I am sorry about your nephew's death. You may find it helpful to talk with a counsellor or psychologist in your area who specialises in grief and bereavement.
As well as helping you with your experience of the loss of your nephew, they can perhaps provide you with some insight into how your sister may be responding and why.
I guess moving forward with your sister feels difficult in light of the 5 year “silent treatment”. One way to approach this would be to tell her exactly what you've told us: “I don't know if you'll accept this coming from me, but I want you to know that i love you and am sorry you lost your son. Please let me know if I can do anything for you. I'd really like to put the past behind us. You're too important to me for me to hold on to old grudges.” Something like that - you will find your own words, but can you see what I'm trying to express? It's about you loving your sister and feeling sorrow for what she is going through.
Perhaps your feelings towards your sister are mixed - like anger over past resentments combined with the empathy I'm talking about? She may be feeling something similar and in that case, the first response you receive may be an angry one “You don't understand! Stop pretending you care just to make yourself feel good.” In that case you will need to practise patience and stick to your message of love and compassion.
This is easier if you have been practising it with yourself. I'm specifically referring to the need to forgive yourself for blocking your sister out and also to forgiving her for whatever prompted that behaviour. When you forgive her, you will free yourself. But those are just words, so don't take my word for it. Do it and see if that is what happens. What do you have to lose that you haven't lost already?
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