October 07, 2003


Ok, I have a question. Maybe you guys can help.

As most of you know, my sister was killed in April. I no longer have a problem discussing it with people, although I still do not enjoy talking at length about it. This is important for you to know because it may help explain my confusion.

Today in Inklings the professor asked the class if anyone had any siblings. Almost everyone in the class raised their hand to say they did. I started to raise my hand, but then I thought, "Wait a second, I had a sister, but now she is deceased," and sort of left my hand half-raised with a look of confusion on my face. A second later everyone put their hands back down and the class moved on with the professor. I put the confusion out of my mind and followed along with the discussion.

The question about whether or not someone has any siblings has never been a problem for me to ask or (until April) answer. I've never thought about asking that to someone who had a sibling who passed away, and I'm sure that possibility doesn't occur in the minds of most people.

So, how do I answer this question now? In a normal conversation (i.e., I am talking with someone who simply doesn't know), I would probably answer, "I used to have a sister, but she is deceased." (Or something along those lines.) However, if I'm not in a conversation where I can answer the person asking directly, what do I do? It feels wrong to say that I do have a sibling but so does saying that I don't have one. Since I did have a sister I can relate to the experience the speaker may be trying to relate, and I am also fairly certain that they wouldn't need to know that personal information. Saying that my sister is dead would probably also distract them from their main point. I understand this.

The only problem is it feels wrong to simply imply "Yes, I have a sibling," nod, and continue with whatever we were conversing. It feels as if I am disrespecting my memory of her by not saying anything.

Posted by Randy at October 7, 2003 01:51 AM