Ask He­len

He­len Led­erer Celebrity agony aunt gives you her heart­felt ad­vice ev­ery week

My Weekly - - Contents -

Maybe plan to meet less of­ten, and even sug­gest get­ting coun­selling to­gether

As some­one who has been a so­cial worker, mother, wife and di­vorcee I feel I have been around the block – and back – a few times. I’m hum­bled to an­swer your ques­tions and pas­sion­ately feel that if a prob­lem can be shared it can be halved -– at the very least.

From Com­fort­ing To Bick­er­ing

Q I’ve fallen out with my sis­ter and it’s all my fault. Since we both lost our hus­bands last year, we’ve eaten our evening meal to­gether. We cook night about and al­ter­nate be­tween our houses. But re­cently we’ve started bick­er­ing like an old mar­ried cou­ple. I snapped at her last week when she asked me (for the 100th time!) when I was go­ing to clear out my late hus­band’s clothes, and I told her she was a nag. We’re not speak­ing. How can I make things right? A This is a dif­fi­cult time for both of you. It’s ad­mirable that you are there for each other and are help­ing each other through these times.

It’s no sur­prise that bick­er­ing can creep in when you are both deal­ing with loss, anger and ad­just­ment. Re­mem­ber – griev­ing fully takes at least two years so you are both in a place of tur­moil. I hope you can feel OK about the fact that you both snap at times. Who wouldn’t?

How­ever it’s clear you don’t want bad feel­ing to fes­ter, which shows you are a per­son of warmth and in­tegrity. You need to break the ice with her.

In­vite her over for cof­fee – at a dif­fer­ent time of day from your pre­vi­ous rou­tine. Tell her that she is very dear to you, as you hope you are to her. Ex­plain how you are not quite your­self yet and ex­plain how griev­ing is af­fect­ing you.

Maybe plan to meet less of­ten – twice a week in­stead of daily as you need time to sort out your feel­ings. Hope­fully she’ll un­der­stand as she is go­ing through the same process, but every­one’s pat­tern is dif­fer­ent.

You could even sug­gest get­ting coun­selling to­gether. WWW.CRUSE.ORG.UK spe­cialise in be­reave­ment care.

Sis­ters are im­por­tant con­stants in our lives and you need to be there for each other if you can.

I feel our fall-out is my fault

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