My sweet sister

popi_gwSeptember 5, 2012

My sister (54) is dying from cancer.

I am coping okay, I guess. It has been a series of shocking news over the past 3 years and now the worst of all is happening.

Despite the sadness, she is cared for by her husband who is doing a fantastic job, of taking her out most days and putting on a cheery face.

My sister is at home, with palliative care community nurses coming every day. They have a pile of drugs, to use in case one thing or another happens, which has been a difficult thing to deal with for my brother in law.

My sister has two girls, one is 25 and a new mother with a 3 month old boy (a little ray of sunshine). The other girl is 21 and lives at home with her parents.

I know it is going to be tough when my sister dies and every day I go over getting that phone call.

I feel like she has changed so much over the past couple of months, that I have started to say goodbye to her, because the old her is not there anymore.

One thing that is hard is that every night we would text each other with what we were making for dinner. I miss that a lot and always think of it every night when I am in the kitchen.

I am 51 and will miss getting old with her.

Thanks for listening.

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satine_gw

Popi, I am so sorry to hear about your sister. Watching someone you love decline is so hard. I think part of the process is preparing you and others who love her to be able to let her go. I too am close to my sister and don't know what I would do without her. I am so glad to hear that she has people who love and care for her making the most of her days. I am thinking of you. Satine

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:00AM
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lovingmemory

I am so sorry to hear what you are going through, Popi. Your sister is obviously surrounded by those that love her and being there and being that support system will help you through the upcoming days. Be grateful for the moments you have and embrace every second you can with her. Her daughters are going to need you as well. Wishing you some comfort!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:54AM
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daisyinga

Popi, I am so very, very sorry. Deeply sorry. That must be such a difficult thing to go through, for all of you. My thoughts will be with you.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 5:14PM
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popi_gw

Thanks so much for your kind words, it is nice to have this outlet.

One thing that is rolling around in my head today is that my nieces are both adopted. So they were given away as babies by their birth mothers, then their adopted mother is leaving too. That is a very hard thing for them to come to terms with, I wonder if they will think of that at some point.

I visited my sister yesterday and sat with her whilst my BIL went out to do some shopping. I rubbed her feet with lavender oil. I always have a cheery face, but I noticed her breathing is more labored and her hands are not able to hold things properly.

I walked home after my visit, a long walk of an hour, and that helps me to process the grief and try to find the good things in life, to keep me functioning.

But sadness is my closest friend at the moment.

Thankfully the weather is beautiful, it is spring where I live and flowers are blooming everywhere and the sky is so blue.

Thanks for listening.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 12:16AM
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daisyinga

Oh Popi! My heart breaks for you and for your family.

I don't know what to say, but I can listen, even if it's only electronically. I am so sorry. I know you can and will get through it, and I know it hurts.

My thoughts are with you.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:33PM
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hopelesslyempty

Hi Popi,

I feel for you as probably your sister is the one person you would normally talked to about everything. It must be doubly difficult in terms of parking your own fear, sadness and loneliness in order to be there for her emotionally and practically. I have just gone through this with my best friend/sister-in-law that passed away three months ago.

I think it is wonderful that you rubbed her feet with lavender - touch will be very comforting to her. Even though she may be to tired to converse, you can still talk to her about things that her children are doing in a way that still keeps her connected and possibly gives her some comfort that they will be okay. It is possible that when she has the energy to think about things, it will be a combination of worrying about her children and them without a mother when she is no longer there for them; Perhaps just talking to her about them will give a narrative to her own thoughts that she maybe trying to come to terms with.

I think the only thing that enabled me to function during the last four months of my sister-in-law's life was trying to take care of things for her, in terms of re-positioning her, telling her who had visited her or send emails to the hospital, telling her about what her kids were up to, but also helping to both facilitate and be a buffer when the kids or others would come to visit. While it is one of the few things you can do for your sister, the stress of trying to be strong for her, your brother-in-law and their children is enormously draining, especially when you can't download your day with your sister.

This site seems like a good place to be able to share your thoughts with. Even just typing them in and having someone comment helps with the solitude of sadness. Ultimately no-one can be to you what your sister is, but i think the humanity and compassion that participants on this site can offer, can help find a depot for your grief.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 11:16PM
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popi_gw

Thank you Daisyinga, please don't be sad for me, your thoughts are making it easier to get through this. I appreciate your sympathy, that is so nice.

Yes it is wonderful being able to type my thoughts here, and get things off my chest with tears falling.

Thanks so much hopelesslyempty for you insight into my situation. I am sorry for your loss as well.

I have been listening to some inspirational talks whilst I walk (and I have been doing a lot of that lately), it helps me to clarify that the way I am thinking and my way of coping with my sister and her family is the right way. Something that makes me think is that without us going through suffering - we cannot really become truly compassionate, empathetic people. This brings me comfort knowing that.

Keeping busy with garden projects, and cups of tea.

Another thought I came across, is to look for the "honey" in situations. That is helping me too, as there is lots of "honey" near me and I always look for it.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 1:16AM
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