and missing him every day, although I don't cry as often and have learned to carry my grief with me.  

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I just past the 15th anniversary of my sister's death in November.  She was 63 when she died, and now I am 63.   I thought that I had dealt with all the feelings that came with her lost but it seems I had blocked or put off dealing with the pain of her loss until now.  I really am just realizing how much she played an important role in my life.  She was my older Sister and I was her younger brother.  I put off grieving for her because I took care of so many other people,  Now is my turn to allow myself to feel her love and significance in my life.

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That happens, Patrick ~ putting off grieving because you're busy taking care of everyone else. But it's never too late to do the work that grief requires, and good for you for recognizing your need to mourn your older sister now. Can you tell us more about her? What made her special to you? What about her that you want to remember most?

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My Sis, as I liked to call her was also my best friend.  She was there for me through my life.  She loved to celebrate especially Christmas.   I was the only brother (out of 5) that had an on-going relationship with her,  Though we were in different States we managed to spend time together at least once or twice a year.  She was always interested in what I was doing in my life and vice versa.   I could tell her anything.  I know she loved me  and I loved her. Perhaps what made her special to me was her sense of humor.  We seemed to feed each other with laughter and comedy whenever we talked.  This is what I want to remember most about her.  Her zest for life!!!  I wish she was here today.  I really miss her.

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Thank you, Patrick, for sharing that. Your Sis sounds like a wonderful person, and it's no wonder that you miss her so much. Preserve those special memories, and keep your love for each other always in your heart. People die, but love is forever. 

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She sounds wonderful, sounds like how I describe my husband (he's been gone 11 1/2 years).  It is so hard to lose someone so vital in your life.

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Thanks Marty T and kayc for your responses.  My Sis was a very caring person.  It is somewhat a surprise to me that some parts of the day now are ok , feeling wise, and some parts of the day are not.  I know it is part of the grieving process but it is difficult times that are hard for me.  I have started journaling to my sister.  It has helped me a lot to move through the difficult periods. In the journaling I discovered that I have been holding onto alot of resentment towards her ex-husband who was very abusive towards her , her children, and me.  In the past I dealt with the abuse in therapy and thought that I was pretty much healed from it.  So, I am surprised that I have held onto this resentment.  Knowing a  lot about the grieving process (not my first rodeo) I am at a critical junction, i.e. hold onto the resentment or begin to let it go through forgiveness.  I understand that forgiveness is for me; not necessarily for him or her.  Does this sound like I am on a good track or not?  The more I choose to forgive the freer I am becoming.

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41 minutes ago, Patrick12 said:

The more I choose to forgive the freer I am becoming.

I think you've answered your own question, Patrick. Good for you. You deserve to be free of those negative feelings. As the saying goes, holding onto resentment and anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. The only one it hurts is you. 

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You ARE on the right track!  To hold onto resentment is to poison yourself and give the other person the power to change who you are.  It's always best to forgive!  It doesn't mean what he did is right, it just means you choose to live above it and not let him affect you.

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On 12/15/2016 at 8:55 AM, MartyT said:

I think you've answered your own question, Patrick. Good for you. You deserve to be free of those negative feelings. As the saying goes, holding onto resentment and anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. The only one it hurts is you. 

I want to let go of the resentment but  as Fred Larkin describes "it is like taking off an old coat that has been strangling me".  I have worn this coat so long it's difficult to let it go.  Sometimes I feel like it is dissipating (resentment) only to come back .  I pray that God gives me the grace to forgive completely.

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Forgiveness has a beginning step but it's an ongoing process, especially for deep seated hurts.  Every day choose this for YOU.  

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I happened on a forgiveness exercise that has helped me get in touch with many things that I have held onto.  One memory, though seemingly insignificant to many, but powerful to me, is the loss of my dog when I was like 6 or 7 years old.  It was shocking to me that I welled up with tears  as I recalled the events surrounding this loss, and who I thought was responsible for this loss . It seems I was carrying this resentment for many years.  Thankful for the healing taking place.

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This is not at all an insignificant memory, Patrick, and I'm so sorry it happened to you. As one who's worked with countless animal lovers over the years, I can assure you that you are not alone in that experience. Oftentimes for children, the loss of a cherished companion animal is their first encounter with death or significant loss ~ and depending on how it is handled by grownups, it can have negative and lasting effects. Good for you for recognizing the resentment and source of the hurt you've been carrying for many years, and coming to terms with it now. 

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Thanks for the responses Maty T and KayC.  The daily journaling with the death of my sister has led me to move to my Mom's passing. Again I was caught off guard I thought that I was solely focused on my sister's death and now my Mom who died 8 years after my sister has come center stage.  Mom was 94 years old when she passed. There is tremendous healing going on within me from  the love I felt and received from my Mom as I remember her during this time.  I need not be shocked as I know intellectually that there is no rhyme or reason to grieving. 

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Often one death can trigger another, and in the same way, grieving one person can bring up grief for another.  It's never too late to grieve, no matter how much time goes by, we continue to miss them.  I wish you well on your continued journey of grief and healing.

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In my daily journaling  I am moving from anger and resentment regarding my sisters death and our history together.  I came to see that my anger at her loss was beginning to hurt me by the mere fact of holding onto it.  It is at this point that a "switch" happened.  I began to forgive and ask forgiveness of her, and enter the realm of gratitude.  At this point I just wish to be stepped in the forgiveness, gratitude, and peace.

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I wish that for you too.  If that is your wish, that is what will happen.

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