This post is about loss, specifically the loss of an adult sibling.
My husband’s younger sister died this week unexpectedly at age 68. The picture above is her in happier and healthier times. There were 5 kids in the family and now there are 4.
He wasn’t particularly close to his sister as an adult. He hasn’t seen her since his mother’s funeral in 2017 and neither had most of the family. But, she was still his little sister. She is from a great family, but the path she ended up on wasn’t so great. But, this isn’t about her, it is about losing a sibling.
Most of my friend’s parents have passed away. It seems like we are now in the stage of our lives when we start to lose our brothers and sisters.
I have an adopted sister who is 14 years older than I am. She married when I was five and moved out of state when I was in elementary school. We have never been close. She was adopted when she was 9, after her mother died. Throughout her life, she has remained connected to her biological family. I don’t have a sibling relationship with her so I can’t really relate to the loss of a sibling in the same way my husband and many of my friends do.
Like many of my friends, we don’t live close to our siblings.
We left Great Falls long ago and our sibling relationships are long distance at best. I think that may make the loss of a sister or brother more complicated. There is probably some regrets abut not staying in touch more. There is a sense of missed opportunities for stronger connections. And when we don’t live nearby, we may not really know our siblings as adults. This may be particularly true if we don’t share common interests, have different lifestyles or, in this era, have different politics!
I also realize that geographic distance isn’t the deal breaker. I know siblings who live far apart and are close friends; and siblings who live nearby and still never see each other!
I imagine this loss would feel different for people who regard their brother or sister as their best friend. It must be unbelievably tough to lose both a sister or a brother and your best friend at the same time!
But a loss is a loss!
Please celebrate safely on New Year’s Eve. I will see you on Friday!