“My sister is going through a very difficult time in her life with her daughter who is suffering with depression and her son who has a fatal disease. She is usually a very strong character (type A personality). What kind of support or resources can I give her? We just lost our mom and I feel that she may be suffering with depression as well. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks.” ~ Pauline, Canada
I am so sorry that your sister is in the midst of so much grief in her life right now. I’m sure she feels very vulnerable, even though she is of strong character. Life doesn’t always seem fair with the cards it sometimes deals us.
Anyway, I know you know this, but as her sister, if you could be her backbone right now, helping to keep her strong, but also being there when she lapses into emotional states. By being patient and nurturing while standing strong beside her, she will know that she doesn’t have to handle it alone.
Find a local support group that deals with depression and grief. Go with her to the meetings (since you both lost your mom, it might benefit you also). Perhaps, one-on-one therapy would also be good where she could talk to someone specializing in cases of depression and grief. If there are appointments that she needs to tend to for her children, such as doctor appointments, perhaps you can go with her, again providing her the emotional support she may need.
Do you have any family activities you all could do that would be uplifting, if even for a brief moment…? Something like roller skating or bowling or going to a movie or simply a stroll out in nature. Anything that would be good for the soul and not compromise her son’s health.
Lastly, have faith that all will work out. We don’t always understand what God has in store for us, but if we have faith and trust in the Higher Power, it makes our life journey a bit easier, even in the face of trauma.
Pauline, again I truly feel for you and your sister. I know what it is like when tragedy strikes and you have to figure out how to cope with life-altering experiences.