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Remembering with love all our departed brothers and sisters – “The angel inside us”.

(248 Posts)
dejavuaswell Wed 19-Jan-11 09:04:36

My sister Jane died on 24th October 1992. We never knew exactly how she came to crash her car. There was no proof that there was any other vehicle involved but it was very hard to explain what happened unless she swerved to avoid something.

Jane was the youngest of 5 (4 girls and a boy). She died in a road accident 15 months after she graduated. She was closest, chronologically, emotionally and tempermentally to my brother. My older sister, the secular one, has always kept a picture of Jane on her bedside table and my younger sister, the religious one, puts everything down to God?s Will and seems to think of Jane as the lucky one for being in Heaven before the rest of us.

After many years of hardly mourning her death Christmas 2010 was really difficult for me. I had such strong images of her lying cold and alone in the cemetery wondering where the rest of the family and her boyfriend were that it has made me really tearful and spoilt Christmas 100%.

When I think about all that happened in my life since Jane died it seems so unfair that she died before marriage and parenthood and before she could make proper use of her hard-won degree.

This thread follows on from this very moving one: and-all-our-darling-departed-sisters-and-brothers

Hunkerbunker2 Wed 23-Mar-11 08:47:07

My employer needed to shed staff ... I expect you can guess the rest! They made me quite a good offer (I'm 64) so yesterday was my last work day although I get paid to the end of the month with untaken holiday.

The good news is that I am going to South Africa in 2 weeks time and I will be able to see my sisters grave for the first time. I will be away for a 16 days in total staying for part of the time with Diane's former husband in Durban.

evansmummy Wed 23-Mar-11 11:06:39

Henrysmate, I don't think I'm nicer, just a bit further along the path and a bit more philosophical about these things. I can promise you I was seething with anger before though. Our first thread is full of it! My brother died as a result of a hit and run, and when the guy handed himself in, I had a lot of anger to direct at him. I still hate him, tbh, and always will, and don't seem to be able to forgive him.

You are incredibly brave for taking on your nephews. How old are they? Where's their dad? I hope you are all getting along ok. How are they? Have you had any help from children's bereavement charities? If you think you need to, might be worth looking into Winston's Wish, for example. I hear they're pretty good.

Funny you say 'it's so stupid and so obvious', the thing that I come back to the most, after nearly three years, is I miss my brother so bloody much. My mum has always been able to 'talk to him'. And I can't at all, except to say 'I miss you'. I wish things were different every day. And I'm a long way from any easy acceptance. You just let yourself be angry - you have a right. It's shit to lose a sibling, at any age and in any circumstances, so you are allowed to be angry.

evansmummy Wed 23-Mar-11 12:05:43

Hunker, bad and good news I guess! It must feel strange reaching the big 'R' earlier than you thought you would. It's the start of a new chapter. And they can kick off with that long awaited trip. I'm so pleased you're going and I hope it will be what you want it to. Are you going alone?

henrysmate Thu 24-Mar-11 19:03:52

Evansmummy, oh how awful for you, it must be so much worse if you actually have someone to blame for the death of your loved one - if I rage against Fate or whatever, my hatred doesn't have a face. My heart goes out to you. I do wish I could talk to F like your mum can to your brother, but I'm like you, I don't get that. All I have to put out there at the moment is the howling gap inside me.

Having the kids (the twins are 8 and the elder boy 11) is an incredible comfort though, I'm so lucky to have them so we can get eachother through all this shit. Thier dad has what is politely termed "substance abuse issues", so our effort is all on them really. They seem to be coping well at the moment. Kids deal with grief so differently to adults, so this is the start of a long road I guess. At the moment, they're so desperate to be "normal" after so many years of cancer talk, cancer treatment, nurses and doctors tramping through the house, mummy upstairs with strangers and people praying everywhere you looked. At the minute they like the quietness of the new house, bugs, talking about poo and anything vaguely PC related. Hearing them laugh is the best sound in the world. I don't know what I'd do without them now.

Thanks again for holding out a hand and telling me your story, it really does help.

evansmummy Fri 25-Mar-11 18:29:59

I don't think it's necessarily worse having someone to direct your anger onto. I sometimes think it would be easier if he didn't have a face cos then I wouldn't want to punch it every time i think of it smile. It sucks either way.

Those boys are lucky to have you. And you are lucky to have them. You sound like you're doing the best job possible in letting them be normal. They do grieve in a very different way. I went on a course on child bereavement a couple of months ago and one thing that stuck with me is that kids 'puddle jump' in grief - they will have brief bursts of sadness and then get back to normal. Have you noticed your nephews doing that? I know my son does it a bit, but he was only three when his uncle died so not really conscious of what happened.

On another selfish note I need advice from anyone (lurkers??) about what to say to my mum - she is organising a stone sculpture for her garden in memory of Jon and keeps asking what I want on it. I don't want to think about it at all; I've told her it makes me too upset to think about it and that i'm happy for her to do whatever, but she hasn't as yet got the hint. How do I say that I'm not into a stone tribute?? It's all too final and pointless.

caffeineaddict Fri 25-Mar-11 22:13:26

Hello just catching up on everyone. Hug to henrysmate. Evansmummy - completely understand about the stone tribute. You say clearly in your post why you don't want it - don't hint, just be as lucid as you are here.

On child bereavement - my daughter was 7 when my sister died of cancer. Within a couple of months after her death, daughter almost completely lost the sight in one eye. She had extensive tests at Moorfields, but they concluded there was nothing wrong with her eye, but some malfuctioning with the signals from the brain - they suggested it may be emotionally linked because of the shock of bereavement. It was such a grim time. 3 years on, or so, sight has almost completely returned to daughter's eye.

henrysmate Fri 25-Mar-11 22:21:04

You're so right evansmummy, it does indeed suck.

And yes, puddles is a good way of putting it, we have up and down days and the best I can say about it is that at least we don't all have them on the same day so we can get each other through it at the time. So there's some comfort in numbers I guess.

I hope you and your mum can come to some sort of agreement, my mum's very into tributes as well, I'm not. I just let her get on with it her way and try to bite my tongue. Maybe it's a generation thing.

evansmummy Mon 28-Mar-11 12:02:58

Maybe so, yes. She hasn't bothered me about it since last week so might just leave it til the next time. Who knows, maybe I'll have changed my mind by then smile. It has been known.

Definitely comfort in numbers - it was great to be living so near my parents and other brother when Jon died. They're all miles away now and I really feel the distance. I somehow feel safer when they're all around, weird.

Hope you've had a good weekend. Sunshine where you are?

MissM Tue 29-Mar-11 11:51:01

Hello. Have had a little lurk and am touched by your messages on Jim's birthday. EM, my mum does things 'in memory' of my brother that make me cringe and irritate me, and that I don't want to get involved in at all. But I'm slowly slowly coming round to realising that she is who she is and if that's what she needs to do then let her do it as it's not doing anyone any harm. I suppose that it's sinking in that although I thought we would all pull together and be closer after Jim's death, actually it seemed to tug us all apart in so many ways.

So I guess I'm saying let her have her stone sculpture if that makes her happy. Could you explain your reasons for not commenting on it, in a way that doesn't upset her? Or just agree with everything she suggests and have a rant at someone you trust? xx

evansmummy Fri 01-Apr-11 11:50:52

MissM, nice to hear from you. Hope you're keeping well. I like your last idea of just greeing then having a rant to someone else. Above all, I don't want her to be hurt by my non-involvement. She hasn't mentioned it since so I might have got away with it. I think I'll just smile and agree and let her get on with it, as you say, it's not doing any harm and she needs it.

I think it's also true what you say about this being very lonely, even with a close family. I do very much feel that I'm on my own in this, esp now that everyone is so far away.

Anyways, take care of yourself, I think of you often.

dejavuaswell Fri 15-Apr-11 09:36:59

I am just popping in for a brief chat and an update. I don't think I have been on the site more than a couple of times since I "left" which was both strong-willed but also unhelpful to me. I had found the support here useful but some posters on other parts of the site used to annoy me. Last weekend my brother pointed out in his logical way that I don't need to even visit 99.9% the rest of the MN site to post here so after a bit of indecision I am back.

After years of coping and a recent short spell of certainly not coping where am I with Jane's fatal accident? I don't know is the answer. If I really believed in the afterlife it would be different but thinking I will never see her again is a bitter pill.

dejavuaswell Sat 16-Apr-11 11:17:48

I see I managed to miss out a sentence! I should have added -

The good news is that having her photos on display and saying "Hello Jane." each morning does seem to have made a positive difference.

evansmummy Sat 16-Apr-11 16:24:37

deja, nice to hear from you again. I very rarely post anywhere other than here, so you would be safe here!

I get what you mean about not seeing your sister again. I'm not sure what I believe at the moment, though I suspect that my Christian faith will win through eventually. I'm too angry for that at the moment though. I guess the only thing I can say is if you don't believe there is anything coming after, you have to treasure and count the memories you have and the time you shared. That's just as valuable as a hope (which could be absolutely false anyway!)

And as for the photo, I'm really pleased to hear you still have that up, and that is helpful for you. It makes her a part of your day in a way.

I've just been to a friend's funeral. First one since my brother's. It was pretty hard, especially as the friend was in his 80s when he died. He helped me so much when Jonny died, this friend, and I will miss his great wisdom and the love he had for people who were suffering. He had such a heart. The last time I saw him, he was in hospital, in great pain, and he* asked how *I was and spent time trying to encourage me. So selfless. I wish I could be more like that. Bereavement has made me incredibly selfish.

caffeineaddict Sun 17-Apr-11 21:02:35

You're not selfish, evansmummy, you show too much compassion. Hello Dejavuaswell, good to hear from you.

home00 Mon 18-Apr-11 18:34:51

My sis died in May last year. I am so not looking forward to the anniversary as we had planned to visit grave etc with my mum. Unfortunately, she passed away last month. I am still going with other family members but I can tell it is going to be really hard.

caffeineaddict Mon 18-Apr-11 20:14:02

Sending you strength for May home00. Getting through anniversaries is so very tough. x

home00 Mon 18-Apr-11 21:12:39

Thank you. I think the hardest part is that mum won't be there with us.

evansmummy Wed 20-Apr-11 10:12:52

Too much compassion, caffeine? How can you show too much compassion? Surely we should strive to show as much as possible. Have I got it all wrong?!

home, I'm so sorry about your sister. As we always say, you're welcome here even though we wish you didn't have to be. The anniversary of my brother's death is also in May. It'll be three years for us. Anniversaries are always hard. And I'm sorry your mum won't be around. Two bereavements in a year is very hard, I know. With the rest of your family you will still be able to share memories. My dad did a great thing on the first anniversary - we had a special dinner together, my parents, other brother, husband and I, and he asked each of us to share one special memory of Jon. It was sad but moving as we all learnt things we hadn't known before. I know it will be a hard day, I hope you get through it ok.

home00 Wed 20-Apr-11 10:53:44

Thank you Evansmummy and so for your loss too. Plus all others on this thread. Some of the family are going and I am sure we will make it as special as we can.

caffeineaddict Wed 20-Apr-11 18:15:35

Evansmummy, I just meant you demonstrate compassion clearly to a degree that you cannot be considered selfish! May sounds grim for so many of us.

evansmummy Wed 20-Apr-11 19:19:41

caffeine, thanks for the exaplanation, I get it now! And thanks for the little ego boost wink. Is May bad for you too?

I figure I can let you know now, I'm pregnant. Has been an emotional first trimester, and I still am feeling pretty hormonal - which has a dreadful effect on grief! But trying to keep positive and remember what a gift a baby is.

caffeineaddict Thu 21-Apr-11 13:05:28

Ahh, Evansmummy, I am so delighted by your news. (May not as bad for me as Jan/Oct) I know the hormones are tough on the grief, and even the best of news is bittersweet, but this is joyous x

home00 Thu 21-Apr-11 13:44:26

Congratulations Evansmummy.

evansmummy Thu 21-Apr-11 22:17:15

Just found out today that we have a 1:23 chance of having a DS baby. Having an amnio in two weeks. What a shit day.

caffeineaddict Fri 22-Apr-11 13:55:29

Evansmummy thinking of you xxx

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