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