What to do when you feel abandoned by an older sibling

kittycat asks: My sister got a not so great job in London and she’s not coming for summer holidays, and I’m real sad. She knows I want her here. I am happy for her, but I’m angry at her and I’m feeling blue. Could you please tell me the right thing to do, and how to get a grip on myself. I’ve been crying my eyes out!!!

Hi kittycat –



So as I see it, what you’re really asking is:  How do I deal with the fact that my sister isn’t going to be here for me this summer?


You know, most of the letters I get about siblings are complaints – someone hates their baby brother, someone’s getting beaten up by their sister, the other kid tells on them, etc.  So while of course I see you’re in pain, I have to say, it’s kind of nice to see a letter from someone who wants and needs their sibling.


Life is change, kittycat.  We so often wish it weren’t.  Children want summer vacation to last forever, teens want a good date to last forever, young adults want their 20s to last forever, parents want their children to stay four forever, and after that, adults just want to keep their friends, family, and selves alive forever.  It’s what we want most, and it’s the thing we can never alter – change is a constant.  And your sister’s life is changing.  Just as yours is and will be.


You have every right to mourn the loss of something that meant the world to you.  You had a sister who was there, and now you don’t.  You’re right to cry.  You’re even right to be angry and blue.


But at some point, you’ll need to move on, and to accept what’s happened.  Because – and here’s the really important point, my dear friend – with every change come new possibilities!


For example, now that your sister is living in London, does that mean that, at some point, you could go VISIT her there, and stay with her?!  And experience one of the most amazing exciting cities that’s ever existed, with her?!   Maybe this also means you have a bit more power and say in your home, than you did when she was around.  But what this definitely means is that you’re one step closer to getting the kinds of experiences she’s getting yourself!


Not to sound like a boring old fogey, but the truth is, kittycat, as long as you have your health, every new day is nothing but possibilities.  I know it doesn’t seem that way, but it’s true.  So, again, I say cry your eyes out.  Let your sister know how mad you are (which is just another way of saying how much you love and need her).  But then, when you’ve calmed down, just give yourself some time to ask yourself a gigantic question…


What is great about this?  What about this will make my life BETTER?!


And when you come up with an answer to that… Live It!




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