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my sister passed away

(41 Posts)
marton66 Tue 07-Mar-17 19:50:09

My sister died, at her home, alone on 4th Feb, we never had a close relationship, throughout our childhood she had put me down, belittled me turned her children against me ! I now understand she had a mental health condition, and the last few months of her life we got along better !
At her funeral, when we were asked to reflect on the good things we shared, sadly I cant think of anything , all I have ringing in my ears are her words "my daughter says you are her favourite auntie, I cant see what she sees in you ! "You are not important in my life, I really don't care about you". "If we were asked to be friends, I would not choose you as a friend " and many more such put downs ! I am finding it hard to forgive these things, and yet I am so sorry she passed , maybe because I will never know why ?

Ankers Tue 07-Mar-17 20:09:10

So sorry sad

You dont say what sort of mental health condition she had[and you dont need to say] but I guess that definitely impacted on what she was saying.
This might help a little bit in the long term towards you forgiving her?

Are you saying that you do not know why she died?

Marydoll Tue 07-Mar-17 20:15:51

I am sorry you feel so awful and your sister passed away without you knowing why she felt the way she did. It is very hard not to keep dwelling on things, and continually mulling over it in your head, but please try not to allow your feelings to affect your health and wellbeing. It is not your fault. Her daughter obviously thinks you are a lovely person.
In all my life my father never once told me he loved me, he died without ever saying those words. When he died, I was so sad that I never knew why he treated me this way , or why he behaved the way he did and favoured my brother over me. It festered for a long time and blighted my life. Please don't let this blight yours.
Take care.

nina1959 Tue 07-Mar-17 20:48:40

Your sister didn't appreciate having you as a sister and it sounds as though she was jealous that her daughter liked you. She's made you the target of her problems, whatever they were but you weren't the cause of them.
Your sadness is because you couldn't change her and therefore you couldn't have the relationship you wanted. You're grieving for a relationship you could never have and even though she's gone, there is a rift that's never been healed so closure is hard to achieve.
You can close things though. You can create an ending where you honour who your sister could have been if things had been different. You could find out when the next Soul service is being held at your local Church, ask the vicar to say a few words and then light a candle for her.
You will feel so much better afterwards. xxxx

grannypiper Wed 08-Mar-17 08:15:02

matron mental health issue or not, your sister was obviously jealous of you (was she older than you) my sister was 2 when my other sister was born and she hated her for the rest of my sisters life for no reason other than my sister had the cheek to be born. You cant do anything now but allow yourself to grieve over the lost relationship.When you are ready Put flowers on her grave and say goodbye to her, the grief and the hurt. It wasn't your behavior that was wrong, it was hers.brew&cupcake

rosesarered Wed 08-Mar-17 09:36:49

The posts here show that others know what you are talking about marton
It is nothing that you have done, but your sister had a problem, as many people have.

Kim19 Wed 08-Mar-17 09:50:03

So sorry Marton66. Try to let her go gently and not reflect and rehash on the unfortunate things she said. How doubly fortunate are those of us who don't seem to have mental health issues. My 2C would perhaps dispute that in my case!

Anniebach Wed 08-Mar-17 10:01:31

Marton, you will not know why, she has taken her anger to the grave. If you are younger then perhaps she felt you were the golden child of your parents .

Let it go my love, what was said cannot be taken back , sadly the spoken word cannot be unspoken .

Try to forgive her , and you can move on. Seems you are grieving so these thoughts and feelings will fade with the grief

marton69 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:02:13

Thank you everyone for your input, I hope that given time I will be able to come to terms with our relationship. It only became apparent she had mental health issues a couple of years ago, when she had a breakdown, after being put on medication, she became a nicer person than ever before ! In fact, we managed a few conversations and laughs on the phone a week or so before she died . I had not seen her for a few years before, as she had not wanted a friendship with me, also we lived many miles away from each other, yes, I guess I am grieving for the relationship we SHOULD have had !

radicalnan Wed 08-Mar-17 10:06:44

Freud was an expert on sibling rivalry, it is a well know phenomena.

Doesn't make it any easier to cope with or to bear when the sibling dies.

Your sister chose you as her safe space for anger and whilst that has been uncomfortabe for you, it is also flattering, that you were the one she trusted with that part of her struggles.

She did seem jealous, that her daughter had you as a favourite, try to think that at least she told you that, she was acknowledging your worth as a person and what you meant to her own child. She was being honest with you, she could more easily have made up some spiteful nonsense about no one liking you.

She was in a dark place and seeing things through the gloom but still she gave you that compliment and truth. That was a big and brave thing for her to do then.

Her hurt from her own illness was projected on to you, because she valued you and was able to share that stuff with you, she could not do that in ways you recognised as her trust, but I think that was it.

Light candles for her, send up prayers, keep her memory positive for the sake of your family.

Love is a tricky bastard, we don't see it in all its forms but I am sure she loved you. I am sorry that she died alone, that is a sadness and I am sure you would have been there for her given the opportunity, be gentle on yourself now.

dizzygran Wed 08-Mar-17 10:14:14

I am so sorry that you have these awful memories and because your sister has now died there is very little you can do. I hope you will keep in touch with your niece - perhaps she has gone through something similar but doesn't like to talk about it. Time will help - try and put these things in the past where they belong. She obviously had some kind of mental disorder

Everthankful Wed 08-Mar-17 10:17:59

Let it go. Other people's opinion of you don't matter, the only opinion that matters is your own. Don't let it influence your life. their feelings don't have to be yours

SussexGirl60 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:18:49

Hi, sorry to hear about your sister. Mine also died a few years ago, very suddenly, unexpected, and I had a dreadful relationship with her. It compounded and confused the grief. I felt a mixture of confusion, regret, sadness, anger, and much more. After more deaths in the family, I became ill and in the process of recovery I decided to address my feelings towards her. I'm not religious but she was and I went into a cathedral and sat silently saying all that I wanted to say to her. I lit a candle and left feeling a whole lot lighter. I talked to a therapist (not a counsellor but someone who had no agenda but to be there) and came to realise that all the time you resist your feelings, you don't find peace. By accepting how you feel and just letting that be OK, you can come to a better place within yourself. Some things can never be fully resolved. Time does help a bit. Thank you for posting, it also helps me.

Shazmo24 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:58:55

Why is it that family of a deceased person feels that everyone has to say something about the person? I don't think that we should be expected to - if we want to then that's a different matter but for it to be expected is wrong.

Crazygrandma2 Wed 08-Mar-17 11:37:16

marton66 I was once told that when someone dies we grieve for the loss of the relationship, regardless of whether it was good or bad. Mental health issues can lead people to have very strange thoughts and ideas. You are trying to understand something that probably even your sister didn't understand. All you can do is let it go. You are a favourite auntie so clearly you are doing something right. Allow yourself to grieve in whatever way is right for you. I hope brighter days soon return to your life. Sending hugs x

tigger Wed 08-Mar-17 11:38:06

My sister is a bit like that and my mother could be too. It is often after death that we tend to reflect on the negative aspects of relationships, or may be that we just see them more clearly. Jealousy, envy is often the cause. Best advice, try not to reflect, she's gone and you need to move on.

mags1234 Wed 08-Mar-17 11:44:50

Focus on the last few years you had when her mental health issues were found out. That was who your sister would have been had there been no illness. Be grateful you did eventually find the real person . Often mental health problems are not recognised and the person seems selfish and bitter. They often don't understand themselves why they say and do things.

Greyduster Wed 08-Mar-17 11:51:02

I am very sorry to hear about your sister marton and that your relationship was not happy. To some extent I can understand how you feel. Unfortunately it is the harsh things that stick in your memory. My first daughter in law and I had a difficult relationship. I didn't want it to be difficult, but she decided from the start that she didn't do families (ours or hers, it seemed) and so we never really got to know her. She was polite, but distant. Just before the end of her life, I remember visiting her in hospital and she said to me "Have you come to watch me die?" I said no, I had come to do what I could to help her to live. But it is that remark that stuck - sticks - in my mind. At her funeral and after, there were all these people reminiscing about her and I thought "I don't know this person they are talking about" and I felt cheated. I couldn't really think of anything to say about her. She was a good person and so good for my son that I genuinely wish for his sake that she was still here today. I hope you are able to come to terms with things in time. flowers

Lindajane Wed 08-Mar-17 12:03:07

I'm sorry to hear about your sister.
My younger brother died a few years ago, having become an alcoholic. He also had other mental health issues, including crippling OCD. We were close when younger but he could be really belittling and cruel towards the end of his life.
I was devasted with his death, but I've come to terms with the fact that the type of person he was, was largely due to his mental health issues and was not personal to me.

Rosina Wed 08-Mar-17 12:49:03

I am sorry to hear of what you are going through. I do hope that you can see her remarks as having come from a bad place within her, which perhaps she couldn't help. The remarks you have quoted sound like classic jealousy; what a destructive emotion that is. Try to direct your thoughts elsewhere when this all comes back to you, and concentrate on the future and the niece who loves you and will need your support - she might well have been on the receiving end of nasty behaviour too.

Cherrytree59 Wed 08-Mar-17 12:54:58

marton I have been giving your post a lot of thought.
In your shoes I cannot truly say how I would feel
But I don't think that you need to forgive your sister if at the root of everything was mental health issues.

For me it is about the acceptance that she was your sister warts and all
And there but for the grace of...
It could have been you that had the mental health issues.

I'm so sorry for your loss flowers

Anniebach Wed 08-Mar-17 13:35:48

Just a thought, my elder daughter has bi polar, she is loving and caring but at times can say cruel things, I have learned to seperate the person from the illness, if she is unkind I accept that is the illness speaking

Cherrytree59 Wed 08-Mar-17 13:46:28

Yes thank you annie that is what I was trying say.

My DH is trying so hard to do how you have describe with his own DM who has dementia & is saying awful things to him on a daily basis.
It is heartbreaking. sad

DanniRae Wed 08-Mar-17 13:47:53

I send you these flowers and my love xx

nanaK54 Wed 08-Mar-17 13:49:30

Sending a very warm virtual hug to you - I hope that you have someone close to give you a real hug.
I'm sorry that you are feeling so sad (and hurt).