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Frozen. Is It Good Or Bad? What Should I Do Now?

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It is hard for me to describe this.

My mind gets blocked when I think about it, and my feelings have been cut off.

It started when I spoke with my mother in June. I live in US, and my parents and my sister in Russia. My mother said that my sister didn't come home, and there was a body found in the neighborhood. My mother said it was her, died of heroin overdose.

I was not there to see that for myself. I don't believe that it happened. I saw her photos from the funeral. She looked like she was sleeping, and I could wake her up. I didn't see any reason why she couldn't get up and continue being with us.

It has been several months, and nothing changes. She is not coming home. She didn't even say anything to me before it happened.

I no longer understand what is real and what is not. I don't understand the difference between life and death. No matter how much I think about it, I cannot figure it out. I don't know where she is now. I don't even understand if my sister ever existed, or she was just in my imagination.

Am I supposed to face something that I am not facing, or should I stay frozen? I cannot even look at her pictures. I wanted to buy a nice storage box to put her belongings and photo albums in it, but I started feeling like I was ready to faint and sick to my stomach. I didn't want to think that all that was left from her could fit into a little box.

I wanted to make a nice memorial scrapbook, but the moment I think about it, I become frozen again.

I don't know if any of this makes sense to anybody.

I don't know if it is good to stay numb or not. At least it is not painful. What should I do now?

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I am so sorry for the shock and dis-belief you must be feeling. Do you have access to a grief counseler or therapist? A Pastor that could help you to absorb this great loss? If you can find someone you feel safe talking with, it may help. Peace to you. Debbie

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When my husband died, I was numb and everything seemed just so surreal. Not being present at your sister's funeral must make it all the more surreal and unbelievable. But at some time, you will have to accept your sister's death and somehow come to terms with it. You may want to do something to honour her life. I don't pretend to know when and how. However, I found that posting on this forum helped me immensely. And as Derby suggested, perhaps you can find local support with a pastor or grief counselor (or even a hospice group). And please keep writing here because everyone on this forum really cares.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.


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I'm sending prayers, hugs, and love your way. The "frozen" feeling is your body's way of protecting you. We all experience numbness initially. Perhaps the distance and the fact that you could not be present at the service makes your grief more complicated. Keep talking to us, we will listen and understand. Debbie's idea about counseling is very good advice. I see a Pastoral Counselor every other week, my Spiritual Director monthly and attend a grief sharing support group as often as possible. We all handle grief in our own unique way. Sometimes we experience conflicting emotions and it feels like we are going crazy. We're not. We just long for those we love who are no longer with us. Remember to be gentle with yourself, eat as you can, get as much rest as possible. And, know that you are not alone . . . . you have us.

Peace, love, and blessings,


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Being 'frozen' is ok. You are simply in shock. Give yourself time. Your feelings will eventually thaw, and you will know what to do.

I too recently lost a family member, my mother. What's different is that I was able to prepare for this loss. I spent months in constant contact with my Mom. I went through all the family photo albums with her, and she told me so many stories of her life. I was her caregiver for months when she was ill. I was with her when she died. We scattered flowers and her ashes out to sea; it was beautiful. I've been able to grieve with my siblings.

Your loss is much more difficult. You had no advanced warning. You were thousands of miles away. Weren't able to attend her memorial service. No chance to go home, hug your Mom, or be with family and friends. No chance to say goodbye.

At least you have a good handle on some of your feelings, for example, about not looking at your sister's photos. Respect that feeling! Obviously it's not the right time for you to do a photo scrapbook.

One thing that may help "crack the ice" is just to talk with family, friends, or a counselor. Eventually the feeling of shock will lift, and you will find ways to dignify the memory of your sister.

S uvazheniem,

(with respect)

Ron. B

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