A reader says “The ‘Why’ Haunts Me”

  • March 4, 2024
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My sister, (11 months/2 weeks older than I at 70,) has not spoken to me in over 2 years. Growing up we were not particularly close as she was an overachiever and I grew up in her shadow; but we always communicated through the years and she was active in my life especially after I had my children. She had a good relationship with my daughter. However, when it became apparent that my sister was imposing her views, her ideals on my daughter, she broke ties with my sister. My daughter felt bullied and belittled by her aunt. She was widowed suddenly in 2011, and moved out of NYC to Philadelphia 2 years after Bill’s death. During the pandemic we regularly ZOOMED which, along with her dog, helped her stave off the loneliness. We differed on political issues but were respectful and tolerant of each other…I thought. She helped my son get out of debt, ($40,000 gift which she claimed she would also bestow on my daughter who has yet to see that gift,) and has never spoken to my son again although he was very grateful and attempted to maintain a relationship with his aunt…to no avail. About 2-3 months after a ZOOM call, I had not heard from her so I called. This is what she said to me, “I don’t want to have anything to do with you…your children…or our cousins.” When I asked, “Why?!” she responded, “You figure it out.” Since then, I have struggled to reconcile this situation, asking myself how she can travel the world and have relationships with others and not have an anchor in her own family, not have a connection, roots in the fabric of our family. The “why” absolutely devastated me for many, many months…I am still not reconciled to this rejection. I have tried, through prayer, meditation and my 12 step program to accept and move beyond this estrangement but I long to connect with someone who can also reminisce about our upbringing with our loving, progressive immigrant parents. How can I accept this and let go of the longing for answers…the “why?”


From Fern: I have attached a blog post about this topic.

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