What stage of grief is this?

I suddenly lost my big sister in November 2019, she was “ill” all her life, I was often asked “did I expect it?” After she passed. No, my sister overcome everything, she was superhuman to me, my hero. She was one of the happiest people you could ever meet, kind and funny. Losing her threw my world into chaos, I have never felt such a range of unexplainable emotions, it has changed me as a person, for the better and for the worse.

Immediately it became clear I needed to look after my mum, dad and her 12 year old daughter, this massively delayed my grief. I also had to navigate a new relationship with my older brother who had not been a part of my life as much as her, this felt very forced by him and I felt uncomforable for a long time for many reasons. I have very much gone through the anger, denial, acceptance phases. However, to the eye I am now a business owner/veterinary nurse with a few good friends that looks after her family as best as she can and has a new blossoming relationship with her brother… inwardly I’m surviving, my anxiety is through the roof, as much as I accept my sister is not here anymore how can I ever accept the gap she has left could ever be filled?
I can laugh and talk about good memories without bawling but how can they be all I have? No more to be made?

This feels like a hellish stage of grief, I’m trapped between acceptance of the event and the reality of there can never be more, my first friend, what should have been one of the longest relationships of my life, gone.

I thought i had eventually done some good work to navigate my grief, it turns out its never over, the ugly little monster will always rear its head.

Hello @Ejm91 ,

I’m part of the Online Community team and I can see that you are new to the community - I’d like to thank you for bravely starting this thread and sharing how you are feeling like you are struggling to navigate through your grief. I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. Most community members have sadly experienced the death of a loved one and so will understand some of what you are going through.

I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I wanted to share a few Sue Ryder resources with you that might be helpful.

You might also want to have a read through this article - How long does grief last? Talks through the timeline of grief, from hours to years.

I really hope you find the community helpful and a good source of support and I also hope you feel you can access more support should you need it.

Thank you again for sharing – please keep reaching out and know that you are not alone.

Take care,


It’s sneaky isn’t it this grief. We can go in and out of the phases and stages you named in your post . I don’t think there is a finishing . We revisit these stages at various times . It might be that in a particular area you may need to walk through it once again in case something has not been fully completed , talked through , re-experienced in the light of where you are now in your life.

Hi @Ejm91
Sorry to hear your struggling so much with your grief :pensive:. It sounds like your trying to juggle & cope with so much in your life, what I call “the swan technique”, looking calm & happy on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath. Your sister was no doubt a big part of your life, & it’s understandable you feel a mix of emotions to the changes in your life. It’s good you have friends to be supportive of you, but look after yourself, & take time for yourself when you need it. Sending hugs of support

Grief is no longer considered as linear, with different stages. Instead, you oscillate between loss and restoration. We’re all riding these waves.