A sister

Nineteen years ago today a sister of mine died from breast cancer. She was a few months shy of her 42nd birthday. I am now older than she was which still seems strange even though I passed her by sometime in late 2004. I suppose that’s how it will be from now on. I now have a kid sister in Heaven.

It was the first event in my life that acquainted me with griefwork, and my reaction to death has shifted over the years. I was numbed by her death, but eventually got over it and got used to the hole in life that used to be filled by her. We were not especially close due to difference in age, but she was there.

My father died in 1995, and I drank through his death. That was how I coped with things. It seemed to work over the previous year or so, so why should death be different?

My Mom died in 2005. I was already sober for a few years and my experience with sobriety told me that this wasn’t something that I should handle on my own. I discovered grief counseling (something that I had assumed was just for extraordinary events like terrorist attacks and natural disasters, not “ordinary” deaths like Moms dying.) and learned that there are a lot of similarities in how grief counselors handle death and how 12-Step movements handle addiction.

The death of a loved one leaves a hole in your soul that needs healing. Grief is that healing. And one feels very alone in grief until you seek others out.

There are two worthwhile links to grief and bereavement sites that I personally found helpful. They have led me to other sites. Scroll down the sidebar…

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"