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Sister committed suicide, nephew terminal illness diagnosis and 6 months postpartum

Community Member

Hi everyone,

This is my first time posting and I am not sure where to start or even if it should be in this forum or in parenting. 2016 has been a year from hell for me... I had my first child in March, with a very traumatic late stages of pregnancy then a traumatic labour and delivery where both she and I were at risk, but in the end both came through OK.

My husband and I then muddled through the newborn stage, as you do and fast forward to June when my bub is 3 months old and we found out that my nephew has been diagnosed with severe Duchane Muscular Dystrophy. So we now know that he is unlikely to live past his mid twenties and will end up being a full quadraplegic before then. I have been focusing on trying to be there for my brother and his wife - Not to mention my 4 year old nephew...

Soon afterwards my daughter became unwell, we had no idea why but in the end needed surgery - which had to occur whilst my husband was overseas so my step-dad came to help us during that time as she recovered.

My husband was back in the country for three days when the unmentionable happened and my big sister committed suicide... I had to support my entire family through the time, arrange the entire funeral, support her young children and husband, write the eulogy and try to hold everyone together whilst my bub was still recovering herself.

At the funeral, my biological father and step-mother caused a massive scene and to cut a long story short - We have now fallen out and I will never speak to them again... So I feel as if I am also grieving any possible relationship with my father...

I then became unwell - landed myself in hospital, had to suddenly stop breastfeeding in order to recover and returned to work 3 weeks ago.

I was thrilled to go back to work, as a bit of an escape - but then I found out this week that a promotion I should have automatically be appointed to, I am not even being given an interview - presumably because I just had a baby.

It has been the final straw and I now am officially not coping. I am booked in to see the GP later in the week to discuss post-natal depression but I don't even know if it is depression or just my whole world crashing down around me. I don't know how to grieve - to actually try to deal with my emotions. At the moment I am just focussing on keeping on going... Has anyone else had everything pile up like this? I just want to know that one day life will eventually return to normal and maybe one day I can feel better...

2 Replies 2

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Leela,

The great juggling act. It takes its toll.

I know your situation. My brother passed away the same as your sister (1979). My mother was the chief Griever because "l am the mother". Dad grieved away in silence and I attended the coroners hearing and like you, kept the family together and postponed my own grief.

We breakdown when stress becomes too much. The remedy ,start with learning to a, deligating tasks and b, being selfish to self preserve.

Write a priority list of your life. Of course mental health is number one...your mental health!!. If others need emotional support etc they will need to seek out some grief therapy. Tell them nicely, you are not a grief counsellor.

Then, your baby, partner. Income and so on.

The risk you face is likely far more serious than you think. Mental breakdown leads to serious medical help. Then, one lives ones life constantly seeking ways to avoid stress, the GP psych run around, medication and possibly like me...never being able to work again or do other things I once found easy to do.

Tony WK

Community Member

Hi Leela,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for expressing your concerns.

First of all, Im sorry for your loss of your dear sister, it's terrible feeling losing a loved one. I feel sorry for your nephew with his condition.

Congratulations on the birth of your bub, I hope she can recover and be a healthy child.

I'm disgusted on your fathers attitude and mother in law, I don't blame you for cutting them off, it's disrespectful creating a scene at a funeral, it's suppose to be a time for grieving and honoring the person who died.

Sorry to hear about how you were treated at work, try and be strong for your husband and bub, they love you and need and your poor little nieces/nephews. You have a right to be a mum, so don't allow people to treat you bad.

I agree with Tony, you need to seek professional help to help you cope and properly grieve for your sister.

My baby sister died 26 years ago, it can be terrible losing someone you love dearly.

Time will help you if you look after Leela first, than you can be there for bub, your hubby and others.

I had some issues last year that caused great anxiety and grieve, different to your situation, but time does help me to cope with things and support, like a good counsellor and trying to cope day by day. Last year, I split up with my GF, who lived overseas, I had quit my job to go to her, I returned broken hearted and tried to get comfort from my mother who now had bipolar and bad paranoia, that didn't help me. I sought out a counsellor, good doctor and stable minded supportive relatives and friends who have helped cope.

I hope my message helps, despite experiencing different trials.

Please seek help and don't allow negative people to upset your life, bubs and your hubby.

Take Care