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I am not sure why I am upset. Help me unpick this please

(38 Posts)
Pagwatch Tue 13-Aug-13 15:38:20

To give some context, my sister died a few months ago. We had a very difficult relationship but I saw her in the hours before she died and said goodbye.

I took my mother to visit her birthplace this weekend as she is 80 this month. She has not been 'home' for a decade. I have not been there since I was a child.
We visited her mothers grave. She also told me that it is also the grave of her first son who died a few hours old.
It's hard to explain but I was really shocked. I didn't react but supported mum but I can't stop thinking about it.
I never really thought of ths first child as 'real' - it was like history if that makes sense. Suddenly I was standing at a graveside thinking about this baby - my eldest brother.

I think ths is about my sister and loss but it feels disproportionate. And I feel awful being so upset about a baby I never knew when I am trying to move on from the loss of a sister I knew for 50 years.
Is this weird?

ParkerTheThief Tue 13-Aug-13 15:46:16

I think grief takes us down unexpected paths and often we react in a way that surprises us. Sometimes our conflicted feelings manifest themselves via another outlet.

I've just reread that and I realise it sounds stupid, but I hope it makes sense.

Also, sorry for your losses..

Pagwatch Tue 13-Aug-13 15:48:54

No, that's helpful. Thank you.

I think there is a certain displacement . I am so upset about so many aspects of my sisters death but it feels uncomfortable.
Maybe this new yet old grief is simpler.

I don't understand. It just feels a bit overwhelming. And I fel so tired.

UnitedZingDom Tue 13-Aug-13 15:51:46

Pag so sorry for your lossessad

I think grief itself is weird, but within grief everything goes - if that makes sense.
maybe you find it hard to mourn your sister, and the shock of hearing about your brother dying as a baby is kind of a channel, through which your pain and anger and sadness can find a way out.

thanks thanks thanks

(my phone's running our of battery, but I'll be back.)

UnitedZingDom Tue 13-Aug-13 15:52:24


nextphase Tue 13-Aug-13 15:52:54

No, my lovely. Its not weird. Its grief.
Its your way of dealing with the changes your life has undergone in the past very months, and how that affects your thoughts / memories about what has happened in the past is personal to you.
The loss of a sibling stinks. And, if those around you are anything like those around me (although I suspect I'm 15-20 years younger than you - my Mum is 60), just don't know how to react. The loss of a sibling is not something they have considered, or know how to deal with, so they assume your not too badly affected by it.
You have every right to react how you need to to get over your losses.
I hope it gets easier for you soon.

I've started with a totally un-MN message, so lets end with {{hugs}} and flowers

lemontwist Tue 13-Aug-13 15:54:37

First of all, sorry for your loss.
My mum had a still born sibling. She was fairly young at the time and remembers her mum being pregnant, talk of a baby, then she went into hospital but came back sad and emptyhanded. Thats pretty much all my mum knows as it was never spoken of and both her parents have been dead for some time. I know that she thinks about her and does still grieve in a way of thinking 'what if?' and also remembering the sadness at the time
Of course its natural to think of these things and be sad and seeing your brothers grave must have made it suddenly real for you. Sorry I've not really said anything helpful, just that its normal and will get easier.

UnitedZingDom Tue 13-Aug-13 15:56:42

another though is that perhaps it's regret of what you missed by not knowing him, growing up with him

maybe you think that the two of you would have been best friends. or that perhaps your relationship with your late sister would have been different.

have you got other siblings?

nextphase Tue 13-Aug-13 15:58:23

opps thanks

Pagwatch Tue 13-Aug-13 16:02:36

Gosh yes.
That's it. It because is the same loss.
I have a brother I was not close to because he died which is tragic.
Buti had a sister who I was not close to because of stupid things happening over decades.
Two siblings I had zero relationship with. What a waste.

I have other siblings. Different relationships with all of them but we are all trying to be in touch more.

You are all so helpful,thank you.

BeerTricksPotter Tue 13-Aug-13 16:04:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pagwatch Tue 13-Aug-13 16:11:14

That's true Beer.
I understood that she was a very young girl who lost her child in a way I never really grasped before. I knew some of this stuff in my head but hadn't understood it before.

The fact that he is not mentioned on the gravestone was so sad but she said 'he's been with my mum all this time'. It was heart breaking. Her mum had died when my mum was 11. All that loss.

magimedi Tue 13-Aug-13 17:46:03

I agree with Parker . You just don't know how or when grief is going to hit you. It's different for everyone.

All that loss - you summed it up.

My sympathy to you & your Mum.

Pagwatch Tue 13-Aug-13 17:50:59

Thank you. You are all so kind
I have had a proper massive snotty cry. I feel a bit less confused. It's a process I suppose.
Thank you x

Pagwatch Tue 13-Aug-13 17:53:15

smile I have had no children since lunch time. I have curled up on the sofa with chocolate and mn. It's a mini therapy thing.

nextphase Tue 13-Aug-13 17:55:59

Yep, chocolate is a good theripist.
Don't underestimate how often you might need to go back for a revisit over the next few weeks and months.
And sometimes you may need more than chocolate.


TallulahBetty Tue 13-Aug-13 17:57:35

I found out only a few years ago that my grandparents lost a child aged 5. If it wasn't for that, my dad would not have been born and therefore neither would i. It feels weird but it plays on my mind and i'm not sure why.

Sorry for your loss OP.

ParkerTheThief Tue 13-Aug-13 17:57:43

I think sometimes a big, gasping snotty cry is required and I say that as someone who hates crying and hardly ever does.

As so many people have said grief can be very odd and confusing. Coupled with that is an expectation of how you think you should feel that doesn't always match up to how you actually feel which can lend to you feeling even more confused.

GibberTheMonkey Tue 13-Aug-13 18:02:08

I too have an older brother who died as a baby.
I found it sad before but since I've had children I occasionally find myself crying about it. Not upset for myself or the baby that died as such but more for the pain my parents must have gone through now I have some inkling of how it must have felt.

Everything gets so mixed up in the pot of emotions though. After I had my dd prematurely and traumatically I had counselling. I didn't cry for the first few sessions. We talked about the birth, the worry and fear, my fear of losing her like my mum had my brother but it wasn't until I talked about our dog who had died exactly a month after dd was born that I broke down. Seems mad really, I wasn't sadder about him than I was dds miscarried twin or my brother but it was the stress point that gave way.
I'm not sure what I'm saying here really but trying to show how everything we are and feel is so mixed up we can't divide emotions up into compartments.


Pagwatch Tue 13-Aug-13 18:04:53

Yes, I hate crying and rarely do it but it was strangely comforting.

I am going to have to revisit I know. I hadn't seen my sister for 8 years. I stopped engaging with her. She was difficult, aggresive, fiercely confrontational and said some of the worst things any human being has ever said to me, including that I caused my sons autism.
When I saw her all I could see was her at 13
She had been vibrant, amazing, intimidating but just a force of nature. Over the years that twisted and she became this dark soul.
I miss the girl. I miss her. I just miss all that - all that 'should have been' and I can't stop.
I kissed her head. She couldn't speak, she was in pain but she looked at me and everything between 13 and that moment felt ridiculous.
I miss her.

UnitedZingDom Tue 13-Aug-13 18:23:57


I have no wise words.
my dad died 3 years ago.
so many regrets, so many "if onlys".

Pagwatch Tue 13-Aug-13 18:52:40

That's kind Zing
Tbh other people just understanding is amazingly helpful
I am sorry for your loss x

UnitedZingDom Tue 13-Aug-13 18:54:53


Pagwatch Tue 13-Aug-13 18:58:02

God yes
<assumes the position>
<puckers up>

<went too far>

UnitedZingDom Tue 13-Aug-13 19:00:48

no, never to far - although I don't like touching boobsgrin

so big hug here I come!

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