View Full Version : Help with dealing with grief

03-25-2007, 03:46 AM
My little sister passed away on the sixth (of this month). When at school I have not been getting much support from my friends (except my boyfriend, who has been exceptional, but cannot be with me 24/7). I am seeing a therapist at school, but it is a new therapist (I saw one last semester for clinical depression, but she was too busy to add me to her schedule this semester) and it is awkward. I was wondering if anyone knew of any grief support groups in the San Jose area, or knows how to find them. I tried to look online, but only found ones for parents.

Even more importantly, does anyone have any good books on dealing with grief that they can recommend? Especailly ones that deal with the loss of a sibling or other close family member, but if anyone has personal experience with one particular book or author helping, I'd appreciate it. There were so many at the bookstore, that I couldn't make a decision. I am an avid reader, but lately I have simply not been able to get into any books, new or old, and I think a book on this subject would help a lot.

Also, my sister died only three days before my birthday, which leaves me with lots of birthday money for a book, should I find one. But I was wondering if anyone else had any experience with something like this? Does your always end up depressing? Do you celebrate on a different day? I am used to unhappy birthdays as every year either I was sick or injured and/or my little sister was seriously sick or injured (I was even born with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck). But I am not used to actually dreading it coming up.

Sorry if there was TMI anywhere in this post, or if anything was innapropriate in any way. Thank you in advance,

03-25-2007, 06:12 AM
Oh honey, I am so so sorry. I don't know of any good books that deal with grief, but I can certainly look into it. How old are you? I have a good friend who is a librarian, maybe she can suggest something.

As far as having a loved one pass away on a major holiday or day of significance like a birrthday, my mother passed away on my youngest brother's birthday. It was very painful for him the first few years but he's learned to celebrate her life rather than focus on her death. It might take you a few years to get to that point, but I sure hope you do. Life is for the living....and I'm sure your sister wants you to live you life to the fullest in spite of the sadness you feel.

I'm enveloping you in hugs and prayers this morning. Please use this board to come and talk, the people here are very kind and can be used as a sounding board. And in the meantime I will see what I can find out about a good book, and hopefully others will have ideas too. :grouphug:

03-25-2007, 10:24 AM
Alisa, I'm so sorry to hear about your sister. There is a group called Compassionate Friends whose purpose is devoted to helping families heal after the death of a child. Maybe it will be helpful to you if they have something for siblings. http://www.compassionatefriends.org/ :grouphug:

03-25-2007, 01:28 PM
I just wanted to give you a giant hug:hug:

03-25-2007, 03:05 PM
Thank you for your support.

I am 20 years old, in college away from my family, and Jewish (I only mention that because I have heard some good things about books with a Christian slant, which don't help me as much as they would a Christian). I asked this question here because I wanted as much advice as I could from adults (I've also heard a lot about books for children), and I figured that even if the people here had no reccomendations, you would be supportive. Also, this seemed to be the place where people would have good advice (many other message boards I visit are full of compassioante people, who are mostly young and inexperrienced). I was hoping for advice from people of all ages, not just people my age.

Thank you again,

03-25-2007, 04:46 PM
I don't know of any good books to recommend. I would recommend talking about your grief with family and friends. When my late husband died that is how my kids and I made it through. You also are in therapy and that will help.

Someone told me when I was grieving that the days would get softer. I didn't believe them. But it does. Be kind to yourself and realize that some days you will take 2 steps forward and maybe 3 backwards. Don't feel guilty if you have some moments where you don't think about her. You are still living and are allowed to enjoy life. Have a great time on your trip to DL. You will have those moments where you miss her so much it hurts but allow yourself to remember the good times.

03-25-2007, 04:53 PM
I also have a hug for you :grouphug: .

03-25-2007, 08:17 PM
hello hon sending you a giant hug tonight, my heart just breaks for you, I can hear your sadness...from what I see its been about 3 weeks? is that right? I lost my dad 3 yrs ago mar 18th. He actually went to the hospital and into surgery on the 17th so thats the day that is the hardest for me. I was a daddys girl and since mom and dad are divorced I took care of him, his death was very sudden and unexpected. I miss him everyday in some way.
I think first for me was just plain old hurt, and anger and extreme sadness...almost hopelessness. then one day the wind blew, seriously, the wind caught me in the face and it was like a kiss from my dad, saying wake up kiddo you have to live your life. I was 31 at the tiem he died, with two kids who are now 9 yrs old. It was tough dealing with their grief. I think the hardest part at first was not being able to pick up the phone and give a call. But over time I have done little things like keep paying a cell phone bill so that I can hear a recorded voice. and I have had moments where I think I hear him in a strangers voice. then one day a friend sent me a card and it had a scripture in it Matthew 28:20 and the last part of the last sentence says, "I am with you always, to the very end of the age" and that one phrase brings me great comfort. because even tho it is talking about Jesus, I also know that my dad will be with me on every step of every journey I ever take, I can feel him there sometimes. that sounds just plain weird, but I swear its the truth. You will find in time that this will be true for you as well.
in the meantime, accept that your grief is natural and it takes time, everyone is different in how they handle it. just know that you will be okay in time.:hug:

03-26-2007, 09:55 AM

Oh Alisa sweetie, I am so very sorry to hear about your sad loss of your little sister and send prayers for strength, faith and hope. May her loving memories help guide you during this difficult time. I know this pain as I have lost my Dad and younger brother in the past 5 yrs. I can imagine it is more difficult when they are so young. For me the special occassions/holidays are more difficult than others, but it does get somewhat easier with time. Godspeed and I hope your school therapist can help you through your sad loss. I agree, check on Compassionate Friends in your area, their meetings are a great source of healing. :flower3:

03-26-2007, 07:33 PM
I can tell you really loved your sister. I imagine that most of your friends have not had much experience with losing someone they love, let alone someone as close as a sister. Try not to be too hard on them--they don't know how to comfort you. While your world was crashing, their world went on as usual.

There is a book called "When Bad Things Happen To Good People", by Rabbi Harold S. Kushner. It's not religious, but it is very comforting. Rabbi Kushner is a very wise man.

I have never lost a sibling, but I lost a baby on Christmas Eve. The first year was difficulte at every holiday. For several years Christmas was sad, but you know, time changes things. I never forgot the baby, but eventually the pain subsided and life moved on.

Take time to grieve. It's a terrible think to lose a sister. Your life will never be the same, but it will go on and you'll be okay.

03-26-2007, 08:44 PM
Alisa.... I'm so sorry.
My DD is 20.......my heart breaks for you losing your sister.

You'be gotten a lot of good advice/insight here, I just want to add a hug :hug:

03-26-2007, 09:10 PM
hello Alisa dear

just checking on you tonite

03-27-2007, 01:55 AM
Hi everyone! I just wanted to say thankyou for all your support. I'm home right now for spring break, and we're going to DL tomorrow. It will be a strange trip to say the least, but I think it will do us good. My little sister was a huge Disney fan and was looking forward to this trip, a lot. It will be really bad for my dad who often took her on the kiddy rides the big kids and mom didn't want to do (like Casey Junior). But I'm still glad we're going.

Thank you again (I gotta go)

03-27-2007, 10:32 PM
Please know that I'm thinking about you and your family. I'm sure your trip t DL was difficult, but I hope at the same time it allows your healing process to continue.

I had a car accident 5 years and I still suffer from time to time with feelings about it that I haven't worked through. I've searched the Internet and I haven't really been able to find anything.

My best advice to you is to keep talking to anyone who will listen, regardless if it's a stranger while you're walking to class or your BF. If you have to, post a long post on here writing everything out. I know sometimes that would help me. Talking will help you heal. Go to your local bookstore, whether it's a Borders or Barnes & Noble and just look under the self help books, I'm sure there is something there that will help you. If not, start your own support group online and help others.

Even though I don't know you personally, I'm very sorry to hear about the passing of your sister. Please know that I"m thinking about you and sending you a supporting hug. :grouphug:

03-28-2007, 09:52 PM
I totally aggree, talk this out and write it out ...

good luck on the trip to Disney, I knkow it will be bittersweet, perhaps you will get a lil wind kiss from your lil sis

03-29-2007, 12:00 AM
good luck on the trip to Disney, I knkow it will be bittersweet, perhaps you will get a lil wind kiss from your lil sis

Funny you should say that. It was very windy yesterday, but that wasn't the evidence she was watching over us. What really got to us was that it rained for a while yesterday, but only during our lunch break when, not only were we not in the park, but we had returned to the car where we left the cooler with our lunch. It was still raining as we were cleaning up the car, but by the time we stepped out from under the overhang of the garage, the rain had stopped and did not reappear all day. So none of us got the least bit wet, and it didn't affect our time on the park.

It was a very sad trip, to say the least. I will write more about it later, after Friday's DCA trip.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers,

03-29-2007, 04:56 PM
Alisha, I'm so sorry for your loss! My younger brother passed away 7.5 years ago and it was very hard to deal with. I miss him very much! What helped me with my grief is a book entitled "Angel Catcher: A Journal of Loss and Remembrance" by Kathy Eldon. It's wonderful and it will help you so much.


Take care!:hug:

03-30-2007, 01:45 AM
Thank you Disney_Dreaming. That looks like a great book. I will go out and get it this weekend. That's just what I need now.

04-05-2007, 10:00 AM
:hug: I just want send lots of hugs. I am 21 (and jewish too if that helps!). I lost my dad 3 years ago and now my mother has terminal cancer so I can definately sympathise with the grief. :sad2:
I don't know how i would cope if I lost my brother (14). My Dbf has also been my rock, I don't know if I can ever thank him enough.
Please feel free to pm if you need someone to talk too. (I also have messenger, facebook etc, if you would prefer that) I'm a good listener and Its sometimes nice to talk to someone who can totally understand what it feels like to experience a close family loss.

Take care :grouphug:

Suzi Q
04-07-2007, 04:30 AM
Alisa, I am so very, very sorry. I can feel your pain through reading your post and I ache for you. I lost my son 16 months ago so I know how very difficult grief can be. People tell me that it gets softer with time. One thing that has really helped me is journaling. Putting your thoughts down on paper really helps. I'm glad you are seeing a counsellor. That has also been very beneficial. My oldest son is now going, too. He misses his brother so much. You will be in my prayers. Try to remember all those good times. Some day the tears will subside and we will smile again.

04-08-2007, 09:28 PM
Hey sweetie - how you doing?

04-09-2007, 02:49 AM
Thanks for asking, harleygirl. I'm doing okay. I had a kind of rough weekend because all of friends went home, so I had noone to talk to in person. I have trouble expressing myself now, and sometimes just need someone physically there, as I can't actaully think of the words to say, so phone and internet conversations don't help there. But things are a little better now that people have returned. Also, this seems to be a bad time for most of my friends so they can't be as supportive because they have their own problems to deal with. But I did find an online support group, and just hearing other people put into words what I feel helps a bit (see my helpful website thread for more info). You all have been so great. Thanks again,

Mackey Mouse
04-09-2007, 07:15 AM
Alisa, I must have been away when you posted this but it looks like you got some wonderful hugs from the posters here and some really good advice.

Please know that we are here for you when you are down and need to talk.. do reach out when you need to.

Grief is not an easy thing, but in time, it will get easier and you will remember the happy times. Right now, that does not seem possible, but it will happen. You take care of you and big hugs coming from me to you. :)

07-16-2007, 09:36 PM
Hey sweetie how are things? are you doing a little:hug: better i hope?