How losing a parent has changed my relationship with my sister…
Many of you already know that I lost my mom a couple of years ago. But she wasn’t just MY mom. I have a sister who has struggled just as much as I have with this change.
Our mom was the BEST. She wasn’t just my best friend, she was my sisters best friend too. Our confidant. Our port in the storm.
My sister is 11 years older than me, and has always acted as a second mother for me. When my mom was alive, we were all very close, but I was still the baby. I still sat at the kids table from time to time and while I spoke to my sister a lot and have always been close to her, I wasn’t the first person she told when something was going on in her life. That was mom…for both of us. Mom was the person we complained and vented to and who listened without judgment. She was the best person to call when you just needed someone to agree with you and tell you that no, you’re not overreacting (even if you kind of were).
When my mom got sick, my sister jumped in and took care of EVERYTHING like a pro.
I honestly don’t know how any of us would have made it through if it wasn’t for her. It was the same way when I had Leopold. While my mom (who was sick at the time but it hadn’t gotten so bad and we didn’t know about it) and husband took a back seat, my sister took the wheel and helped me have the natural birth I wanted.
My sister even took care of everything for my dad’s wedding only a year after my mom died. That was a beautiful day that probably wouldn’t have turned out half as nice if it was not for her. She busted her butt for my dad and his new wife, and I stood by watching in awe. My job that day was just to bring the ring bearer. I wasn’t asked to help in any other way and that made the day a lot harder for me, not having something else to focus my attentions on. But my sister was there to make me smile and laugh and boss me around a little when I needed it…thank goodness!
Having my sister around has eased the transition of living life without my mom/best friend. I know that there is always that one person who totally and completely gets what I’m going through or what I’m feeling. Even if it’s something silly like crying during the previews for ‘Mama Mia 2’.
Going through this together (and me being a mom too now) has brought my sister and I together in so many ways. It took her a little bit to see me more as a friend, sister, and fellow mother rather than just ‘the baby’. We have also had to adjust to calling each other any time we want instead of just having these thoughts or feelings and not knowing what to do with them.
I would give anything to have mom back, and I know my sister would too, but I really love how close we have gotten by getting through this loss together.
My dad is still alive and thank goodness for that, but he moved to the other side of the country when he got married. I still speak to him a good bit and see him when he swings through town, but sometimes it feels like I’ve lost him too. I had lived with my parents until about a year before my mom passed and I was always close to my dad and loved hanging out with him, so not having him here has been an adjustment as well. Again, one I would struggle much more with if it weren’t for my big sister.
My sister is not my mother’s biological daughter. She became my sister officially when my parents got married right before I was born and has stuck by me ever since. Some people discredit her as my mom’s true daughter and say things like “this is really hard for Ayana, she lost her mom after all. It’s good you’re there for her”. And they say things to her that they think must not sting as much since mom didn’t physically birth her. But she is just as much my mom’s daughter as I am. I know that and she knows that and that’s what really matters.
I really don’t know how people cope with the loss of a parent as only children. It’s been so healing to have someone there who feels what I feel and gets angry when I get angry. Someone who is always on my team. That’s just one more reason I’m glad we are having more than one child. I would hate for Leopold to go through this kind of thing alone.
Thank you Angela for always being there for me and being not just my sister, but my best friend. I love you so much!
Have you lost a parent? How about as an only child? If you don’t have any siblings, I’d love to hear how you coped with your loss, as I truly can’t imagine how hard it must have been.