Struggling with grief


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My sister who was 4 years older than me passed away last August. She had a brain tumour and suffered terribly with anguish and worry and in the last few years paralysis. In short it was a horrible long slow death lasting the best part of 6 years. She was and always had been very religious. Polar opposite to me a total utter atheist. Her faith didn't seem to give her any comfort but that's her business.

I was a bit of a rebel and left home more or less at 16 and during 99% of adult life we were not close at all. She had desperately wanted children but didn't and I did so I think her way of dealing with that was to have as little as possible to do with me or my son. Her husband, my dear brother in law has always been 'difficult' (read idiot but I'm trying to be polite) but raised the bar and was a total bastard (still being polite here, it could be much worse) during my sisters illness. At one point he wouldn't let me in and he kept me on the doorstep for 30 minutes knowing I was waiting while he finished his dinner as he didn't, quote 'want it to go cold'. This was only a few weeks before she died and was bed ridden. There are many many other incidents that are unbelievably selfish and I won't go into but cutting to the chase I have a seething anger that I just can't shake.

Perhaps unsurprisingly I became much closer to my sister in the last few years and behind the scenes made arrangements for scans and care etc and helped best I could.

Clearly the loss of a sister is 'unpleasant' (understatement) but due to the lack of our closeness I have have been shaken by how hard it has hit me. Perhaps if it was just the death I could cope but it is tainted and corrupted by the fury I feel towards my brother in law. I keep hoping it will pass.

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My thoughts are with you,.....Letsavagoo........

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I'm sorry you feel like this, its hard when you lose someone, anyone who is close family wise. I can't blame you for feeling angry but I'm sure it will pass in time. I am also sure that your sister wouldn't want you to hold this grudge against your brother in law. The loss is still new to you so its bound to hurt.

I lost my young brother ( 3 yrs my junior) through cancer and I passed a long time being angry with the hospital. After many tests etc they came up with the answer that he was riddled with cancer only 10 weeks before he died. His wife had asked many times if thats what it was, but they said it wasn't. He was in Nottingham and I was here in Italy. I spent the last 10 weeks going backwards and forwards visiting him but I wasn't there when he died which was even sadder and then the anger set in, both for the fact I wasnt there for him and the fact that the hospital didnt diagnose sooner.

This was 14 yrs ago, I've accepted I get very sad when thinking about it.

Do what I do, think about the good and funny things you did as children, and remember that you did get closer towards the end.

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letsavagoo, I don't want to appear to be an agony aunt, but I think the problem is that what has happened has happened and you cannot do a damn think about it. You know this and that doing anything to have made matters better for your sister was beyond you. There must be many thousands of people afflicted in this way, who just grieve silently in despair, and it doesn't go away. You could occupy your mind with other things, but something is always going to remind you of the past. They say that time is a great healer - let's hope so. Stay strong.

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When we lose some one we love our emotions are allover the place for a long time; sometimes years. My last close loss was my young brother in 2007. He was diagnosed and died within 6months. The story of his illness was complicated and because of his wishes we had to let it lie, though we were asked at hospital if we wanted to investigate. Sounds sinister; but not.

I went to live with him for the last week of his life because he wanted to be at home and lived alone. He died with his 4 sisters and brother around him.

The thing that stays with me is that during 1997 again I went home to live with mum for 5 months for the same reason At this time my brother lived with mum, and during this time through stress I imagine, my brother and I one night had an almighty row. Now, when I think of my brother even after nine years, the thing that comes first in my mind is the awful row, instead of all the happy times we had over the years. The mind works in strange ways.

Letsavagoo, I hope you can get past your brother in laws behavior and think about your sister. You did get close to your sister and do what you could for her. Take solace from that, I'm sure she would not want you to suffer like this. Stay positive and take care of yourself.

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I feel for your loss letsavagoo. Time is a great healer too. Don't waste your time thinking of your brother in law either, he is clearly not worth the effort at all.

Reading what you said I applaud you for getting it off your chest, & why not. Sometimes it's good to say what you feel & not bottle things up inside. We are all different, in the way we handle grief.

On a similar note I met up with a sister of mine who I had not seen or spoken too for many years, no animosity, we just went our seperate ways. She has a terminal illness & lives for each day while she can, we chat on the phone & meet up quite often now but can't replace the lost time, nowadays we are the best of friends, unlike for years as kids growing up we fought like "cat & dog" !

Cherish the happy times you shared with you sister, stay strong fella.

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Letsavagoo I truly do feel what you are feeling- I had exactly the same with my 3 Brothers,in the end (ladies please pardon) i fucked them out of it from a great height!!

Using language like that is the only way to describe 50 years of torment!!

Hold on to the good things about your Sister...and wipe that idiot from your life.

Sorry to be brutal readers- but the pain like Letsavagoo is raw.

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I feel so sad for you, letsavagoo although I haven't lost a sibling, only my parents. They were well advanced in years and lived happily with us for their last few years so I was able to accept their deaths without overwhelming grief.

It was good that you had become closer to your sister in the preceding years - I expect she appreciated that too - and I'm really sorry that you still feel such anger towards your brother-in-law. I really hope this will lessen over time as it can only hurt and eat away at you. It won't affect the object of your anger. I know this is easy for me to say but we have to let go of destructive emotions for our own sake.

Thank you for sharing your story , I hope things will get better for you

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Letsavagoo,

The fact you have shared this with us all, is a step in the right direction......,

Grief, hurt, pain have no allies, it is an emotion that will affect us all and we have no mechanism to deal with it.

Time will help you to cope but the best way to deal with grief is by talking it through......to family, to friends, to a good counsellor, to us here on Nottstalgia.

It is ok to have bad days because then you will appreciate the good ones .....

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Another example of how Nottstalgia can help people in this kind of situation.



There have been several recent cases where a member has experienced grief or loss in connection with a relative. In pre-internet days they might have suffered in silence, but now its possible to share your feelings and thoughts with others.



It’s strange how it seems easier to talk to comparative strangers at a distance, when you’d struggle to speak face-to-face with a close friend .



As a result, the person suffering the loss feels better when they’ve expressed their feelings, and perhaps found other people who have experienced a similar situation.



Nottstalgia isn’t just about who you remember from school days; it’s also helping people deal with personal emotional difficulties. Before the internet, people suffered in silence and thought they were the only ones who had that particular problem. Now there’s something which can help them come to terms with whatever is troubling them.



And lets hope everything is eventually resolved in the example of letsavagoo.


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letsavagoo, #1, so sorry for your loss, i understand your fury and anger, i lost my mum 8 years ago and dad 3 years ago, mum died of brain aneurism, cant spell wont try, never got to say goodbye, i was at work and she had gone by the time i arrived a hospital, dad died of cancer, was called out regularly at 2 or 3 in the morning, he would have fallen or be on the toilet, i would arrive, he on the floor, have to pick him up, his wast all over the floor of the room etc. Anyway i was a terrible shameful son to them, did some apalling things when young, at least got to tell my dad i loved him before he went. We often, after bereavement of close family, feel anger, rage etc. for a lot of reasons and sometimes at people and family who have ruined ours and lives of those close to us. After they have gone we cannot change what has passed, and after time our anger changes and our love for those gone becomes a kind of blanket of warm thoughts. They are always with us in our thoughts every day. i now know how much i loved my mum and dad, irrespective of actions in the past. i miss them now, and always will, i do not believe in after life or meeting up again after death etc. but well. So as with other wonderful Nottstalgians, we are with you, and wish you a happier time in the near future. All the best Letsavagoo

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Letsavagoo,

I really feel for you. But I'm glad you have also turned to Nottstalgia for help. People here are genuinely helpful and kind.

I lost my older Sister a few years ago. She had a very long battle with COPD. Since I lived 100 miles away and we had few interests in common, we weren't especially close, but we loved each other. I was very sad to lose her but also in some ways relieved her fight was over. I knew she'd had enough the last time I saw her.

The difference is that my Brother in Law is the salt of the Earth and was devastated when Pam went. She also had 3 loving kids and 5 grandkids.

Your anger is understandable, but is also damaging to you and needs to be dealt with. Also, anger is one of the normal stages of greiving, so might be merging with your anger over the other issues you mention, or you may be 'stuck' at that stage. I'm no expert and it's only a layman's opinion, but may help.

I think your ability to raise this issue here is a hopeful sign.

I would suggest you consider accessing some sort of help to get you through the greiving process, let go of the anger and move on. There are lots of voluntary organisations who do this and a quick google search brings many of them up.

I'd check this out: http://www.nottinghamcounsellingcentre.org.uk/

They specifically mention Bereavement and Greif. as an area they can help with.

I hope you find peace soon.

Col

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Letsavagoo, I really feel for you in your struggle to come to terms with recent events. Just ask yourself 'Is this idiot worth thinking any more about, is he worth getting angry over?'

Don't worry about things you can't change, he is beyond help but you have a life to get on with. Sounds simple and I realise it's not at all, but you've had some great responses here, like Cliff Ton says, Nottstalgians are here to help.

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Always a good quote to bear in mind and especially relevant in this scenario;

"Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die"

All things are easier said than done but I hope you find solace that people are here to help you. All the best.

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Letsavagoo. I am sorry for your loss. Words are hardly sufficient at such a time, but others here have given some sound advice.

I have mentioned here before that I lost my wife due to a heart attack 17 years ago.

That is the simple part, but there was much more that I have never said. Three days prior to that she was driving home from our daughters house when a guy ran a stop sign and broadsided her car.

She was sore and shocked, but otherwise seemed o-k so her sudden death three days later was a tremendous shock to all of us. The argument then became, did the accident trigger the heart attack, or would it have happened anyway? After several weeks of dealing with doctors lawyers and insurance companies I was mad at just about everybody, especially the guy who originally hit her, he never directly communicated with me, maybe he was scared of what I might do. Maybe his lawyer told him to have no direct dealings with me. I wiill never know.

All of this anger on top of the grief (that I still feel, you never totally get over it). Was eating me up. I had to make a conscious effort to let it go. I'm not totally successful and even as I write this I can still feel it somewhat. The thing is that all of those people don't know how I was affected and have probably forgotten all about it long ago. Just another case to them.

I try to remember the good times of our life together and not let the anger drag me down.

You did your best. Don't let the actions of a very insensitive man. (to put it mildly) drag you down. It will get better.

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Thanks for your supportive replies. I will have a look at your suggestion DJ360. My mum died a year to the day before my sister. I had no problem with that as she had a very good innings and I would have hated her to have to bury her daughter. I just sat early this morning and felt like getting it off my chest. I'll never forgive him. It's not on my mind all the time but when I think of my sister I instantly well up with seething anger over his antics. It's that more than anything I need to be rid off. I accept death and illness however untimely and unfair is a fact of life. I'm quite a nice person really and don't like the negative feelings and hate I have inside.

I thought I'd chill out this afternoon and listen to Notts v Mansfield. Jesus, I feel suicidal now. FOUR NIL DOWN.

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Letsavagoo I can understand totally how you feel - 2yrs ago my cousin died we were both an only child and very close all our lives, her husband went through the funeral telling everyone she was his soulmate and could never be replaced and he would be true to her memory. Four weeks later my daughter and I went out for lunch to a country pub, I walked in saw him with his arm around a woman being very friendly. What I did was not very ladylike but I felt good, poured his drink over his head and slapped him as hard as I could ( he was lucky my stick was in car). While I am not advocating this method it just happend maybe find a photo of your brother in law n throw darts at it. Take care of yourselves we are all here to listen.

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Well said Gem................would'nt mess with you gel..............

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  • 2 weeks later...

Six months ago I lost my husband to bowel cancer. he fought so hard to stay with me but it was not to be,& I really couldn't have seen him suffer anymore. My life is empty without him (I am crying as I am doing this) but I know I am not the only one in this position & I have a wonderful son & daughter in law & 3 grand children who are always there for me. 3 years previous to this I lost my twin sister to lung cancer, we saw each other everday & spoke on the phone every night then suddenly.......nothing. I cant ever see my broken heart mending but life goes on. So my love goes to everyone who are in the same situation as me & hope one day I will see the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

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Having read your post I just wish I had the right words to say. We all need help at times like this to ease our grief but having lost someone you love it's not easy. It's always good to be able to talk to someone but it's not everyone who wants to talk to their friends or other relatives about their private lives. Your Nottstalgia friends are always here for you and you can come on every day for a chat.

You may not feel that this is for you but when my wife and I found that she had breast cancer I found great comfort from the messages I recieved. Grief is something that only eases with time but we can all share your grief to help you through it. Your husband must have been a lovely man and you may want to share some of your memories with us. You may also like to attend a Nottstalgia meet-up where you'll be most welcome. You don't have to be alone, dat47, because we are all here for you. :)

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I'm so, so sorry for your grief..........There seems to be a lot of it around just lately......My friend Glenis rang me up yesterday, she lives near Skegness and is such a lovelly person.....Her son has been all over the internet, Facebook and the news this weekend........He died in Benidorm, he had been missing since March 28th, everyone searching for him, then he was found in the Morgue at the hospital on Saturday by the interpol and had been dead since March 31st, nobody knew who he was as there was no identification on him, he is her only child and she is devastated, her grief must be overbearing and it has upset me so much.............So much sadness in the world at the moment .........

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I can only second others here. I'm so sorry for what you are going through right now. I've been walking this road for seventeen years. I can only try to encourage you by saying that although the grief never goes away it does get a bit easier to bear as time goes by. My wife of the last 13 years can attest to what I just said. We've both walked this road.

We describe ourselves as members of the club nobody wants to join.

Words are not enough at this time so I won't say more beyond, praying for you.

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Thank you all for such kind words. I never ever thought of my life without him. We were married for 49 years,never went anywhere without each other & now it just seems impossible to accept I will never see him again. (that is wrong, because I know he is with me always. I feel his presence, he sends me little signs that he is with me. I am a big believer in feathers & he sends them too me all the time. My thoughts & prayers are with Blondies friend Glenis what aterrible tragerdy. Like you say.....so much sadness. Love to all

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