I lost my sister to cancer in December 2011.  I believe I have not grieved appropriately since because of my mother.  She has told me and my other living sister that there is no loss worse than the loss of a child, which I do believe may be true, but she fails to consider that we may also be grieving.  She expects us to be constant support for her which can be difficult when our feelings about losing our sister are cast aside.  Because of this, I feel guilty when I feel the grief set in, like i'm feeling sorry for myself.  Has anyone ever experienced anything like this?  I was so happy to find support for siblings! Thank you for this.

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Oh, you are not alone. I have lost 3 siblings and I also feel guilty when I am feeling sad because I wonder how my parents must feel and I should support them. BUT, what I have learned over these tragedies is that you have to allow yourself to be sad. It is ok. Take time to be selfish. It is so important to experience the grief in your own way. Nobody can tell you how you should feel. You simply feel how you feel.
I have found that support from my mom is just not going to happen. I have relied on my friends, my aunts but mostly my best friend's mom. Find someone who you can rely on. It doesn't mean you won't support your mother but you have to support yourself first. Otherwise, you will not be able to be there for others. Be well. Stay strong. I promise you, it does get easier.
Robin, please don't let anyone, even your mother, be the judge of the amount of loss that you should feel. You lost a sister, and that is a relationship that is totally different that that of a mother and child. Siblings know each other from the beginning of life and share so many memories of growing up together, getting into trouble together, all of the million small details and experiences that determine the people you turn out to be. There is nothing quite the same as the relationship of siblings and they are a part of you. You are entitled to feel your grief every bit as much as your mother is entitled to hers. I lost my brother a little over four months ago, and I still feel lost and the pain slaps me in the face still several times a day. I still lie awake at night and wonder how he could really be gone forever. Support your mother, but please take care of yourself also. God bless..

Thank you DRG and jen for those kind responses.  My heart also goes out to both of you for your losses.  You both nailed it on how a mother can make you feel and with the bond between siblings.  It is so nice to know that people do understand and are feeling the same things.  I'm so grateful for this support.

Hi Robin-

What I have come to learn over the nearly 4 months I have lost my sister is that the grief that arises from loss of a sibling is very real and so difficult.  I think this is especially hard when you were close.  My Mom too is experiencing great pain and I believe that the loss of a child is absolutely horrific.  But my Mom knows I grieve also and I think it is important that others know we are grieving.  I read an article that said sibling grief is almost forgotten when a tragedy happens as the grief of parents, spouses, etc is what people focus on.  But what we are experiencing is very real and so hard.  And while you may not get the support you need from your Mother, please find it from others.  I think there should be more sibling support groups during times of loss and I am very grateful that this forum exists for us.



I've come to the belief that one loss is not necessarily worse than the other...just different. The relationships are so very different that I don't think you can truly compare them.

I lost my sister back in October, and have been dealing with similar. Due to the nature of my sister's death, there are many unanswered questions. My mum had been texting me one day with things to look up, dealing with my sister. I'd been sitting alone in her house  all day which was bad enough. So when my mum finally got home I had a couple questions and she actually accused me of trying to make it about me. Lectured me about how I'm not being understanding all that stuff. I flat out told her I've done nothing but be there for her. She's knows it.  She has told me I can talk to her, but it's not true. Because it's always about her. Her loss. One time I mentioned one little thing she just pushed it aside and was like we're all feeling that and went back to her. That's what happens. So I just avoid. I usually hide in my room and cry. Or talk to my boyfriend. He's been my rock through this and cannot wait to get home to him. I feel guilty but my mum and I can barely start a conversation without an argument ensuing right now.


It's terrible how siblings are the forgotten mourners. None of us want to be here but it's nice having others who understand.

Thank you Karen for the kind response. I am sorry for the loss of your sister, but I am glad you have support from your mother. Sometimes tragedies can bring families together. I should mention that my dad is supportive of my grief and that he and I have become much closer over the past year. My sister who passed was very much daddy's girl, so I guess I can be a lot more sympathetic to his situation. I feel like my sister wants me to step up and reach out to him, so I do and it is received well. Who would think that it would be easier to talk to your dad about your emotions than your mum?

Ok, so I can see that I put Karen's reply in the wrong place.  I'm sorry I tried to fix it, but I couldn't.  This is my first attempt at online support and i'm not very computer savvy.  Anyway, this reply is for Kimberly.  I'm sorry for the loss of your sister as well, and it must be terrible that her passing left you with questions.  I wouldn't wish it for anyone, but i'm glad you can understand how my mother has made me feel.  I broke down on the phone with my mother this past Christmas because I just couldn't control my emotions and she was pressuring me to get a tree, decorate, etc. Which I just was not going to do because my sister passed Dec 23 and I just was not into it this year.  So i'm sobbing on the phone explaining why i'm not doing this, and she said, "i'm surprised you're so emotional.". REALLY!?  So I too have learned to avoid and it doesn't make me feel good, but sometimes it's my only defense.  We do have to protect ourselves and grieve our own ways.  This forum has helped me learn that and most importantly i'm learning to not feel guilty doing so.  I hope you can do the same.


I am sorry that your mother is acting this way.  I lost my little brother (29) 5 months ago and one thing I have learned is that everyone grieves differently, according to their own personality, the relationship they had with the person, their coping mechanisms, etc.   It does sound like your mother is ignoring the grief of those around her bc she is drowning in her own grief.  It could be also that she doesn't want to acknowledge your sibling grief bc she does not have the energy to grieve for you also and so it is easier to pretend you should be "okay."  I agree with the other siblings who have posted in that we all need to NOT feel guilty for grieving almost or just as hard as our parents.  In my experience it seems that most of my family acknowledges my and my surviving brother's grief as real and important, but I am sorry that you are in a different situation.  Just know that your grief is COMPLETELY relevant.  It's your sister.   And you should grieve for however long and however you need to.  If you don't want to put up a tree, you should not feel bad about that.  I agree with the others about finding someone you can rely on also.  I hope that as time begins to heal your mother's sharp sadness she begins to realize that everyone is grieving and not only her as the mother.   Hang in there and I hope you can begin to take guilt out of your range of emotions, because you need to in order to grieve. 

Robin, I am so sorry for your loss.  I do understand how you feel.  My mom acts like she's the only one grieving.  Whenever I try to talk to her abou thow I feel, she will turn and walk away from me.  My dad tries but it's not the same. 

This support group does help.  I feel like I can talk (or vent) here without being judged.  I also started going to a support group meeting.  That helped, to know that I'm not alone. 

Your grief, and your sister's, is defintiely important and don't considere it as feeling sorry for yourself.  Everybody needs to grieve and everybody grieves differently


You are NOT alone


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