What does it feel like to have your sibling die?

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    I lost my younger and only sister, Morgan, almost exactly a year ago... on July 24, 2011 in a plane crash. I was 25 and she was 19. The thing that makes my story difficult is the fact that not only did I lose her, I lost my dad (who was the pilot of the plane), my mom, and our two dogs, Stan and Fran. It was my ENTIRE family, aside from our cat, Richard, who ended up passing away in March at the age of 16.

    Because I lost all of them, I find it hard to think of them individually sometimes which I immediately feel guilty about because I think they deserve being treated like individuals. Then, as soon as I start talking about one of them, I feel guilty for not thinking of them all. It's this odd, endless cycle of guilt and I can't help it.

    Anyway, I got the call the morning it happened from my mom's sister who lived out of the state. I didn't answer her first few calls because it was so early on a Sunday, but then I listened to the voicemail. I still have it and it haunts me. She just told me to call her back and that it was very very urgent but I could hear the trembling in her voice and it immediately scared me and woke me right up and I called back. When she told me the news, I was in my bed with my boyfriend who woke up after hearing me basically scream and cry into the phone. I couldn't even talk or make out any words. I couldn't do anything. My heart just literally hurt, there is no other way to describe it. I felt like all the air was sucked out of my lungs and replaced with weights. After awhile, I just kept saying "ALL of them?!" as if I thought it was some cruel joke. I can't tell you how many times I had to relive this memory in my head. My boyfriend and I ended up moving from that apartment just because I couldn't deal with being in that room anymore, too painful.

    I obviously still struggle with being orphaned and being deprived of my sister and I think about them every second. I remember after I found out, my boyfriend and I drove the two hours or so to where my family lived and we went straight to my grandparents house where all of our friends and family were waiting. It was also the town outside the one where I grew up where the plane crash happened. Some people chose to go to the crash site, but I never did. I didn't need to see that to know they were gone and I don't think I could've taken more pain at the time. But it was actually one of the more beautiful memories I've ever had. I remember looking around and just seeing so many close friends and family (from both sides which rarely happend) in one room, hugging and crying. No one had to say anything. The great thing about my family is that they made everyone feel pretty special, so we were all hurting just the same that day.

    Another thing I remember is just being furious. I remember just telling my Grandma, "Why wasn't I on that plane" and I remember how much she cried harder and it freaked her out. I was almost mad that they left me here, that I couldn't go with them (they were headed to Florida to take my sister to her internship and to relax at our family vacation home) and I even thought of how the last time I talked to my mom was on the phone and I begged her to let us watch the dogs for them, but she refused; she loved them just as much as I did.

    I often times get angry that they were taken so abruptly. I wanted a chance to say goodbye and tell them that I loved them, but I remember to keep myself in check and be thankful that they didn't have a chance to suffer. In fact I like to think that's why they were taken so quickly, perhaps to prevent pain that they might have experienced later on in life. In fact, I don't even know if they knew what was happening to them. They hardly made it into the air before the plane toppled over from a freak gust of wind. That I am thankful for. I'm also thankful that we were not in any fights with each other, we always said "I love you" when we hung up. We truly ended on good notes.

    I also find that I'm most upset about my sister because she was so young. She was super smart, athletic, talented, funny, hard-working and absolutely gorgeous. She made everyone around her happy and she never took anything too seriously and she was just an all-around really good kid. So my immediate feeling was just utter confusion and loss. Why would someone like her deserve to go so fast? She would've been a sophomore at the University of Chicago (which I loved because I live in Chicago too and I could see her often) and would've been finished with her volleyball season by now. It's the epitome of unfair.

    So now, after a year, I have found ways to remember her. My boyfriend and I have a new house and we brought all of her furniture in (the paint color was even the same color as her bedroom at my parents house, it was freaky) and it fits beautifully. When I'm feeling sad or when I miss her, I just walk to the room next door and take a minute, or curl up on the bed and cry.

    It is strange, though, because I constantly have dreams in which only my parents have passed and she is still there, or vice versa, or it's just one parent. Or sometimes they come to me, knowing they have passed away and say they've returned. I wake sometimes thinking they're still here and just a call away and it really makes mornings difficult for me.

    Still, though, I talk to her friends often, some of whom I've known since they were babies and toddlers. I know they hurt like I do sometimes and I know they knew the funny/awesome side of her, but I still sometimes feel very, very alone because a sister's bond is unreal. I talk to my aunt about this often because she and my mom were very close and they were the same age apart as my sister and I were; I find it really reassuring. I have yet to talk to a counselor for reasons like this; I know that no one could feel the way I do. Most people lose a sibling, a parent,or all of them, but rarely this early in life, rarely all at once, and it's an awful feeling to be that alone.

    For now, I try to do things like scan old family photos and share them on Facebook for our friends and family to see. It's comforting not only to me, but to everyone who knew her. I try to share her story. I don't know how I'm going to feel when I'm 50 trying to imagine what Moe would've looked like when she was 44 (probably ridiculously fabulous) but I'm hoping time will have healed some wounds by then. For now it still feels like a dagger in my heart.

    EDIT---
    After reading Nikki Van Noy's answer to this question (which I suggest you guys read), I'm compelled to comment on a few things that she brought up that I failed to mention.

    1. The "neon sign" effect, or as I have called "the kid glove" effect in which people just know what you've been through and don't know how to talk to you or deal with you. Some people ignore it and are scared of it, some people smother you with love and won't leave you alone, some treat you like some weird psychology experiment and just creepily like your Facebook statues and don't ever say anything, and some are just straight upawkward. It changes everyones view of you, good or bad, that's for sure.

    2. The jealousy that involves others who have lost someone. In my case, it's when someone has lost a single family member and tells me "they know how it feels" but they don't really, because they still have other immediate family members to grieve with. I also am jealous when people lose a sibling at an older age, and try to compare our situations. You got to spend more time with your sibling, you got to have more memories! It's frustrating. I've spoken to a woman who has lost her whole family, her husband and two children. We've lost the same number of people in our family, and it was our entire family, but even then, it is not the same situation and neither of us could pretend to know how the other feels.

    3. "'Broken heart' is a LITERAL term" like Nikki says. Oh my gosh yes. The feeling is indescribable and literally feels like someone squeezing your chest with a vice. The feeling subsides for me from time to time, but it always aches in the background.

    4. "For those of you who still have your siblings, try your hardest to appreciate them--even during the difficult times." Enough said.

    Source: https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-feel-like-to-have-your-sibling-die

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