February 13, 2019 by Erin Gray
Have you ever thought about how your relationships you have define you?
What is your oldest relationship/ friendship?
Do you remember how you met?
When you have siblings you have instant friendships. Myself, I was born the youngest of four. I never knew my life without my built in friendships.
A sibling bond is unique because they know the true you before you even knew who you were.
And they may accept you for all the different phases you have been in your life.
Sometimes the cool or great thing about a sibling is they may and can make fun of you, ask why you are doing some of the things you are doing, and just be so raw and honest about it more than most people in your life.
Your siblings are also the ones who know your immediate and extended family in such a way that others wouldn’t experience it in the same way as you.
I grew up in a dysfunctional household and my siblings were my safety net when my parents were drinking or arguing, and I usually felt safe if my siblings were around.
As you get older your relationship may change with your siblings as you move out, become adults and have your own families.
My mother passed away 16 years ago, but my siblings and I always had an unbreakable bond that seemed to be strengthened after tragedy. I had always felt that my relationship with my siblings was my constant in my life, even if it wasn’t always picture perfect, but knowing they were always a text or a call way made me have a sense of safety.
October 2017 all of that changed when I received a call from my father that my sister Shannon had suffered a cardiac arrest from an accidental overdose of Klonopin and alcohol.
My world stopped, and I was in denial for the first few days while she was in ICU hoping she would get better. When I flew up to see her at the hospital, I saw that she was a lot worse than I could imagine. A few days after I arrived at the hospital we made the decision to have my sister taken off of life support, and she passed away soon after.
Since my sister passed it has been very difficult, as I have had to learn what my life will look like with out my sister in it. So many memories pop up daily, and I will laugh or cry thinking of them, and I am grateful that I have the memories of her.
I have to remind myself not only did I lose my sister, my first friend; I lost the future of what could have been with her.
Losing a parent was hard for me, as it was so sad to see my mom ill and suffer, and of course I miss her. But I think we are conditioned to expect that we will lose our parents at sometime, but you don’t expect you will have to write your sister’s eulogy and bury your sister.
I have learned that I need to allow myself to be gentler, and allow the grief to happen. We can’t rush grief; it is a process that does take time.
I know I have to honor my feelings, and emotions when they come up, and I don’t need to apologize if I am grieving or sad.