My sister, who shut me out for no reason
Growing up, you were always the sister I looked up to. You taught me kindness and forgiveness, curiosity and the right to question everything. You were my closest big sister, a surrogate mother of sorts. We all escaped the trauma of our childhood as soon as we could and, even though we moved to different countries for a time, I relished our frequent phone calls that comfortably rambled on for hours.
When you married and had your first child, I was the first one you showed the ultrasound to. I was the first of our family to hold my tiny niece, the one you trusted to mind this little person when you and your husband escaped for a few hours or, occasionally, overnight. I loved this little girl fiercely, and she loved me back. I taught her to dance uninhibited, to feed imaginary drinks to her toys, and helped her to overcome her shyness.
When her little brother came along, I minded your first-born and brought her in to meet her new brother in hospital. My niece and nephew visibly delighted in my company, and I in theirs. I spoiled them, taught them about nature, read to them, made them pancakes on Sunday mornings, giggled uncontrollably with them, cuddled them, and loved them both. I was a good thing in their lives.
So why did you shut me out? Why did you slowly cut off all contact in recent years, not tell me when you were bringing them to visit Dad, come up with excuses when I offered to have them over to stay? Why did you pretend not to hear me calling your name when we happened to pass each other while visiting Dad in hospital? If it weren’t for your children squealing my name in excitement, you would have kept walking.
You broke my heart. I don’t miss you any more; you have hurt me too much. But I miss my wonderful niece and nephew
Whatever it is I have done, I wish you would tell me. But I fear that I have done nothing, and that you merely wish to cut me out of your life so you don’t have to deal with your past any more. Do you remember how hurt you would be when Mum sniffed when you walked into the room? Do you realise you do that to me now?
You broke my heart and I have cried and cried and cried over your coldness and exclusion. It has taken me years of work to get over the sometimes physical pain of that loss. It was a difficult road that opened old wounds but I took it. And I am stronger for it.
I don’t miss you any more; you have hurt me too much. But I still miss my wonderful nephew and niece and I know they miss me. I hope, in years to come, they seek me out and we can build a relationship. I hope I gave them very happy memories. And I hope that you have a valid explanation for them as to why you cut me out of their lives so unnecessarily.