Topic: Missing My Sister

My sister, Suzanne McClure, passed away February 17, 2012.  She was diagnosed in July 2008, and I feel so fortunate that we had almost 4 full years with her before she lost her battle with cc.  Immediately after she passed away, and for a couple of weeks after that, I felt a sense of relief for her - I was with her when she passed and I was relieved she no longer had to deal with CC and all the things associated with it.  My problem now is that there is such a huge hole in my life and I don't know how I'm supposed to go on day to day without her!  Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not suicidal or anything like that, but I just never gave any in-depth thought to how my life was going to be after her passing.  When my Dad passed away in 2012, I didn't think I could ever be any sadder than I was then, but there is something about losing a sister that creates a completely different kind of sadness.  Maybe it's because she was younger than me, and the baby of the family, but I truly never realized how much our lives were intertwined (even though we lived 3 hours away) and how close we actually were until I could no longer pick up the phone when I heard a song that I thought she might like, or I needed to bounce something off of her so she could give me her opinion.  I still actually go for the phone when I think of something I want to say.  My sadness is so profound, that even I am in awe of it - I didn't think it was possible to have this type of sadness lurking in the background all the time!  I know that time will heal much of what I'm feeling right now, and I will certainly be glad when that time comes!  I loved my sister so much and would have gladly traded places with her.  She was beautiful, smart and funny - I have no idea why she had to get this awful thing, and I probably should just stop trying to figure it out - there are no answers.  Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with the extreme sadness until time can help?
Thanks,
Terri

Re: Missing My Sister

Dear Terri, I lost my lovely sister a month ago and am just starting to feel as you're describing. I heard Tom Cruise had been cast as Lee Child's "Jack Reacher" two days ago and got really upset when I couldn't talk to Sue about it. She loved those books and it was Sue who introduced me to them. Jack Reacher is a 6'5" 250lbs ex-Military Policeman - and Tom Cruise ... isn't. She'd have been appalled and we would have had a good laugh about it - yet I really can't believe something so trivial could set me off crying like that.

My only advice at this stage is to share your sadness - and the event which triggered the sadness - with others. Like you, I'm keen to hear others' advice, too.

Julia xx

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Re: Missing My Sister

Hi Julia and Terri. I found, after losing Teddy, that for me it helped to talk about him to whomever would listen. The more I talked the better I felt. I would tell little stories about the past and it was almost as if I kept him alive that way. I put pictures around of the 2 of us and most of all I have been very strong because that was his final words to me. To be stronbg and I am trying so hard to comply with his wishes. Things do get easier in time. I wrote poems about him and made photo albums. I am also a big believer as you know, in the beyond and by feeling he is all around me has been the best of the best. I tell myself he has only gone to the next room. I guess a lot of it is wrapping your heads around the fact that your Sisters may still be right with you as Julia is finding out. Teddy's Sister just visited me for 10 days from Ft. Worth and it was so great as we talked about him so much. You will find your way and what you are comfortable with and just know your Sisters want you to be happy.

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's rain,
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.                   By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Missing My Sister

Sweetest Terri and Julia,
Yoga helped me immensely in my grieiving.  The phycial part helped to balance and keep me focused - literally, for it not in the moment I was falling down.  That is not saying that during shavasana (resting posture) that the tears and hole in my chest are not active for they were and still are (3 years later).  But somehow the yoga practice makes it more manageable.  Also, the philosophy has helped me to view life and death in a different manner than the belief system I was raised with.  I pray that you find solace and that severe sadness moves on, but these life lessons are what grow us. 
Peace be,
Karen

Wishing all God's blessings!

Re: Missing My Sister

Grieving is the hardest job I've ever had.....

I diagnosed my Mom in May 2008 and she died April 2009.  After her death I was on autopilot for several months, busy with all the things a death brings.  I gave her eulogy, wrote all of the thank you notes, cleaned out her closet, and when everything was pretty much done and grief really hit...I discovered the world had moved on and I most certainly HAD NOT!  I really thought all of the anticipatory grief would have prepared me for the reality of losing Mom.  I'm here to say....IT DOESN"T!!!

I missed calling her on my way home from work everyday.  I missed telling her about my children's accomplishments.  I would have given anything to just hear her voice!  I was appalled when my best friend told me to get over it and move on....grief would not bring her back or change things.  (As a side note here,  it was only my Southern upbringing and my fear of prison that kept me from killing her....)  Most people did not want to talk about even the good times much less my loss!

I discovered I was mad at pretty much everyone....even God.  My support came from some of the most unlikely sources....  This board was a godsend.  I was able to rant, rave, ask questions and draw on the experiences of those who had traveled the road I was now embarked upon.  I chose to be very kind to myself and gradually let go of those I felt were not supportive of me or my grief.  Grieving is intense and personal.  No two people will grieve in the same way or in the same timeline.  I surrounded myself with people that truly cared and most of those had experienced the loss of a loved one.  My husband was amazing.  He had lost both of his parents and was so loving and supportive of me in my most crazy, insane moments.  He and God pretty much took the brunt of my grieving.  I'm pleased to say both loved me enough to put up with me!

I've found embracing my grief and being open and taking the time to grieve has been the best road for me.  I can still be reduced to tears catching a whiff of my Mom's perfume in a store but each day the good memories are becoming the ones I remember most AND first.

Our family has always been involved with church and charities.  I spend a great deal of time outside of work being a volunteer with the USO and the Marine bases near my house.  My son in love is a Marine so it's personal as well.  I view my volunteer work as a living tribute to my amazing Mom.

I smile now as I come across my "Pennies from Heaven" and keep all of them in a jar on my desk.

You'll find your pathway and if you are kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve,  you'll be OK.  I've learned lessons and believe I'm kinder and more compassionate.  I think I value the small things more.  Remember.....if you had not loved so much you wouldn't be grieving so hard....  Personally the love was well worth the grief.....

We're all here for you....take care!

Hugs,
Pam

My Mom lost her one year battle with CC on April 3, 2009.

"A prognosis is simply an audit of how truly precious each day is.  Live each day to the maximum, celebrate what was, and what is - Don't spend your life looking forward to what will or might be." .... words of wisdom from my beloved son on hearing of his grandmother's CC prognosis.