Long Time Lurker...Finally Going to Tell My Story...

adrienneliqFebruary 5, 2005

Hi, everyone! My name is Adrienne and I have been reading your incredible stories for probably well over a year now! I've always thought about/wanted to share mine and introduce myself...but just never could do it...don't know why, really. Anyway, today is the day...and again I don't know why it is.

It'll be five years ago on April 6th that I lost my only sister. She died from complications during childbirth. It was a planned C-section and to this day we really don't know what happened...all reports and investigations said it was a "complicated medical case", whatever that means.

Because it was a planned C-section she was able to pick a date and therefore picked April 6th because it was also our only brother's birthday...so yes...my sister died on my brother's birthday giving birth to a beautiful baby girl who luckily lived and now shares the same birthday as her uncle.

As you can imagine...it has been awful! And although my own grief seems unbearable at times...what is worst to me is watching the grief that my parents have endured. It's amazing to me how much they have actually physically aged in the past 5 years.

The loss has kinda screwed me up in other ways, too. For one thing I am 35 years old and my DH and I have no children. We were starting to plan when Laura died...but I became "shell-shocked" and kept putting it off. I was afraid not only for myself (even though my intellect tells me that the chances of the same thing happening are very slim) but I am afraid for my parents as well. I can't imagine telling them I'm pregnant and knowing that it will be so very bitter-sweet for them. Too many bad memories.

Also, I tend to be OBSESSED with death. My brother had a heart attack at the age of 35 (almost 8 years ago). He is ok but I have this irrational fear that something will happen to him...I can't bear the thought of anything else happening in our family...I can't bear the thought of my parents losing another one of us...I can't bear the thought of being the only one left! It's crazy, I know. And it's definitely not a way to live..but I can't help it. The worst part is...I'm a Social Worker...I work with people everyday who have "issues" like this...I can identify them in myself but can't seem to do anything about it for myself!

Lastly is the guilt that I harbor. The guilt for the not as close as I wish it was relationship with my sister (although we had been working on that the last few months of her life). I also feel constantly guilty for not seeing/talking to her children enough. The situation is very complicated...too complicated to get into now...but it makes it difficult to see/talk to them sometimes. I think I need to be a better aunt..but it's just so hard sometimes.

Anyway, I know I am rambling...and after all this time of lurking I finally decide to "come out" and now it's all a mess...I'm sorry.

Thank you all for "listening".

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Hi Adrienne!

We are so glad you are a poster now instead of a lurker! Thank you for sharing your story. I know you still miss your sister terribly, and how it makes your heart ache to see your parent's pain.

Would it be possible to stay in touch with your sister's children with cards, maybe mailing little packages now and then?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2005 at 12:05AM
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Oh, Adrienne, your story isn't a messÂat least not the way you wrote it. Life is certainly messy. But I'm sure we can all relate to things you're going through, if not the exact circumstances.

It seems so unusual to die in childbirth these days. What a terrible shock for everyone on a day that was supposed to be completely filled with joy.

I think for your own sake as well as the children's, you should make whatever effort you need to in order to establish a relationship with them. I have the feeling that once you get over the hump, whatever's causing it, you'll find it progressively easier to maintain and expand contact.

And I hope you'll continue to share openly on this forum.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2005 at 8:53PM
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Adrienne, I am so glad you chose to join in. I am very sorry for this most difficult loss for you. All of your emotions may seem irrational to you, but trust me, they are not. Have you been able to establish a relationship with the baby girl that was born? I am sure she could really use her aunt to tell her wonderful stories about her mother. And having that bond with her may help you in dealing with your sisters death. There are no easy answers...but I think it is important to share what you are feeling. I am glad you stepped in here and hope you share more. Tell us about your sister.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 12:18PM
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Thank you for posting your story. I came here trying to feel something besides lonliness and desperately missing my brothers... the first thing I read reminded me I'm not alone. My big brother had a son, and knowing him is a blessing... he carries his father's spirit. I'm so glad he's with us. I hope you can find solace in your sister's children, too.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 3:13AM
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Thanks, everyone...I was in quite a mood when I wrote the OP. I'm feeling better today...even after 5 years we seem to have our moments or days...anyway, I didn't mean to sound as if I don't have any relationship with my nieces and nephew. In fact, I do...I just don't get to see them as much as I would like. THey live 4+ hours from me and I'm in Grad school. But I'll be graduating in May and will have a lot more time to go and visit. I just feel guilty sometimes that I don't get up there enough. And YES...there are many other circumstances that make contact akward at times...but we get through them on the most part.

Again, I am so grateful for those of you who responded and showed such kindness. I will definitely not be so shy anymore and will check in on you all. You are all such an amazing bunch of people...compassionate, strong, and expressive.

Thank you again,

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 7:20AM
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Nice reply, Adrienne. I hope it will encourage other shy lurkers to chime in. It helps.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 9:07AM
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