Having lost both parents I was no stranger to major loss, but in 2012 when my sister Linda died I knew this parting was unique. I looked for support but found more information about coping with the loss of a pet than how to handle losing an adult sibling.
It wasn’t until after my husband died that I realized how much I relied on him for home maintenance tasks. Whether it was unclogging the toilet or patching holes in the drywall, he did it all.
I bet you couldn’t wait to read this article! This site has so many fun and interesting articles about living life to the fullest – and we should – but we should also make sure we have taken care of the business of our death.
Despite great advances in medical care, humans still have a 100% mortality rate. Yet fewer than 30% of adults do any end-of-life planning: wills or trusts, advance medical directives and pre-need funeral planning.
If you live to be over sixty, loss is inevitable. I anticipated the loss of my parents, knowing the day was looming when they would pass on as part of the natural order of life.
What I didn’t prepare for was losing my sister, Linda. I suppose I should have since I am the youngest in the family and she was twelve years older than me. But I found myself in uncharted territory, not only experiencing profound loss but being at a loss as to how to cope.
We sixty somethings are at a time in our lives when we experience loss and grief. Many of us have lost our parents, but I just experienced a loss that I’ve never experienced before – the loss of a sibling.
Last month was my sister Pam’s birthday, and she would have been 60 years old. I’ve missed her a lot lately because it’s hard to move on as if nothing has changed. In fact, it seems disrespectful.
You’re afraid of breaking a hip when you fall. You’re saying good-bye to dear friends, who’ve lost their battle with cancer. You worry if you’re forgetting words like you always have, or if it’s becoming a pattern.
Soon after my book was published, I attended a community luncheon. Several couples were seated at my table, and we introduced ourselves. After watching me for a few minutes, one wife suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, I saw your picture in Sunday’s newspaper. You wrote that guidebook for widows!”
When Sixty and Me posted my recent article Hearing Loss Happens, But, Good Listening Skills Are a Choice, many of you joined the discussion.
You told me how frustrated you were with never being listened to. Some of you commented that you were always expected to be the listener and to show an interest in others’ lives.