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My Only Sister, My Friend Is Gone


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My only sister, who was 3 years old then me, died on July 28 2004. She was alone in her home and was not found until July 31st. My brother and I live in another state. We had not heard from our sister for a few days and called the police. They went to her home and found her in the hallway. She apparently died from a heart attack. She was 60 years old. We flew to MI and buried her a week later.

She was in the rental business and had 19 rental homes plus her own. Now I must liquated all her properties. But its such a mess. She owes a lot of money and I think the assets will be less than the liabilities. I had to hire an attorney to take over this mess. She also had 15 cats and 2 dogs, the humane society had to come into the house and remove them. She loved her animals, but there was no other solution.

Its like I'm dealing with two different people. The sister I love and a stranger. I could only stay for 10 days in MI and need to return to take care of her personal home and belongings.

My personal life has many problems at the moment. My husband and I sold out business on July 14th and had plans to move to another state for retirement. Then my sister's death. But we did buy another house. So now I must pack, sell this current house, move into the new home (800 miles away), close out the paper work on the business, take care of my sister's stuff and now next week I must have surgery on my hands for carpel tunnel. And lets not forget the hurricanes in Florida. Hurricane Frances made a direct hit on my house. We had minor damage, no electric for 10 days, just another set of problems to solve.

Seems like everytime I turn around another new set problems are there to be solved before I can solve any of the other ones.

I'm so overwhelmed with it all. I try and take one step at a time, but help.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear Cori,

I’m so very sorry to learn of your sister’s untimely death, as well as the firestorm of difficulties you’ve encountered in the wake of this sudden and unexpected loss. You must feel like the State of Florida itself, battered by one devastating hurricane after another.

Your posting reminded me of a wonderful piece by Marta Felber entitled Help! I'm Being Bombarded! which I want to share with you and all our other visitors.

(One of the most maddening things about real life and grief, I think, is that life keeps happening all around us, regardless of the fact that we are grieving. Couldn't it just stop for a little while, so we could catch our breath?!)


Disasters Hit All at Once

The gas serviceman found a leak and said, “You’ll have to dig up the line from the tank to the house.” . . . My lawyer called and asked for two more documents, and I could not find either one . . . The painter was coming to stain the deck the next day and the loose boards had not been repaired . . . When I discovered the ceiling tile coming down in the kitchen, indicating a leak above, I heard myself screaming, “I can’t take it! It’s too much! I give up!” I sobbed and sobbed.

When Disasters Strike I Can

Cry until I feel the tension go.

Find a physical outlet: pound a pillow, slam the bathtub with a towel, or go for a brisk walk.

Call a good friend and unload.

Back up and handle (or choose not to handle) each thing in turn. Make a list of what needs to be done. This puts me back in control.

Contact a logical person for each problem for advice and / or action.

Get away, even if it is only for a few hours.

Keep on top of each thing that happens as soon as possible.

Put the local and world disasters next to mine, providing perspective.

Summary Statement: I can stockpile strength during the periods of calm. I will also use those times to do my “To Do” lists . . . Bad times will come again. But when they do, I will share/release my frustrations and get specific help as soon as possible. These feelings of powerlessness will not last forever.

— Marta Felber, Grief Expressed When a Mate Dies, 1997, p. 34. LifeWords

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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Guest Guest_cori

update on me. Hurricane Jeane paid us a visit last week, sat. a very scary night. we sat in a small closet for 4 hours in the dark listening to the winds and unknown objects hitting our house. daylight brought some peace, more damage to the house, which we had just listed to be sold. thurs before hurricane I had carpal tunnel surgery on rt hand, another problem. we had no power until today, fri. long week without power and no air cond. but in the long run we were lucky, the two countries north of us took the worst of the storm. lots of damage. a long process of rebuilding for the state of florida.

sister's estate is bankrupt. no other way to get out of the mess. still need to return to mi and clean out her personal home, need to do it this month or the next. i need a couple of clones to help me.

thank you to all who have read my original posting and your good thoughts.

i do appreciate it.


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