loss of a niece

aussienqJune 11, 2005

My niece was killed in a tragic car accident just 5 months ago. At just 13 1/2 it doesn't seem fair - there just doesn't seem to be any reasoning to have this make sense. My brother and his wife and my other niece were all badly injured and are still recovering. My sister in law isn't yet walking and we're not sure what lays down the track for her as one leg is not healing at all.

I've never experienced anything like this in my life. I at least don't cry uncontrollably every day now - just the occasional waterfall of tears. My eight year old is finding it too sad to deal with.

My lost niece's birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and I don't know how to handle this - do we each acknowledge it in our own way or should we do something as a family. I don't know if we can cope with the sadness that would occur. How do we get through this when the physical injuries are still so apparent? I look forward to some words of wisdom.

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I don't know if I have any words of wisdom, but my heart does go out to you. Find someone to talk to about it. Talk to your own child, listen to his/her heartache. Grief can be so overwhelming for a child. Perhaps you could suggest your child write a letter to the cousin. Sometimes children find things easier to write down than to express orally. Cry together, hug each other. Your brother and his family who were so badly injured might want to have a little memorial - on the other hand, they may want to grieve alone. That first birthday after a loved one dies is so hard. It's still early enough in the year to plant something - perhaps you might like to plant a tree in your nieces's memory, or a small perennial garden - a "memory garden". Whatever you decide to do, please share your feelings with someone.
I will be thinking of you and your family in the coming days. Plese feel free to e-mail me if you need to. I have experienced the loss of one of my children, so I do understand what you are going through. God bless.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 10:35PM
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I think it is good to be together at times like your dear niece's birthday, that is if your sister in law and brother want to be with family. Sometimes being with people is not that appealing, but being alone is worse.

When my father died, my neighbor called on me. I really didn't want company, but invited her in to be polite. She sat on the sofa and we talked about my dad, and I felt a lot better after she left.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 7:52PM
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I'm so sorry about the loss of your little niece and the injuries and grief that the family is dealing with.
I have lost my child also and from my experience, I think that you should openly talk to your brother and his family as to what they would like to go on for your niece's birthday. Let them know that you want to be there for them and you won't be offended if they just want to spend the day alone.
My daughter was killed just a week before her 20th birthday, so it was really too soon for us to plan anything, but shortly afterward, we planned a beautiful memorial which was to take place for her next birthday.
We had a memorial at the cemetery which many of her friends and family attended. We had our priest come to the cemetery and bless her grave and pray. Her friends stood individually and spoke of Christin and their fond memories etc. We all released balloons and had a moment of silence. After that was over with, we all went to the church where our priest conducted a beautiful memorial mass for her. My husband and I were happier that day than we had been the entire year. It was extremely healing for us.
Many times, the anticipation of those special days are worse than the actual day. One of the most helpful things is for people to continue to talk to them about their daughter and let them know that they have not forgotten her.

Here is a link that might be useful: Christin Cosby Memorial Web Site

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 12:42AM
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I lost my niece, Whitley, in a car accident just over a year ago. She was coming home from volleyball practice and was hit by a truck that did not stop at the highway before he crossed. She had just turned 17 a couple weeks before the accident. To say that this has changed our family is a gross understatement. My little sister continues to find the energy to get out of bed each morning, but sometimes I don't know how. For myself, I feel like I need to be the "strong" one for everyone else. My own 2 daughters were extremely close to Whitley so it has been very difficult on them as well. Whitley was killed in Sept. of 2007, so of course the holiday season of '08 was excruciating. We all went through the motions but it was a very emotional time for all of us. Her first birthday after the accident was also tough. Her mom took a bday cake out to the cemetery and they had a "party" for her. Very sad. Sometimes it seems like not only did we lose Whitley in the accident, I lost my sister as well. She is forever changed. Period. She will never be the person she was before the accident and I know that. But I miss her. We talk about Whitley a lot. It somehow helps in remembering her silliness and the fun times we had with her. It does not get easier, I guess time just helps you somehow learn to find a new normal. I truly pray that you and your family will be comforted in many ways.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 4:17PM
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