My sister recently passed away, leaving behind her daughter


My sister recently passed away, leaving behind her daughter and I feel empty and lost. I know I have to be strong for my niece so I try not to show any emotion around her. I know everyone grieves differently but she shuts down the moment you bring up the topic of her mother. I know they say you have to go on with life and try to be happy but it almost feels wrong to laugh. But at the same time I want to feel joy again , to be happy and laugh but every time I try I end up slipping back to this dark place that makes me want to sit in the dark and cry all day. I can't say that I want things to go back to normal because I'm not sure what normal is anymore. I just feel broken?

Anella's picture
Jul 17

I'm so sorry about your sister. There is no right or wrong when it comes to coping with grief. Several years ago I lost nine family members in one year. I was in shock, stunned and just numb for a good while. I understand that you want to be strong for your niece but being emotionless is not going to help her and it also teaches her to hide her feelings which is not healthy. We were created with a wide range of emotions. Display them. It is the normal you're looking for because it is real. When my mom lost her mother she laughed at something and then burst into tears... It's normal. When you show sincere emotion around your niece, it will show her it's safe to show her emotions. I read a really helpful brochure called "When Someone You Love Dies". I truly believe you will find it helpful because it shows the stages of grief that everyone goes through; although it may be in a different order or for different periods of time. It helps you to better cope with grief and gives good information for those who want to comfort grieving ones. So it will help you grieve and comfort your grieving niece. Also, it has a list of comforting thoughts and expressions in the back that I still read to this day. I'm sharing the link below. Let me know what you think. I'm here you.

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Jul 17

I feel bad for al, the previous writers. I can identify with all of you. I wish i had some magic wonderful words to say that would ease this pain we are all feeling. I hope your lives do not crumble and your families disinegrate over your loss. Since our daughter's death: our family has almost lost all the joy we once shared. The holidays, birthdays, are just dates now. We go thru the motions for each other, but we all know this is not what we really want. We feel numb inside and the family is torn apart literally; we rarely mention her name anymore. I want to scream and yell that we need to grieve her death as a family instead of letting it destroy us, but am met with resistance. I hope anyone reading this will heed my warning and not let the loss of your loved one destroy your family too! I know my daughter would not have wanted her death to destroy the people she loved.


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