My sister died using drugs

(17 Posts)
cabbageandbeans Sat 05-Mar-16 13:21:02

When I was 13 my sister died while using heroin. She had been using for 7 months and we (her close family) had no idea. When I had my children, not wanting to ignore her existence, I explained that they had an aunty who died before they were born. My children are now 8 & 7 and asking me "how" did she die. I initially said a terrible accident, but the questions pop up every now and then and I am unprepared on what to say. I know that I have never dealt with my sisters death well, never had counselling myself and I don't really know when to introduce the concept of illegal drugs to my precious (and rather naive children). I am so lost and unprepared for their questions, please help.

wickedwaterwitch Sat 05-Mar-16 13:28:55

I'm so sorry about your sister. I think you can keep it vague for now but tell them more when they're a bit older.

cabbageandbeans Sat 05-Mar-16 13:38:06

Thanks, I guess I just keep batting off questions then?

So far I have said "it's something I find difficult to talk about/explain." I promised that when I can explain it, I will. I know it's important to keep it simple and age appropriate but I think my own complicated emotions about it are affecting my response! I feel incredibly uptight when I respond to my kids questions (only on this topic-usually I am as honest and fairly liberal). This all connects with how my own mother dealt with it (which was to say very little about it, leaving me to come up with my own conclusions).

Coconutty Sat 05-Mar-16 19:18:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lougle Sat 05-Mar-16 19:30:31

I wonder if 'a terrible accident' is a bit more 'real' to the children than drugs would be? My children are 10, 8, 6 and I think they would think of a big crash, lots of pain, etc.

I think they might be able to accept that some things can make you feel good but are really bad for you as an explanation of the heroin?

Clare1971 Sat 05-Mar-16 21:37:58

I think coconut's idea is a good one. For the time being tell them something like she was unwell and her heart stopped working, which is true. Later you can explain the details. So sorry for you. If you feel it would help you could always speak to your GP and ask about counselling. Often people are offered counselling when awful things happen but it's sometimes much later on that we need to start to think about it and process it.

cabbageandbeans Mon 07-Mar-16 20:04:39

Claire 1971, and coconutty I see that you are both on the money. I have struggled with this for such a while, basically avoiding it (on SO many levels!). I see that an accident may have just been a scary concept without any further information too. I will try that approach, it makes complete sense. I am such an over thinker and have made this so horribly over complicated!

cabbageandbeans Mon 07-Mar-16 20:06:12

To confirm, the approach of telling them she became unwell and her heart stopped working, that way I can focus on something hing that is real and true even if its not the full story. Thanks

Coconutty Mon 07-Mar-16 21:39:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

msrisotto Mon 07-Mar-16 21:46:50

Glad you've found a way forward. Don't leave it too late to tell them though, you don't want them to hear from a cousin or uncle first.

NewLife4Me Mon 07-Mar-16 21:51:23

Hello my love, I'm so sorry about your sister and can't imagine how you must feel.

Wrt your children, there is no harm in keeping it vague whilst they are little.
Perhaps somebody on here knows when it is introduced into the nc.
I'm sure it has been discussed in my dd class and she is y7.
I think they must start with age appropriate things and then add more as they get older.
Maybe between 12/14 may be a good idea, but I'm not a professional.

TooMuchOfEverything Mon 07-Mar-16 22:06:14

Oh I am so so sorry for your loss. Sounds like you really need to talk to someone about your sister. Have you thought about contacting Cruse? I had some sessions with them to discuss a bereavement that had happened 30 years before. The lady that came to me was amazing. It honestly changed my life. I know it is hard to talk about something that you have not properly dealt with for so long. flowers

cabbageandbeans Wed 09-Mar-16 13:20:37

Yes, it is so strange to me that I can't deal with this in a matter of fact way and loose the ability to be objective completely. It makes me realise how completely uptight (and I mean this by no means as a critism of myself, just as observation) I feel whenever I try to even think about making sense of it to explain to my kids.

How obvious it must seem to others that I haven't really dealt with it, and yet I think I have always convinced myself that I had made progress with it over the years, when really I haven't made much progress at all!
I will definitely consider counselling, it seems like the most obvious thing really! And yet the most surprising (to my ignorant self) outcome of this thread!

TooMuchOfEverything Wed 09-Mar-16 13:32:20

That all makes sense to me, I totally thought I had dealt with a bereavement but really all I had done was knotted it tighter and tighter and kind of shoved it to the back of everything. Good luck.

cocochanel21 Wed 09-Mar-16 13:48:38

My dd1 died 5mths ago due to using drugs. I have recently started to see a counsellor. I've found it hard to open up my dd died in upsetting circumstances. At the time I blocked alot out and put on a brave face. I was 7mths pregnant at the time.

Hope you find counselling helpful to you. Take Careflowers

Clare1971 Wed 09-Mar-16 18:11:26

Goodness you're hard on yourself! It was your sister, you were 13 - a really confusing age in itself, she died of something horrible and needless, but also something which you might feel she contributed to, you now have your own children to consider - no wonder you're struggling. Even when we feel we've 'dealt with things' whatever that means, we often have to go back over them when our lives change. There's something rather lovely about the fact that you still obviously care so much too, I think it would be well worth finding someone to talk to about all of it. Good luck.

cabbageandbeans Fri 11-Mar-16 10:14:26

Thankyou clare1971, very kind words. Cocochanel, I am so sorry to hear you story. Feeling really affected by everyone's advice, support and sharing. We do learn something about ourselves (and other people) everyday. Feeling really touch and hopeful.

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