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Sudden Death Of My Nephew

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I am not sure how to write all this down as my head is not clear and my heart is black. My sisters 17 yo son suddenly passed away on the 10th of January 07. We are new to grief and death so no experience here. This may sound stupid but I am wondering what DEALING with it means. I am wondering if we are stuffing our grieving and not dealing with it. Andy's mum, dad, younger brother, myself, the other sister, the sister in law and her 2 young girls have been living with the grieving family and have built a wall of comfort.

We haven't had many trips outside of this little world we have created at my sister's house. I have taken out Andy's brother a couple of times and the world appears to be turning and caught up in it's insignificant tasks and activities whilst this is happening to us. It's strange yet surreal.

I miss my nephew so much, we spent alot of time together with frequent sleepovers and many talks etc. We talk about Andy all the time and get great pleasure every night when his friends and g/friend come to the house and talk about Andy and his adventures and we laugh alot. I am not sure if what we are doing is delaying the process. My sister and her husband want us around all the time and i am also wondering if this is healthy for them. Of course its still very raw so we are staying at the house with them.

I will never understand what the parents and son are going through and will go through all i know is when i look at my sister i feel like she has died too.

I am also frightened about going back to work and all the time off i have had but half of me feels that if they can't understand what we are going through perhaps i don't want to work for this company. Half of me is scared of them letting me go due to all the time off.

Thank you for listening to me


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Dear Sues, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss of your nephew. You have found a site full of very caring people who helped me immensely on this journey through grief. Just to me, I'm no expert or anything, but it sounds like you, Andy's parents and brother and your entire family are "dealing" in the best way possible. Coming together, telling stories, sharing their grief instead of not talking about it seems like the right thing to do. Also slowly making trips to the "outside world" is good too. It is exceptionally hard to see the world moving forward when your world has completely stopped. And all that is so important to others seems completely trivial. And sadly part of your sister did probably die when her son died. I read somewhere that part of you does die when your loved one died, but somehow the part of you that's still alive will eventually start living again.

I know what you mean about not really being sure where to post or where you fit in some category. My ex-boyfriend died last March in a car accident; he was 27. There's no real term for a griever of an old love. It's strange but that's grief.

I'm sorry you found us but I hope that you will keep coming back. This is such a supportive commmunity here. I think that you and your family should continue to rally together in this time of intense pain and grief.

Many hugs, Kelly

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My dear Sues,

I, too, am heartsick to read of this terrible, tragic loss. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

I agree with Kellymarie: You are giving your sister the priceless gift of your presence at this sad and difficult time, and that speaks more eloquently than anything else you can do or say. So I encourage you to continue to follow your own good instincts and keep on doing exactly what you are doing, as it seems just right to me.

I also want to point you to another thread in this very same forum, which was started by a member whose nephew was killed in an auto accident. She, too, was not certain where to take her grief, and I hope you will find the responses relevant and helpful:

See Loss of a Child, “Where Do I Fit In? Lost My Nephew” posted by aunt, 10/03/05 @ 1:27 pm.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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Hi Kelly

I appreciate your response. Thanks for confirming that spending all this time here with my sister is not the wrong thing to do....as in us delaying their personal grief work by us being a distraction. My other sister has a more flexible workplace but i don't work on Fridays which means i can spend 3 days here whilst she can cover the rest of the week. I will also drop in each night after work for a while. The sister in law and cousins will also be staying over as much as possible as her 2 girls are a great support to Andy's brother.

I am sorry about the loss of your ex, you went out with this person and of course you are grieving. Andy's ex girlfriend drops in at the house every other day and yes she is grieving and finds comfort here...she is always welcome here because those two went out and although they weren't together at the time of Andy's passing she is going through a very hard time and is currently seeing a therapist. The new girlfriend is also here every night and the two of them get on well. Kelly I am from Australia and our culture kinda buries the topic of death. It has been very hard to locate information about death, especially young people.

Thank you


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  • 13 years later...

My friend, I am so very sorry for your loss, and my heart reaches out to you in your pain.

I invite you to read these two articles, as they could have been written just for you:

Mourning A Sister's Only Child: Where Do I Fit In?

Disenfranchised Grief: Another Bereaved Aunt Asks "Where Do I Fit In?"

See also: Silent Grief: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

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@Haleykate  I am so sorry, I have been through this with two sisters.  Donna had an accident at age 25 that killed her three year old and left her a quadriplegic with damaged vocal chords from the emergency trach.  Julie had a baby born without a brain (only the stem), no cognitive ability, no hope...she died before she turned two.

It is very hard losing a little one like this.  I also had a friend who lost her only baby girl to SIDS at about 3-4 months old.

We not only miss the baby/child, but watching our sister's pain as they go through this trajectory can be very hard.

I think the worst thing for us when we're grieving is to hear cliches.  The second worst is people who disappear on us.  We cannot "fix" the situation but it does help to have someone sit with you in your grief.  And often we must give voice to this need to others around us.  Grievers often need someone to just listen and care.  

I am so sorry for your loss.

Again, this is a post that just showed up to me this morning, so I apologize it did not come through sooner, it is deserving of immediate response. :wub:

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