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Loss Of My Mother,sister And Aunt

Karen G

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This is sort of long But.... a year ago November 5th my Mom passed away. She had been very sick for several years. Although i miss her so much, she is at peace now and has no more pain and suffering. She was such an independant woman and and the disease she had turned her into being nearly totally dependant on others. Well mostly me. I was her primary care giver for quite some time. My Aunt that lived next door to her was fighting breast cancer for about ten years. She was doing pretty well but then got to a point when her body could not take chemo any longer. My Mom was 73 when she passed. My aunt was 83. When my Mom passed away, my aunt just gave up in a sense. She ended up being hospilized and could not return home so she came to live with me and my husband. We set her up very comfortablly in my Granddaughters bedroom. Five months later she passed away in our home in our Granddaughters room.

While I was taking care of my aunt... I was planning my youngest daughters wedding. By myself. I had help from my daughter... but my sister who was always my back up on everything.. had been diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis... but that is a whole other story. We buried my aunt in July. I dove into wedding plans and kept busy. After Mom died, there was Thanksgiving to get through, Christmas, my Granddaughters birthday... ect... and then two months later my aunt came to stay with us. So just a series of jumping from one thing to the next.

My daughter was married in September and it was the wedding from hell! Hate to put it that way.. but the grooms family were the rudest lot of people i have ever encountered. They put absolutely nothing into the wedding, yet demanded things and barked orders at me through the entire event. My husband and I furnished everything for the wedding and the grooms family showed up... ate the dinner we had catered and some of the family stole items from the tables... just a big mess! So needless to say another stressful situation.

And i was there without my Mom and my sister. My sister was in Chicago going through a stem cell transplant for her disease. It was experimental and i begged her not to have it done. I told her.. I can't lose you too! But She felt it was her only option.

I got through the wedding and my sister had made it through the toughest part of the transplant. Four days of intense chemo therapy. They take your immune system down to 0 and then transplant new stem cells that they previously harvested. She made it through the entire procedure and was in the recovery stage. She was to spend a few weeks at the hospital and then come home.

My niece and I had made plans to take the train to Chicago to spend a few days with my sister while she was recovering. My brother in law called me the morning we were to head up. This was a Sunday. He said that my sister wasn't doing very well. I told him we would be there around 9 that same evening. My niece and i got to the hospital and my sister was in intensive care. She was laboring to breath, was passing blood through her urine and had the most frightened look on her face.

We called her kids that live about three hours away and told them they should get to the hospital ASAP.

The next 24 hours were a whirlwind of....... they would not let us stay in the room with her. My niece and i had a room right across the street so went to freshen up and get some supper. My brother in law called and said they put my sister on a respirator. We ran back to the hospital and the doctor said it could go either way at this point. If she reponded to the treatment.... she would make it. If not... then not. I went outside to get some fresh air and came back to find out that she coded while i was gone. They took us all in a room and the doctor said, do you want her resusitated again? The outlook was grime. He didn't think it would do any good. He said her heart was just giving out and she was not responding to any medication. Her husband and kids decided to put a do not resusitate on her.

I went out to call my brother who lives in Indiana to update him on her condition. When I got back to the floor my sister was on... i saw my nephew. I asked him how his Mom was... about the same? And he said.. no she is gone.

At this point.... i was in shock. This can't be happening! I had told her husband, her kids, she would be fine. I just knew that God would not do this to us or to their Mom.

The past few weeks since her death have been a nightmere. I try to reach out to her kids and her husband but they seem to want to stay away and distance from me.

The only time I seem to feel release from the pain is when I am away from home. My husband and I have been on three trips since my sister passed away.

I dont' work outside the home and spend my days trying to stay distracted. I think I am avoiding dealing with this because it is just too painful.

My sister and i always made the Thanksgiving plans. For as long as i can remember,it was either at her house or mine.

Her family has decided to stay home for dinner this year. I offered to have dinner for them but they said no. i can't go there because my daughter has a job where she is on call and cant' go out of town. It just seems like they are shutting me out and i dont' know why. Well guess I do. I am tending to do the same thing.

I tend to push things, feelings down and say I will think about this another day. This avoids feeling the pain. I know this is not a healthy thing to do but seems the only way i can handle another loss at this time.

Everyone at my sister's funeral said i should seek grief counceling since I have lost so many this past year. But thought on this is....... they will make me face it and at this time I jsut dont' think I can. It just hurts too stinkin bad!

Even with my husband, my kids and my grandkids... i feel lonely.

Any advise?

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  • 11 months later...


My family and I have had a rough couple of years as well. My dad passed away Feb. 2,2004, from colon cancer. A friend from work died a couple of months later, also cancer. 9 months after my father's death, my daughters best friend died from a severe athsma attack. She was only 16. 8 months later, the same daughter, lost another friend (a 19 year old boy she went to school with) to suicide. One week after that, another of her friend's sister killed herself. She was 15. 3 months later, the same girl lost her half brother in an auto accident ( he was 18). It just seems that it won't stop. I didn't morn my dad properly eather. Like you, I was afraid to face it. Then when my daughter's friend died, I lost it. I couldn't look at my daughter without falling apart. I still cry a lot. But then, we are only a few days from the 1'st aniversery of her death. I hope it gets easier as we go. Anyway, I don't know if I can say anything that will help. Just know, that you're not alone. You've actually done something very theraputic for yourself. You came here. It realy does help to talk.


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I understand the feeling of being overwhelmed...but I also have to say, you've got me beat by a county mile, I think! I'm so sorry for you, having to deal with so very much on your plate in such a short time. I had 2 losses w/i 2 months ( and one from 5 years previous that wasn't finished for me ) and lots of family catastrophe both before and especially after, but your story makes me breathless just reading about it! You certainly need some acknowledgement of the sheer amount of strain and grief you've gone through. Although you said you don't want to face everything, I do think counselling would be very beneficial for you, assuming you can find someone you're comfortable with ( sometimes you have to shop around, as in any consumer area ). For one, a counsellor could probably guide you to deal with only the parts that you could handle at one time. You might find that you'll want to grieve only one person at a time, which would make it more manageable, even if some of the losses are intertwined. This is what I've had to do in my own journey. I'd switch back and forth as I felt the need, but mainly focused on the bulk of one during any given period. A person can only take so much and there's no shame in setting priorities in grief work.

I understand you might be fearing even going there, even starting to feel because it's so painful. but the longer you put it off entirely, the worse you're likely to end up and the harder it will ultimately be. You might ask yourself if you want to be feeling the way you are now for possibly 15 years, or less lengthy a time? If there's anything that's given me the courage to face some of my pain, it's the fear of feeling that incredibly terrible for longer than necessary! And so I allowed myself to plunge into it, as gently as I could, but letting in as much as I could safely handle at any given moment. Sometimes this was only a few seconds during the first few months, for the most intense feelings of pain. Gradually, I could sit in this for minutes at a time, then maybe a good part of a day if need be....but the intensity, the rawness gradually diminished and now I seem to be at the point ( except for the odd more-intense day on special dates or other odd times ) where there's a generalized sadness, more like an ache versus a stabbing pain. I'm still dealing with the grief, but it's not as sheer a hell as the first year was.

I liken it to getting into cool or too-warm water. There are many ways, each individual, to finally getting one's entire body submerged - maybe first a toe, then up to the knees, or maybe one is the sort to prefer a full body plunge for a few seconds before jumping out again. But you just keep trying to get wet, until you're more comfortable with the water. If you don't learn to swim, or float, you'll drown. And while drowning might seem preferable, it's not a pleasant way to go, either. You've been through some mighty awful times, but as Sandy said, you've taken a positive step already and that's a good thing.

So what did I do? Started private counselling pretty soon off ( they had to get me in pronto cuz I was feeling suicidal ), then went to a grief group, which didn't help me much at all ( just wasn't a very good group that time 'round ), read books and articles, started using these kinds of boards, tried to find friends who might help ( most didn't ), went back to counselling the second year, and will likely continue with some more come Jan. again. At this point I'm working more on building a better present and therefore future life, with my husband sometimes involved in the sessions, in order to try to ensure that. I'm still lonely, still don't have even one really good friend, have no family or relatives to support me ( other than my husband and his parents, who don't live here ) and am still battling demons and sorrow...but bleak as it sounds, I've made some progress, and I guess that's all that really counts.

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