how can I be there for my sister

by Leann
(Houston Texas)

Our mother died Aug.2007 mother of three children and 2 grandchildren with one that was on the way mine. I am the middle child I like to think I am the center anchor for our family. My little sister just turned 18years old 2 days before our mother passed away. Since then I have been trying to be a sister and a mother figure to my sister just for guidance when she needs me or our mom. Right now my heart is hurting. I baby sister who is now 24 is going to have a baby of her own I am excited and very happy for her. But I am hurting because I know how I felt to go through being pregnant and giving birth with out my mom (our mom).
How do I be there for my sister to give her the best feeling of comfort I did not get to feel ?

I am a mother of three handsome boys but every time, not having our mom never got any easier.

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May 23, 2014
how can I be there for my sister?
by: Doreen UK

Leanne because of the loss of your mom, it would be so easy as the middle sister to rush in and act as a parent to your youngest sister. This is the nature of loss. Stepping in. Doing what one has to do to still nurture the family. Your sister is 18yrs. and an adult. Be guided by what her needs are. Let her know you will always be there to comfort and support her. It is not easy trying to find a balance here, but with good communication you will be able to find out what your sister needs from you in the way of support. A shoulder to cry on may be all that you need to offer her presently. Grief unfolds for every one of us in different ways at different times. It is usually young children that are the ones that feel forgotten when a loved one dies. Everyone is trying to cope and often children can become lost. Involving your sister in your life and that of your family will help her to feel included and validated. She would then feel comfortable to talk of any issues around your' mothers death and how the loss has affected each of you in different ways.
I am the middle girl of 5 sisters and was given the responsibility of nurturing them all, (at 14yrs.) since my mom saw potential in me as a carer. I had to be their mom and sister and it can be very confusing especially if the eldest child is not given that responsibility it can cause sibling rivalry and cause all siblings to cope differently with how they fit in within their own family. The one who is acting mother will also end up having issues to resolve around their identity within the family. Families need structure and can cope well together with healthy boundaries. Just try to make sure the boundaries between acting as mom and sister are defined. Otherwise it can alter the family dynamics. Sisters often forge good relationships with each other and may not feel the need to take the role of mom in a crisis/loss. It is also not uncommon for sisters to establish a stronger bond with a sister that the other's may not have. Just be yourself. Don't try too hard. Let your sister let you know what her needs are and how best you can support her.

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