Sisters suicide, am I grieving normally?(22 Posts)
My darling younger sister took her own life last August, she suffered long term depression and mental illness. There were 2 years age gap between us and we were very close throughout our lives until the last couple of months before she died.
I have times when I feel I need to think of her and let myself cry as I tend to bottle it up, lately this is every couple of weeks, I am really missing her.
So I was sobbing tonight and DP comes home asks why so I tell him I am thinking of my sister and he says I should try not to think about it and distract myself. I said no I need to think about it and cry sometimes. I tend to only cry when alone.
It comes in waves and I think it's normal to let it out when it comes? I think he thinks I should be not crying about it by now but I was not really able to grieve properly when it happened as 10 days after she died DP had a mental breakdown (psychosis) and was hospitalised for nearly 2 months so I had to be strong and look after DC etc.
Or is he right, should I try not to think of it when thoughts and sadness come and distract myself instead?
I think what you describe sounds very normal. I would guess, though, there isn't really a 'normal' way to grieve.
It seems very natural that you should find you think of her in waves, and that you cry.
Could it be that he is frightened of you seeming vulnerable?
Do you have people (family) that you can talk about her with?
Sounds pretty normal to me, if there is any such thing as normal grieving. August till now is no time at all, for someone so close. In time, the gaps between crying will probably get longer, but I don't think they ever go entirely.
It might make sense to distract yourself if it's the middle of parents evening or something, but if you're home, you need to let it out from time to time.
If it worries you, you could consider grief counselling, but only when you're ready for it.
I'm so terribly sorry you're going through this. My sister died suddenly 20 years ago when she was 27. I was 28 and we were very close. You need to grieve and that process is different for everyone. There is no right way for it to happen, just your way. I think sometimes the people we love just want our pain to stop and they say things which seem reasonable and logical to them. In the beginning I used to pretty much set aside time to think about my sister and allow myself to smile at the memory of her wonderful sense of humour or cry buckets at the pain of losing her. Either way, it all helped. Distraction can help too, but only temporarily. Your grief needs to find its natural course. Some day, in the future, distraction will help much more, but this is still raw. I know its a cliche, but it does get easier.
I'm so sorry to read about your sister, you must be devastated. I second what everyone else says - there is no 'normal'.
A psychotherapist friend told me this when I opened up to her about still being sad about some of my family members dying many years ago. She said it's absolutely normal and you need to feel what you feel. It's when you try to stop it that it starts to become a problem. I think I felt guilty to some degree - like it wasn't 'new' grief, so therefore I shouldn't cry anymore. I still cry now sometimes - DH doesn't really say anything, just gives me a hug. That's all he can do and all that's needed.
It sounds like you're doing really well in that you allow yourself time to think of her - could you maybe explain to your DP what you would like him to do if he sees you crying? I think Clinky is right, he probably doesn't want to see you sad, but it's inevitable and he needs to help you through it rather than try to 'cute' it or stop the grief completely.
Thanks, I know it will get easier, I lost my mum suddenly and unexpectedly 15 years ago too and of course that is easier now. That was a long time ago and have not lost anyone really close since so not much to compare to.
Think I have been numb about my sister until now and it didn't seem real. Yes I try to cry in private - sometimes in the car when a sad song comes on but mostly at home when I am alone. So my DP has not really seen me upset about it until recently, don't think he knows what to do or say.
I don't think there is one "normal" in such a situation. What you're experiencing now is perfectly understandable and your DP is being unfair.
You have had a lot on your plate, OP. for you.
The way you are grieving is totally normal. Do what you have to.
Is your h better now?
Oh, C0C0, last August is no time at all. There is no "right" way to grieve, and there is no "right" time for other people to expect you to stop grieving - it doesn't work like that. It's also very common for people to be fine, appear to be coping very well, etc, for a few months, and then start really grieving fiercely much later. And it sounds like you were never really given the opportunity to grieve at all at the time.
Your DP may not like to see you cry, but it isn't something that can be wished away - and honestly, it isn't his place in this circumstance to try and tell you what is or isn't appropriate. She was your sister, and clearly very important to you. I hope there will come a time (as it has for me, when I lost someone dear to me) that thinking of them brings happiness and not grief, but in the meantime, take whatever time you need to mourn them in your own way.
So sorry for your loss. Yes, what you are describing sounds totally normal. I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through.
Do you think it might be difficult for him because it reminds him of a time when he was ill? Or that he feels guilty and uncomfortable that he couldn't support you and you couldn't grieve for her at the time?
OP I know exactly how you feel. Me and my sister were the best of friends, 2 year age gap as well, and she took her own life 4 years ago.
The grief comes in waves, sometimes its gentle and I can handle it, sometimes out of nowhere it comes crashing down. It can be anything that brings it on, a song we used to listen to, someone walking past wearing her perfume...
It still hits me now, I don't think there will ever be a time when it doesn't. When someone dies in a such an awful way it makes it so much harder to move on, too many questions left unanswered, too many nights lay awake going through all the different scenarios where I could have saved her.
You need to grieve, properly, which you didn't get a chance to do in the immediate aftermath of her dying. You need to be able to talk to your partner about how you feel. My ex used to hate me taking about her, but sometimes I just needed to. To tell a funny story about her, to reminisce, to scream and sob and get angry and try and figure out why.
Your sister was an important part of your life, you can't pretend she didn't exist and just ignore your grief as its too much to handle. You supported your DP through his breakdown, he needs to support you with your grieving process.
I'm so sorry your hurting and if you ever feel like just talking about your sister then feel free to PM me
OP - it sounds as though your DP just doesn't know how to handle it, and is trying to offer solutions. That seems to be quite a normal response to other people's grief, and IME not at all helpful! What you're doing is completely normal - 8 months is no time at all. And you can't control your feelings - better to express them I say. I lost my little brother 2 years ago, and I've realised what a gift tears are, they release so much bottled up emotion.
C0C0, my beautiful husband took his own life last August too, He'd been struggling with schizophrenia and Bi-polar since his teens.
There is no "normal" way to grieve I think. A month after his death I found myself laughing hysterically at a song we both found funny - it was "our song". I couldn't eat (my throat just constricted) and when I did eat I had to have a bowl to be sick into. (Sorry if that's gross).
Have you a memorial of your DSis? It's helped me immensely. Can be anything, say, a lock of hair. I had some jewelry made from our wedding rings, and it's a great comfort.
However, my way of coping has to wrap a protective veil over the awfulness. I know I'll have to deal with it at some point, but right now I just can't. It's too raw.
Are you aware of sobs and cruse You don't have to commit, a tentative email, or if you're feeling up to it, a phone call. x
*..... I forgot to mention that losing a loved one by suicide takes an awful lot longer to come to terms with than a "natural" death. So don't let anyone suggest, no matter how well meaning, that you should be over your loss. It's only been months ffs! My parents asked me after 3 weeks (yes, really) why I was still so upset.
Dear CoCo I have no experience of suicide but I lost my lovely sister four weeks ago, she died of pneumonia, a complication of her brain tumour. I am with you in your grief. All I know is grief isn't tidy or linear and it comes in waves. You feel how you feel in the moment, there is no right or wrong and it crashes in on you when you least expect it. Only today there was something I wanted to say to her, something I couldn't say to anyone else, and she's not here.
I think that our grief is distressing to others, and they want to help us distance ourselves, but we need to go through it and no one can rescue us.
So just you cry when you want to, and remember the things that make you weep, even though they bring the tears, and forgive yourself because even though the months have numbers it doesn't mean a thing. The woman you miss will always be missing. Our sisters have left us and we must go on without them.
While I agree it's not good to dwell on things, it's really not been that long for you to come to terms with it. I take it he's never lost anyone close?
Take your time OP, the days will become easier in time. There's no time limit on grief.
Iamcuriousyellow, that's a lovely post. to you.
Dear coco I too lost a sibling to suicide my big brother he was only 48, it was a week before Xmas of 2015 I'm not sure how I managed to get through the last 16 months. Personally I think letting it out is better I too am pretty private with my grief and only let my sisters and very close friends see me cry but whenever I feel like crying I don't hold it back I go off somewhere where I can be alone i.e. toilets in work, bathroom at home, even just sitting in a park. My mother also died 15 years ago, her death was from cancer but suicide is a completely different matter brings a lot of guilt, remorse, anger and a whole load of other emotions all at once. I'm currently working on a memory box of my brother so that is giving me something to focus on, would you consider doing that for your sister? it may help, anything that gets you through in my opinion is worth a shot. I will say though you need all the support you can get so I would agree with Rubbish to look into SOBS who were very helpful to me, I also had the added bonus of just moving to the UK 3 months before so had no support available here. All my friends back home who I thought I could talk too basically just ignored me after the funeral, out of sight out of mind and all that, and it was hard to explain to new people here what I was going through which is were SOBS came in, I am happy to offer more suggestions on books, groups etc. if you like, please feel feel to PM me if you would like a chat or even just to vent, take care. x
I understand what you mean. I lost a loved one two years ago and I still have times when the grief will overwhelm me and I need to have a cry. To be honest two years feels like yesterday. Grief isn't something that goes away after a certain amount of time and you only lost your sister less than a year ago. Take all the time you need to remember your sister.
Have you had any counselling, OP? You shouldn't be bottling it up and I think talking to a professional could help. Thinking of you
Hi OP. I lost my dad to suicide in Feb this year. I am very similar to you it comes in waves.
I actually went to a local SOBS meeting last week and it really helped me to talk to people who have been through it.
Suicide really is a different grief and not something you just get over x
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