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I miss my sister.

Every day I find a reason for wanting to talk to her- needing to hear what she would say to any given circumstance.  I miss her presence.  I miss her being here.

 Welcome fellow travelers on the grief journey and a special welcome to anyone new to The Grieving Room.  We meet every Monday evening.  Whether your loss is recent or many years ago; whether you lost a person or a pet; or even if the person you are mourning is still alive, (pre-grief can be a very lonely and confusing time) you can come to this diary and say whatever you need to say.  We can't solve each other's problems, but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.

Unlike a private journal, here, you know your words are read by people who have been through their own hell.

There's no need to pretty it up or tone it down.  It just is.

This is how it is for me.

My sister's death killed all the anger and animosity I had for her during the last year of her life.  You see, my sister was a Rush fan- a die hard right wing republican who never let a moment go by to remind me of that fact.

She knew my politics and yet she never just allowed us to meet and be 'sisters'.  There was always the dig.  And not just a statement- no, she had to always rub it in, making statements about President Obama that disgusted me, but the smile was on her face and the elbow was planted in my ribs.

I couldn't talk to her anymore and didn't- until my other sister called to tell me the news.  

I often wonder what she would make of what's happening today. Would she still have worshipped Rush after the Sandra Fluke affair?  Probably- because I remember telling her that according to that disgusting man, my sister is the scum of the earth, being on SSI and living on food stamps in a Section 8 housing.

She didn't care.  The right wing propaganda machine made her feel important- gave her other scapegoats to blame for the misfortunes in her own life.  I understood that, yet she could not.

And I miss her every day.

And I miss my daughter, too.

Only she is alive and well and living in a world completely cut off from reality. As a evangelical Christionist, she too feeds off the conservative talking points- believing that everyone and anyone who does not share her beliefs is a spawn of the devil and needs to be saved.

A few weeks ago, I had to 'un-friend' my daughter from Facebook.  This was not an easy decision, but I could not look at another "Obama is Hitler' cartoon or read bible quotes warning me of my doom.  My last straw was belittling the children killed in Newtown by comparing them to 'the millions killed by abortion."

I wish there was a way I could change what is happening.  I don't like thinking about how I would feel if something happened to my daughter (or to me- leaving her with unanswered wonderings).  It is all too very sad.

I grieve for the lost relationship- a relationship killed by polarized politics and ideology.

I miss her every day.

Originally posted to The Grieving Room on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 05:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That's very sad about your sister and (17+ / 0-)

    daughter. I don't have words of wisdom or advice but would hope that one day you and your daughter would have a decent relationship. Fortunately my daughter and I are of like mind. At times I want to stop being friends with my long time best friend of 32 yrs, but I would like to think we can rise above politics. Our conversations usually start out with me saying that I'm going to disagree or be on the opposite end of her views. A lot of grieving in recent years due to the polarization of politics, agreed.

  •  I'm so very sorry for your loss (18+ / 0-)

    and the loss of the relationship with your daughter.

    I do understand the estrangement from family and friends over politics.
    I learned a good ten years not to talk politics, and so I stopped because it did cause hard feelings and anger.

    I have never sent a political email to anyone, and yet family and friends continued sending me those emails, even those knowing that I wasn't one of them.

    It finally got to a point whereby my husband, who is much more diplomatic than I am, wrote to them all and told them that we both enjoyed hearing from them but to please stop with the political emails.
    Some stopped, most didn't, and we blocked those who didn't from our contact list.

    There are certain people not allowed into our home because they refused to give us the courtesy of our strict rule of not bringing politics, religion, racism, and homophobia into our home.
    Some of those people are family.

    I do not understand the reasons why some people find it so difficult to respect another person's views and request that some topics are not to be discussed.
    I do not understand that at all.
    I guess they value their political and /or religious beliefs more than they respect me, so they make their choice.
    It hurts, but I don't want people who do not respect me in my life.

    Once again, I am so very sorry for your losses and hurt.

    •  That's why I wrote this diary. (16+ / 0-)

      From reading several other diaries and some comments- I realized that many of us have lost relationships due to the polarization of the right.

      Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

      by grannycarol on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 05:50:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes it happened to me with a few relatives, some (8+ / 0-)

        female cousins because of they would get downright nasty and mean spirited about a number of issues but particularly when it came to the President, the issue of reproductive rights, womens issues and such. They are very repressive and condescending and always have been jealous of my sister and I for our advanced education and college degrees.

        But the tough ones are those close to us with whom our relationships are either hanging by a thread or are tense due to political differences. I have begged a very close family member not to air her political grievances in such a nasty tone about the President and liberals and Democrats. And we decided it best not to discuss politics at all. As she knows if she starts it, I will finish it up with facts I can prove.  So she lets it go and I hope it continues. But once she moves closer to me upon retirement, I am not sure how that is going to play out. I am worried.

        So far, none of my closer friends or relatives have gotten into with us even though there are some on opposite ends of the political spectrum. So far, they have avoided the subject with us but they get furious with my husband who is open about and posts about it on Facebook where I do not do that.  I do not visit Facebook often except to post a family photo or wish someone a Happy Birthday.  

        Some are hanging by a thread and I worry but thus far, no one that meaningful in my life has left me but it could happen anyway with some.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 08:02:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  i'm so glad you got rescued (5+ / 0-)

        to Community Spotlight, grannycarol.

        thank you for a touching diary.  i can hear how much you miss your sister.

        I hate a meeting last night and could not put the boilerplate in before it was time for the diary to publish.

        you did a wonderful job without me.

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 11:11:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm grieving the loss of my closest friend... (13+ / 0-)

    ...not to death, but to his complete withdrawal from me (but not just me — other mutual friends have noticed his withdrawal).

    After not hearing from him for many, many months (despite my repeated attempts by phone or email to reach out to him), I finally got a terse email stating that he's "going through some shit" and has just checked out. He says "Maybe someday we can reconnect again; I just can't say when."

    As this is the only thing I've heard from him in ages, I have zero idea what he's going through, and he obviously doesn't want to discuss it.

    After thirty years of close friendship. I'm so sad.

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 05:48:21 PM PDT

    •  Any idea if he is going through a breakup , (7+ / 0-)

      divorce, illness or death of a parent , spouse , sibling?

      Or maybe he is going through some depression.  Is he on Facebook? Does he talk to others but not just to you?

      As my best friend and I have a couple of mutual friends but when this one person is going through a tough time, he disappears from everyone and all of us.  I wonder if that is the case here.

      What I do not like are those who cut off one friend but not the other friends and then give no reason. I keep telling family and friends if they want me to go to hell and get lost, just tell not disappear.

      Disappearing and not giving a reason is sheer hell for me. I would rather someone tell me off and give me hell and then leave than just quietly disappear with no explanation.

      We have a son who does that, disappears for months or years at a time and never lets us know what is going on and what we did. He just vanishes from our lives....then magically reappears, meanwhile keeping in touch with certain people. Then when he is close to us, he cuts off others and disappears from their lives, then he disappears from ours, contacts those folks and on and on.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 08:08:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Had something like that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grannycarol, Kit RMP

      ...after like 30 years of friendship, a female friend and I had a tiff last year and she just "disconnected," as the Scientologists say.

      Ran into her at church (yeah, long story) about four months back and sporadic e-mail since then, but...I was always the one carrying the water anyway.  I'm just as unhappy with and without.

      America, we can do better than this...

      by Randomfactor on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 07:41:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry for the loss of your sister and your (15+ / 0-)

    relationship with your daughter.  I've also lost any relationship with my brother and only sibling.  He listens to Rush and the others all day long.  I haven't seen or talked to him for 9 months, don't know when I will again.  This is my choice.  I just don't want to hear it anymore.  

    It's sad.  My parents are gone, so I have no family.  Fortunately we see some of my husbands family from time to time, but mine is gone.  

    I am a work in progress. Still.

    by broths on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 06:06:11 PM PDT

  •  I'm sorry you've lost them (8+ / 0-)

    It hurts whether it's from death or estrangement.

    I wish I cared more for my aunt.  She's always been nasty to me, and just about everyone in the family.  This is the woman who asked me if I'd found a job yet at my sister's memorial service (I had been unemployed for a long time), who was at the hospital with us when my father was very sick and couldn't spend a second talking about anyone other than herself, and who told my pregnant niece that she looked fat when she didn't.

    She's battling cancer and I should be a dutiful niece, but I can't find it in me to care.  That seems sad, to me.  I guess I'm mourning the aunt I would have liked to have, and the relationship I would have liked.

    Active Listening practiced here.

    by CA coastsider on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 07:41:51 PM PDT

    •  Yes same thing happened to my best friend with (6+ / 0-)

      her mother who was mean but also manipulative and abusive. After her mother committed suicide, she entered therapy for a long time. She reached that point well into her therapy where she realized that for years before her mother died, she was mourning the mother she could have, wanted to have.  And my best friend is doing well now but it took a lot of therapy and time for her heart and soul and mind to heal. As her mother was a horribly abusive and mean woman and so toxic but then she killed herself and that stirred up all kinds of feeling for my best friend.  

      She went through a phase where she wished her mother had let her know she was having suicidal thoughts and depression and some health issues until a therapist helped her to see that even sick people can be mean and verbally abusive too.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 08:12:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So sad... (7+ / 0-)

    I would write a letter to my daughter to be opened after my death. In it, I would tell her how much I loved her and that despite disagreements, I cared about her. Tell her everything you cannot say now so that when she is older and hopefully is no longer in the sway of her church, she will know you loved her and she can forgive her cruel actions towards you.

    Fox Business Channel motto, "Woman have baby, make sandwich"

    by madame damnable on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 09:16:40 PM PDT

  •  I lost two long-term dear friends (8+ / 0-)

    going back nearly 40 years.  I called her the day after Sarah Palin was selected.  We had been through a lot politically, but I was naive - voting for Bush against Gore, etc.  I said, "Did you see who McCain chose as his running mate?"  There was a chill on the other end of the phone - "Well we like her."  Nothing was ever the same after that instant.  I made my very first political contribution the next day and ordered an OBAMA/BIDEN banner.  Our friendship limped along, but now we have not spoken in a couple of years.

    Sad, yes.  This was a friendship I had thought would outlast all of life's travails.

  •  I know what it's like to miss a sister, (8+ / 0-)

    mine died last August.

    I can go for long stretches of time without thinking about it and then miss her SO MUCH!!!  I am close to her son and his family (a wife and 3 little sons between the ages of 8 and 3).  I'm so sorry that they don't have her in their lives, that I'm only me and can only be 'a family member who cares and remembers his mom'.  But it's better than nothing.

    I resent that I can't "take care" of her any more, that there is nothing more I can do for her....I wanted her life to be so much better and was always thinking of something I could do with or for her.

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead -

    by FlamingoGrrl on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 10:24:41 PM PDT

  •  I'm going to sound incredibly cold hearted, (3+ / 0-)

    but bear with me,
    as I explain.

    The family I was born into
    has little contact with me.

    No open expression of anger or hatred,
    just a careless habit,
    on the part of myself and them alike,
    of not reaching out,
    not trying to contact each other.

    My three sisters live far away,
    my brother lives in my home town,
    yet I call each sister on average once a year,
    but my brother and I have the bad habit of letting
    two or three or I lose track how many
    years go by,
    without contact.

    Just after I married Tonia,
    a year and a half ago,
    Tonia tried calling my brother,
    several times a day,
    for a couple of days.

    No reply.

    I live in a big house,
    with my new bride, Tonia,
    and her three brothers,
    and her uncle.

    I'm surrounded by family.

    We all love each other very much,
    and we interact often,
    and each of us is clearly unique,
    so interacting with any one of my new family
    is different from my time with any other,
    so the whole experience is not only comforting,
    but actually entertaining.

    One of Tonia's brothers,
    is very much like Denzel Washington.

    My statement that may sound cold-hearted is this:

    My family is dead;
    long live my family.

    Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 12:52:41 AM PDT

  •  My Wife passed this AM (9+ / 0-)

    She went in her sleep. She decided about a month ago that she would no longer allow them to stick tubes of any kind down her throat. Her COPD was so bad that at least once a week she had to be hospitalized so they could suck the bad air out of her, and get the good air built up. Last month she also found out that on top of the COPD, she had stage 2 breast cancer, and stage 3 lung cancer.
      She moved to the kids house about 3 weeks ago w/ Hospice care every day.
     Her pain was handled with Methadone and she went while she still had some dignity. I hope she is happy or at least at peace.

    "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

    by SmileySam on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 05:08:21 AM PDT

  •  I'm helping, somewhat, with a friend (6+ / 0-)

    who is dying. I don't go to his FB page because as the cancer eats more of his brain and body, he seems to be fixating on his hatred of President Obama. He'll slide a comment or two in there with me or Crashing Vor, but a good stare stops it. People are complicated. I have siblings with whom I have little in common, forget the political side. However, we all talk once a month or so. I do not need to like all aspects of these people, but there are parts I love. None of my siblings have good relations with any of the rest of us - we're a screwy family. We do talk, and as I told one brother a few months ago when he was complaining about another sibling, there is time to improve the relationship. All does not need to be fixed in one conversation. As I watch friends dying - I'm up to seven over the past three months now - I understand there is no time and all the time in the world. I can make time to be kind; I have no time to argue or be cruel. So, I hush my friend before he can start on politics, and we can sit together quietly, enjoying the few months left. I'll finish his urn soon, and he may be ready for it about the same time.

    "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

    by cv lurking gf on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 06:30:08 AM PDT

  •  my husband died in January (8+ / 0-)

    I came home from work and found him on the floor. He was still warm but I could tell he was gone. 911 operator had me do chest compressions until the fire dept got there, just 4 or 5 min but it seemed like hours.

    He was a dialysis patient, but all his blood work had been good for many months.  It was something unforeseen and sudden...a stroke, a heart attack.  I will never know for sure.  He was just 45, would have been 46 a month after he died.

    He had just gotten on a transplant list.  We  had plans for a trip to our favorite place in the world on the Northern California Coast.  We were planning his birthday party.  He was refining his "bucket list" and didn't get to do any of them.  We had plans for a simple, normal life.  

    Hundreds came to his funeral.  He often didn't feel much loved in this world.  His beloved dad died in 1990, his mom in 2003, and he was estranged from his sister.  We met in 2004 and often told each other how incredibly, amazingly happy we were.  We weathered some tough economic times, and were convinced we could face anything together.

    Now, the toughest thing I ever have had to face, and I am without the one who could get me through it.  I have a daughter, and siblings, and other family, and we are all very close.  But I've found that grief is a very solitary journey.

    I will never get rid of the image of seeing him on the floor when I got home, the feel of my hands pumping his breathless chest, the chilling stare of his green eyes.

    SOme days I am beyond consolation, others I can function just fine at work.  And lately I have had some truly happy moments.  But the sadness is always there.

    A friend told me last week that he spoke to her in a dream, to tell me that he had the happiest years of his life with me.
    They were so happy for me, too.  After a rough first marriage I did not know a love like this really existed.

    I will be ok someday.  I just wish it was now.  I hate alwys having the sadness ready to overtake me.

    •  (((((choirgirl))))) (4+ / 0-)

      Give it time- I know that sounds cliche- but from what you said, I know you will be fine.

      Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

      by grannycarol on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 10:59:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  grief is a solitary journey in some respects (6+ / 0-)

      that is why Dem in the heart of Texas started this group.  So that we who are grieving have a place to come where others are dealing with their grief too and write about whatever is on our minds.

      i am so sorry your husband died so young and you are facing life as a young widow.  my heart breaks for you, to lose such a sweet love after only a few years.  but you did have those few years of memories to look back on, and someday those memories will be a comfort rather than a source of tears.  you allowed him to feel something uniquely special after he had a life of not feeling loved in this world.  he restored your faith in love after a bad marriage.  you were good for each other.

      slowly, slowly the sadness will,lose its iron grip.  in the meantime i hope you are comforted by your friend's dream.  maybe you will have some message dreams of your own.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 11:36:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so, so sorry for your loss, how tragic (5+ / 0-)

      what a difficult thing to deal with, my heart goes out to you, you will have lots of ups and downs, hopefully you have people to reach out to when you have a need.

    •  So sorry for your loss (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grannycarol, choirgirl, Kit RMP late wife was a dialysis patient who one night just...died.  Hugs.

      America, we can do better than this...

      by Randomfactor on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 07:49:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have wondered what it would have been like.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If I had been home when my husband died; if I had had the opportunity to do what you did/had to; if that would have been better somehow, or worse? I think, on the whole, I'm glad I didn't get to see his white, still body in that chair, as my older son, regrettably had to find him, with his eyes closed in a sleep that never ended. I prefer remembering him as he was in life, dancing, working on cars, cuddling with his cat, playing with my younger son's dog, yelling at the computer at some post that aggravated him. Even the sad look in his eyes as he watched me drive away with that dog. Little did either of us know then that that would be the last time we would ever see each other.

      I hear your story, and it's as if it all happened yesterday, though it's been very close to a year now, since Shaun found Andy gone. I wish I could give you a big hug, and I wish there were a way to bring both of them back.

      I wish you peace and healing on the journey I know is ahead for you, and that I'm treading too, a relatively few steps ahead of you. Your hands are being held figuratively by those who read your story here, I guarantee.


  •  My husband made life fun (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kit RMP

    There is no fun anymore, no smiles, no respite from the grief at all...  Only tears.

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 06:21:12 PM PDT

    •  Oh, KnotIookin! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KnotIookin, grannycarol

      I'm so sorry and sad to hear that you are having such trouble finding redeeming sources of joy and pleasure.

      I, like you, have resorted to "living" online for large periods of time. I have also reread books I have that my mother gave me before her Alzheimer's left her bereft of the ability to read the books she always enjoyed so much. Losing myself in a good book takes me away from the pain of current reality for awhile. Sometimes I even get a good alternative perspective on what I'm going through from some of them.

      Maybe you could get a friend to take you out to a movie, or even an outing to the beach or a park somewhere nearby. Anything to get you out of the house into different surroundings might at least give some change of perspective for a time.

      Are you musical at all? A concert, or even some good recordings of your favorite music can be transporting for a bit of psychological "fresh air." You could hook up with a Raging Grannies group and do singing protesting!

      I don't know if any of this has helped, but at least think about how you can "get away," even if only mentally, for awhile.

      You are strong. Keep hanging in there.


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