Jump to content

How to grieve the sudden death of my best friend and sister, while married.


kmae23

Recommended Posts

I could really use some techniques, phrases, insight. Coming to this forum is causing quite a bit of anxiety as I just lost her a week ago and am still in shock. I just don't want to sabotage my marriage that was just reconciled 2 days before her sudden death. We had been separated for the majority of the year due mostly to insecurity and fear. I just can't seem to get a healthy perspective, I can't help but worry about my husbands feelings and hide my own grief. But I have to get a handle to start a nursing job in a new city.

 

He knew how close we were and was right there with me for the initial stages but then became what I feel is needy.. I don't want to build resentment. My sister was 2 years older-31.. She meant the most to me in life and we have never been apart, even if cities separated us for short periods, we would stay up all night talking. My husband admitted he was envious of our relationship, her and I both made sure not to isolate our own husbands/boyfriends. I felt he was jealous but what does that matter now. Her death was sudden from a hemorrhage, especially since being a nurse I can't stop replaying it over in my mind, I should have known something was wrong.. I can't seem to feel justified in asking for space, I feel nothing right now. I only awkwardly explain how difficult it is, making myself sound cold. I have also lost my brother in an accident and then other relatives like grandma, uncle, aunts, cousins etc and find myself comparing the meaning and then just trailing into weird conversation. Her urn is in my car still, belongings haven't moved. Its like time is frozen and I feel I am expected to work through it quicker because I have lost a sibling before but childhood sibling grief is different than it is now.

 

I want to honor her, I want to do the things for others that she would have done, live the life she didn't get too. The lack of crying, increased productivity and desire not to say I will be lacking in life now, my concern for her 7 year live in boyfriend is before my own (she would want that) This seems to confuse my husband and the past few days he has been stern about my coping. Even saying after a bit of a freak out period the night of her funeral that I can't excuse bad behavior because of grief. I just wanted to ride a bike and yell about how she didn't want to die and that all I ever wanted was to see her happy and she was finally getting to be on an even stride after years of bad things. I am trying not to be destructive, its hard after many years of my sister and I only having each other (parents shoved us off in our early teens) I feel pressured to be normal but then my jokes are too dark..I have to express this pain. He says he understands but is asking me long winded questions about the future- Telling me storied with a lot of details then looking hurt when I didn't follow all of it.

 

I have told him to please be patient, that I will try to listen to him. I just feel the whole 5 year relationship I have never been allowed to be weak because of his own insecurities. I can't afford to break down. I have too many responsibilities and I think that makes him feel guilt for not providing more, we agreed I would work while he finished an instense degree program in video game design. I'm scared he will expect me to be "normal" after some set period of time.Its only been a week. I can't sleep for days even with sleep aides. I feel anger about the cause of death.

 

We were to move by her, 3 hours north of us. I plan to still do that and live with her boyfriend of 7 years. He tried CPR but caused an ugly mess due to the bleed but has yet to clean it up. All of this just ends up causing so much anxiety and disconnection from my husband. He tried to playfully kiss me earlier while I was deleting forwarded facebook posts on her page which I felt were tacky, with too many details about her traumatic death, we have been trying to memorialize her on her page not discuss gory details of her death! Well, I turned my head after the third silly pecking type kisses and he seems to be so annoyed. I just feel my blood boiling with rage about her death and wish for revenge.. It feels my feelings are becoming volatile and so instead I feel empty. I really don't even know where to start? The past 3 days have been filled with long discussions about how to improve my husband and I's relationship but I can't help but want to run away! I asked for space yesterday and he became sensitive and insecure, today asked more than a couple times about future plans but wanted in depth details. Since I am moving close to the common law husband and my brother who keeps insisting he feels she is there when I am, he told me he thought of staying back here in Austin with someone he feels is like his sister. I was understanding but can't help but think with him I will never have a chance to hurt. It makes me want to sleep with her urn in the car! I really appreciate any advice, I just can't stop worrying about everybody, everything...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honey, you need to get yourself to a counselor to talk about this grief. it is very hard and sad, but I see some things here that are losing perspective and most likely will drive your husband away. You say you plan to 'live with' her 7 year BF, but what about your husband? It is not your job to live with her ex, and he needs to do his grieving and then move on with his life. I'm sure your sister would want both you and her BF to have normal lives and not just stop your own lives and huddle together and build a shrine to her memory.

 

You should be concerned and helpful to her BF, BUT his concerns are NOT to be placed above your own concerns or your husband. He is a grown man, and as such, he will have to go thru grief just like anyone else who loses a loved one, and you can't stop that or prevent it and shouldn't try. I understand your impulse to honor your sister, but you need to live your own life and not try to replace hers, and her BF needs to do the same, heal and go on to live a full and happy life of his own. Your sister would NOT want the two of you to stop living your lives or live hers for her when she is no longer here to do so.

 

I think your best bet here is to see a grief counselor (and encourage her BF to do the same), and perhaps to join a grief support group where you can express these feelings in a safe environment that won't threaten your marriage. And I suggest you talk to your husband and tell him openly that you will need a little time to process this loss, and will be getting counseling to do so, and hope that he gives you some time and a chance to process this before making any decisions about what to do with your relationship with him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lost my best friend a little over 2 years ago, very, very suddenly, as I was still coping with the emotions from a horrible break up and trying to move on with my life in that regard. He was always my rock, the person that picked me up when I was down, who bailed me out when I screwed up (and I did the same for him) - I had just spent a whole week with him writing music, talking, laughing, getting back on my feet a few months before... then poof, gone. It was extraordinarily devastating, and still is. There is not a single day that goes by that I don't think of him, or of what he'd be doing... or think about sending him a text, an email or picking up the phone to share some little tidbit of my life.

 

But, and this is a huge but, because he was so strong, because I cared so much about him.. in a weird way, that gave me the strength to keep plodding through life while trying to deal with my grief. Life doesn't just stop when someone you love dies - you have to keep living, and you have to keep living in a way that would make them proud - just like you would if they were still here.

 

We were always kind of our own little unit and so much of our friendship is something I consider almost sacred, so I hoard it rather jealously and don't talk about it a lot (plus, I'm fairly private, so....)... but sometimes you need to talk about it to deal. Sometimes you need to do the things you think they would have done to invoke their spirit and bring them to mind and keep them alive in your heart.

 

You need to grieve, and people are going to have to respect that. Your emotions are yours, and your loss is real. People don't have to understand how you're feeling, but they need to give you the opportunity to do what you need to do in order to help your heart begin to heal - and you have absolutely every right to tell them that they need to give you this space and time. Ask for it, take it, whatever you have to do... but give yourself the time or you're going to crack when you least expect it, and then it won't be a choice. You'll have to deal, and that is so much harder.

 

You probably have to keep going through the motions while you're grieving, but don't feel bad for struggling, and don't feel bad for crying, or being in a fog, or for making people repeat themselves because you can't think straight. It'll take time, but eventually you'll start noticing things again... you'll be sharper, you'll learn to function through the ache and the grief. You'll be able to smile and laugh without feeling guilty or lost. How long it takes... well, that just depends. It's different for everyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hugs (((K))) I'm very sorry to hear of your loss (es). I feel for you- really do.

 

You sound lost...overwhelmed and are experiencing anxiety. I feel you need to see your doctor and get something to help ease this. Ask about something you can take for a while for your 'anxiety'.

You have a LOT you're dealing with right now and a 'loss' is NEVER easy. We understand....

 

You CAN break down- you are allowed to. This is YOU and these are YOUR feelings. Do not feel you have to 'hold them in' for anybody.

 

I feel you need to work on 'calming yourself down'. Don't overdo it. Don't run yourself ragged. There's always tomorrow.

And now.. with loss of your sister, it sounds like there is so much more you want to do- for her...so much more you have to do. No- you now need to settle down a bit and work on YOU and your loss (es).

 

I feel it's time to 'take a mental break' from a few things for your own benefit. For your own mentallity. Or, you're going to drive yourself into total break down and that's not good...

With 'loss' it is normal to go through MANY emotions.. yes, anger is one. As well, denial, sadness, lonliness and confusion. This will be a long road to recovery and 'acceptance'.

It takes a while to work on what you're faced with right now and dealing with. All you can do is one day at a time.

 

Maybe the two of you can try some grief counselling at least? he does need to 'try' and understand YOUR feelings in this loss and yes, we all deal with it differently. But it cannot be ignored. (some sit in denial- not ready to deal with it, some avoid it and 'try' to carry on.. smiling etc- yet inside they are confused...).

 

Poor you... please take it easy. Try to 'relax' a bit. Go take a walk, have a hot bath- relax. Try to sort some things out in your mind.. slowly though, okay. You can't do it all in a day.

 

Take care... you're not alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your in shock hun and will be for a long time. I was in zombie mode for 6months when we lost a close relative to cancer. I still went to work, forced myself to get outa bed etc but shut everything out.. i was here in body, not in mind. My bf gave me the space i needed during that time. He was still here holding my hand-i wanted him close but in peace, silence, no pressure. He sensed that and respected it. After 6months it got a little easier but still very hard..

 

You need to tell your husband you cannot deal with your marriage problems right now. You just need him close but to shut up and give you space at the same time. Hes talking too much and you cant handle it. You really need silence and just to grieve in peace. Tell him he needs to stop his insecurities. You love him, you want your marriage to work but right now you are grieving and cannot think about anything else.

 

Dont move in with your sisters partner. That would be detrimental to your marriage and not what your sister would want. Hes grieving also as you know and he probably wants to be left in piece too. Tell him your here if he needs anything but also give him space.

 

You need to look after you now. I got a puppy when my aunt died and it really helped. Just a suggestion. animals can be great coz they dont talk and they just cuddle and love you

 

its going to be a long hard road but dont be afraid to ask for help. If your not coping see your doctor. Ask your husband to do some research on how to help you grieve coz right now hes not helping. He is too concerned with other issues and you should be his priority right now. He needs to be strong for you like you would for him if it was the other way round. If he cant do that-then maybe put your marriage on hold for now and ask him to see a counselor to deal with his issues. You cannot fix his insecurity issues. He needs to do that himself

 

take care of yourself x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First and foremost, I am really sorry for your loss... obviously we are all internet strangers here but I can empathize with a fellow human going through a very hard time.

 

 

 

 

 

If you two are meant to be, you need to ask him to back off. I know you are JUST starting to reconcile, but your partner will have to respect who you lost and allow you to go through the motions. If he does not, if he can't be by your side in one of the darkest hours of your life...then it's not meant to be. Please focus on your grieving right now, and not appeasing your insecure husband by "keeping it together." You need to be leaning on others and asking for help, not "keeping it together" for your husband's sake.

 

I will also agree living with your sister's BF is probably not the right thing for you right now.

 

Take care of yourself

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nobody really understands it until they go through it themselves.

 

And even then, even though we experience it, it's different for everybody.

 

So what I experienced when I lost my brother is as similar and yet as foreign to your situation as the next.

 

Losing someone that close is hard. You were as close to your sister as my dad was to my brother, and I see how it has affected him. It's taken him two, three years to get moving again, and he's now cleaned out a lot of the past from when we grew up.

 

You might look for a bereavement group in your area. It's always helpful to find people who understand you on an intimately personal level, and if there's anyone who understands losing someone, it is someone who has lost someone themselves. You may also seek out bereavement counselors, to help you develop strategies to help you deal with things like your husband in a constructive manner. In controlling your reactions, you'll set the pace and the tone of the environment around you.

 

Let the move be a dream. That dream has passed on with your sister. My dad had dreams, and when my brother died, those dreams went away - it's just how it goes. The plans now, you don't make many - just contingency plans to get you from this place to the place where you will be strong enough to start dreaming again. Right now, a week? yuck. Yuck yuck yuck, that's the middle of the mud hole. I would not wish this pain on anyone, except to give those who have not lost someone the comfort and support they need when they finally do lose someone. Keep this in mind, as you go through this tunnel: someday, you will be there for someone else because they will need your support.

 

Your husband is perhaps very insecure because your plans right now run in conflict with his interests as your husband. Your sister's common-law is not your common-law; you cannot take your sister's place in his life. Filling that place with him will only lead to greater issues that will destroy your marriage. If anything, that place to console you in this time of your need is your husband's domain. For both of your sakes, it's far better to just leave it be between you and the common-law. The sketchy plans you have now would cause me a bit of anxiety myself, if I was your partner, just being honest.

 

If you feel like sleeping in the car with the urn for a night, I dare say do it, except with the cold I would not advise it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I do not appreciate everyone's responses. I do have somewhat of an understanding of the grieving process as a nurse and understand you all are strangers. I do have to admit the place everyone's mind went with my sisters common law is quite a reach and honestly everyone deduced quite an offensive scenario. There is no weird codependency thing going on or a suggestion that we are going to huddle together or stop living, definitely not a circumstance where I am going to replace her. My husband and I have our own issues but one of them was being in a city without solid family and friends. We had already planned on moving and spending the next semester with my sister and her common law. We all have been close friends/family. He is from Thailand and those that understand the cultural difference may understand more of the reasoning why my own family has become more of his, he is able to be more open with things in his life than he was before with his Thai family and upbringing. I also was close to him as a brother and my sister because all of my family is LDS (Mormon) but this part. My parents and remaining siblings all feel he will always be a brother and son. My husband and him get along very well and this move is not a concern of my husbands at all. Not in the way of my brother in law being involved. We all plan to live life "normally." I guess it's hard for people to understand, and yes if I didn't have so many bills and responsibilities I might reach out to a professional instead of this forum. It seems to have just led to frustration for me anyhow. I see I may have painted an odd picture and I do have a lot of anxiety. But really living with this person is not at all or will be at all part of the issue. It would be the same as living with any other family member..

 

In no way would this move be detrimental to my marriage and actually, my sister would want this, all of the family does. How does this run in conflict to his interest as my husband? A very large 4 bedroom house with my brother in law that is recognized as part of the family is conflicting for him? its just continuing the same plans and also recognizing my brother in law as part of the family. My nephews all call him uncle and know him as that. He was very close to the family and will remain close. I just don't understand why others are so quick to assume something odd about this? Would it be odd to move with my blood brother? How about my adopted brother? Is there really a possible "normal" road to go that isn't traumatizing after a sudden death? Of course my sisters "partner" is grieving and he has all the space he wants and needs and will ask if he needs more.. I am definitely not trying to get support from him! He has his own form and style of grieving. No one is trying to "help" each other through. That is such an easy way to think others may be feelings when others have not been there. Take time? Like when? When I don't have 4k in bills do? When i am living at the MHMR after not being a responsible adult? Not everyone has these luxuries of time and relaxation, life keeps moving with or without you, now is no time for me to exit the ride! And I think everyone deals with these things the best way we know how. I did ask for techniques, phrases, insight.. Not brazen judgement about my relationship to this person! Why would people assume this was something so weird?! UGH. This is the whole reason I have spent years not posting on this forum! People go to far in assuming weird freaky things! And then saying "don't" do this! What a mess!

 

One reason I stopped posting on here for years: People scan posts for obvious red flags. Do that on a break up forum. Not on a grieving, death forum. There is no simple or easy answer. I do not believe in God. My sister was killed from an obvious medication interaction. This should not have happened. There is no easy answer or "red flag" I do want to reach to others for help, thats why I came here. Instead I got some weird vibe and more anxiety! Thanks a lot for that ENA! (Sarcasm) Please ask questions before assuming!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based upon only what you wrote, this was our reaction. We are unbiased, uncolored, unfiltered - we don't know a single thing about you so we can only take what you provide for us and go from there.

 

Most of us have seen too much crazy crap in this life to not go the wrong way any more.

 

The Anger stage is one of the more difficult stages for those around you - do take care of yourself and be careful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't ask for anyone to assume, judge, or tell me what to do. Which is what happened here. A real shame. Outside of my anger in this grieving period is my experience with this forum. Which angered me before my sister died. besides I do not believe in the classic stages of anger. This is coming from a 5 year hospice nurse. I have been with hundreds of people dying. So please do not condescend me. I can admit when I have acted inappropriately, these people who say they come to help should not judge nor play devils advocate. which I witness all the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if you naturally go the wrong way now, I think its time to call it a day on ENA Lonewing! Go from what I ask, stay on topic and don't pick out and dissect one sentence. "destroy" my marriage?! Wow, yes you guys are clueless but now are just acting negligently with people who ask for real help and advice! Those around me? Just wow, you are very condescending. Another platinum member. For shame. Goodbye ENA! I hope you all take a long break from advising strangers when you aren't all jaded~ As Lonewing speaks for everyone I guess! I strongly believed, whether bereaved or not, anyone would be angered by these responses and sick judgements! And no I am not overcompensating for some weird relationship I have with my common law, who is still my common law to the one who claimed he wasn't. On top of losing my sister, the entire family does not wish to lose a brother in law also!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The additional information really does help, it may be a fair situation moving where he is. It may also make sense for him to move down, or...who knows, at this point. So much changes in the first 90 days after a death that you really can't make heads or tails of life at all, it's just how things go.

 

My brother was killed by his wife for his life insurance, so I can tell you it's a harrowing experience. My father's anger stage and his general state of anxiety and irritability was to the point where I was willing to drive myself four hours away to be in my own bed for a night between the day that was after we got home from bringing my brother home and then his memorial service. He did not keep his emotions in check, he never really has and it is perhaps one of the bigger issues he has that has ultimately affected his life altogether for better or worse from the moment I've met him and perhaps beyond.

 

Based upon your reaction to our words, and to that reaction alone, I perceive that you may have a tendency to lash back when what you hear doesn't make sense or sounds likes it's 180 degrees off from what you think. I may be wrong, and I hope that I am; all the same, knowledge is power and right now, I believe you can use every bit of help you can get! I'm only saying this whereas while I could not say anything to my father, being in the position that I was [it's a precarious place, being so close], I can say something to you without fear of reprisal. Before you react, you have to take a couple deep breaths and let the anger go, and then maybe even take a break before reacting if it doesn't subside. The more understanding people in your life will catch you like a catcher's mitt catches a fastball, others will catch your fiery like a snowflake in a furnace - and I KNOW you don't mean it either way! You ARE a treasured person!

 

I realize you are in pain right now, that you are grieving, but you must remember to be gentle on the people around you. It's hard sometimes, and what {we}, and by {we} I mean {the people around you, your friends, your family, your husband, your kids, etc. and so forth} say may indeed sound so seemingly callous, or feel inciting, or infuriating, or they may be jumping to the same ridiculous conclusions we jump to. It's going to happen, so when it does, I just want to help you recognize that how you react can and will drive the people around you away, that they may go months and years afterwards not talking to you as much {I barely talk to my father now, I saw him for ten minutes at thanksgiving and last called him...last spring, I think?...my brother died three years ago}.

 

I can only imagine your pain, I wasn't physically close to my brother but I was spiritually close, whereas I knew his presence was whole in this universe and I thought his life was good, from what all I knew. Without him, life has been very very different. In some ways, at least at my dad's, he's now the elephant in the room.

 

I wish you the very best. Patience, and time, it's really the best you can stumble by with right now. Things will get better, I hope - someday, you'll be there for someone else, and you'll be a better asset to them than any of us were to you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Why do you insist on putting me in this scenario as your father? Why can't I be you in this scenario? I come from a strict Mormon background, I have lost a brother in a car accident and witnessed how my father dealt with that in rage and projection. I am naturally a calm person. I can lash out but only with those very close to me that have abused me for years, in that case it isn't as much lashing out as it is fighting back. Since deciding to stay with my blood brother, things have gone down hill. But mainly because I am not Mormon and I am tired of being harassed and controlled. I come from a long history of abuse and am sadly well versed in the power of anger. After much extreme physical, sexual and emotional violence, including the last time I was hit in the head with a wrench and sent to live alone at 15 in an apartment my father signed for (to avoid charges) I have lived my own life, learning and growing with the intent to never push others away or inflict any sort of harm on them. I am a nurse, I care to help others. My title isn't who I am, but I wish to explain myself, as I am receiving a lot of information that does not apply to me. It might make more sense if you were to try to relate to me instead of putting me in the role of your father. I see something triggered this idea, but he doesn't sound like me at all. I do over explain to make a point but that is more learned behavior fighting to have my own point of view despite these Mormons all my years. I am more sad and angry that I have to come to a board to get my feelings out since my sister died, she was the other ex Mormon (black sheep) I am only 29, have no children, moved away from the few friends I had to be close to family after being away for about 10 years (not going well) but my marriage is at doing better and a lot stronger. This is a very dark and lonely place for me right now. I just want to talk to others about that, not about how to prevent myself from pushing others in real life away, as I don't behave that way. I don't feel entitled, I don't think my feelings are more important than any other persons. Its quite the opposite in fact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

6 months later I am still just sad but also thankful for the responses on here that I received. I was definitely too far gone to hear them at the time. Some deal in anger, I guess that was me. I did push many people away, and now they are forever gone. Including all of my own family. Not that they were close anyway, but after this blow, I made sure they would never reach out to me again. Ena is really a special place. And it has helped me when I needed it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So sorry to hear of the sudden loss of your sister. That is a huge impact on your life and will take quite a lot of time to process. There is a book I would like to recommend to you. It is entitltled "Tear Soup." Best wishes to you...chi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The people who truly love you are always there for you, even if now and then they let you have your space...

 

I don't think the sadness ever goes away, while the pain subsides it only diminishes because we move forward and fill our lives with more life.

 

Just hearing from you is comfort enough, you'll be fine I do hope!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Thank you, Lonewing and Chi.

 

This is how I try to remember my sister:

And there's no remedy for memory your face is like a melody

It won't leave my head

Your soul is haunting me and telling me

That everything is fine

 

 

I've definitely stumbled through this whole grief thing, thinking coming out stronger would mean I benefited from her death somehow. But realizing more and more as time moves on that our loved ones really wouldn't us to hurt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...