My heart is breaking

I really don’t know where to start. we were told last week that my sister is at the end of her life and we may only have weeks left with her. My heart feels like it is breaking. Whilst i am able to get on with things, tiny small things are just making me burst into tears. At the moment i am studying to be a children’s nurse and i have an assignment to do and to be honest i couldn’t care less about it, i just want to be with my sister and my family. I am trying to be strong but i want to go live in a bubble and ignore uni and my assignment. i am trying loads of different things to try and get on with everyday life so i can complete my assignment but I would appreciate any tips that people may have.

Kelly-emma, sorry to hear you’re struggling at the moment. How you’ve reacted to the news about your sister is understandable. Knowing that someone you love is coming towards the end of their life is never easy, and you shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to isolate yourself from university as a way of coping. Spending time with your sister and family, supporting each other and coming to terms with the news as best you can will naturally be more important to you at the moment.

Could you speak to someone at your university about your situation and ask for an extension? Maybe approach a tutor you have a good relationship with or speak to student services about any support they could offer.

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Kelly-Emma I’m am so sorry about your situation, I wish I could do your assignment for you. It is hard and of course you will struggle but you will also find the strength to cope with this. You need to be there with your sister and family, these times will be precious. Michelle is right speak to the university they will be able to offer you help with your assignment as well as support you. Be strong and know that we are all thinking about you.

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thank you Michelle and Lidia. My university is aware and i have mitigating circumstances handed in which has been accepted. I am trying to get the assignment done, as i feel that if i just get it done i can then fully concentrate on my sister. I have found comfort in both of your words today and I have at least written more then i did yesterday. I always thought waiting for assignment results were hard but nothing compares to this waiting game we are in now in.

Hi Kelly-Emma,

I am very sorry to hear your story and know this must be a very difficult time for you and your family.
I am so glad you have joined the community and hope that other people going through a similar experience will be able to help and support you.

We have some information on our site that you might want to look at

Whilst you are not a direct carer for your sister, I hope this is helpful.

just wanted to say thank you. I handed my assignment in yesterday so no longer have to deal with that. Still keep crying about my sister and just trying to spend as much time with her as possible. Thank you for the info Sam i have been supporting to care for my sister since i was about 16 as she has retts syndrome and cerebral palsy.

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I found that hearing the news that my husband was dying was the worst thing. I spent the first few weeks in tears, lying wailing in bed at night with pain and heartbreak, convince that I could not survive this calamity. I did so much of my grieving before he actually died four months later.

What I am saying, I suppose, is don’t assume that things will be even worse later. We’re all different, of course, but the shock of the terminal diagnosis is awful.

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Hi, Its hard for everyone around you. Some are not sure if they should say anything, some chose not to face you. I lost my Sister to Cancer. I found that hard afterwards. My sister in law and my Husband were diagnosed with in a month of each other. I spoke everything through with John, I knew his wishes on everything and he helped me come to terms with it before I actually lost him. It was only 6 months ago but as I had with his support done the grieving before his death just putting the plan into action helped me so much. I am still carrying out our plan. I lost my sister in law 1 month before my husband. Let the tears flow, tell people how you feel don’t keep it bottled up. I still ask his advice as if we were talking things through. The diagnosis is the hardest as you just want to take the grief and pain away from them and you but I will say talk and pray.

Hi Rachel,

Welcome to the Online Community - I’m so sorry that you have lost your sister, your husband and your sister-in-law to cancer.

It sounds as though it has helped you to be able to talk things through with your husband before his death, and that you’ve been able to plan an approach that is still helping you now.

Thanks for sharing your experiences and tips with other members. Talking and being open about your feelings is definitely important, and this site can be a good place to do that.

You will find other people here who understand what it is like to lose a loved one to cancer. For example, you might be interested in these posts from Libby, who also lost her husband earlier this year:

Another good source of support is the Cruse Bereavement helpline, on 0844 477 9400 or

Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.