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Loss Of My Sibling


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Two years and 5 months ago I lost my younger adult sibling I cared for with Progressive MS for 16 years. During that time I also cared for both parents with terminal cancer in their home. About a year after my sibling died, the large mausoleum where my sibling and both parents are entombed had a bad fire and we have not been able to go back in since.

Shortly after that I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and Grave's Disease, which required surgery. My thyroid was removed along with three large tumors in my neck. That was about seven months ago now, and I am starting to realize what I must do from now on to keep my own health from going off the cliff. There is no support from family.

I just can't seem to get my footing. All those many months I was going almost 24 hours a day. The stress of caregiving was intense along with dealing with people in the professional health care support system who weren't always supportive. As is typical, my other siblings disappeared in the care giving process.

I don't know where to help put my life back together again. I have to work to live, but nothing seems important. I don't care to be around other people because they feel shallow to me.

Can you help me know where to start.

Thank you.

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Dear Blue,

You've certainly had more than your fail share to deal with and I feel very badly for you and your circumstances. What's good about it is that you've come here, seeking some help for yourself, and that's always a step in the right direction. In fact, you can consider any little step you take to take care of YOU a helpful thing, even if they don't all pan out in the end. The point is to keep trying something, anything. You don't mention ever having gone to any grief groups &/or counseling, which might be something more to consider, alongside joining groups such as this one. The more of those positive steps, the better, as we all need SO much support when mourning, and often there isn't enough out there to be had. As to what exactly you can find, it depends on where you live and your financial situation, too. I'm in Canada, and after my Mom and bro. died, w/i a couple of months I signed up for a free group run out of a hospital fairly close by, but also was able to avail myself of private help from a psychologist thru my husband's work plan. A few months later I started using these kinds of online groups, several at a time -- wherever I could find some support, as I, too, had no family or friend support except for my husband, which wasn't enough for me. Here, you can also find sliding-scale counseling as well, if finances are a concern, and I know of one free, ongoing grief group in a town close to us as well. You could try your local mental health region, if you have one, for resources in your area.

That said, I think I've spent more time online than any other resource I've gone to, as it can help so much just to share our stories and get either different perspectives or simply understanding from others with similar stories ( and there are MANY ). The more you share, the more help becomes available, as others have more to relate to, to which they can reply.

In short, you've had quite a lot to deal with, and no wonder your own health has fallen apart - pretty common with that much stress and no help! For me, it's been just over 2 yrs. and it's finally starting to settle somewhat, so don't give up on yourself. I found the more support I had, the 'quicker' things got a bit easier....but it's no short journey for most of us, regardless. Right now I'm having to deal with the failing health of our beloved furbaby ( cat ), and so have been hurled right back into anticipatory grief and pain yet again, but this has also taken my main focus off my other losses in a way, as it's more pressing a concern....so I can see myself being here for a much longer time still.

Those baby steps are where to start, w/o expecting a whole lot of relief all at once, but relief nonetheless, in small increments, which all add up after awhile. Don't panic....just take one step at a time. And know that there are many people here in the same, or similar boats, who are more than willing to share back. Myself, I write on a few of these forums ( parent, sibling, pet loss, and a couple of the general ones ) because I need help with so many areas, so have a look around and see what you can relate to, then just 'jump in'! There are friends to be had here and we're all rooting for each other. And I'm so sorry for the losses you've experienced already. Some of us also have multiple losses to deal with, and I'm one of them, too.

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