So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

On days like this, I sit outside in my backyard and beg nature to soothe my wounded soul. Yet another incident will drive a wedge even further between me and my brother.

Addiction has ravaged our family to the point that clear boundaries are necessary for safety and emotional survival. And stubborn, vengeful pride constructs the walls that will not allow help or reason or the peaceful get-togethers of times past.

RELATED: Cherish Your Siblings if You’re Lucky Enough to Have Them

I have seen it over the years from all kinds of families, the heartache that happens when adult siblings stop speaking. It all commonly falls apart when a loved one passes away. The gloves come off, the peace-keeping stops, and forgiveness seems to be an impossible task for all involved. Little hurts added up along the way seem to turn into sticks of dynamite that fire on all cylinders when held to the flame. 

It’s easy to judge from the outside looking in, but quite another task when it happens in your own family.

How did it get here? When did it all start? Did we all do things we’re not proud of?

There is much to be said for standing your ground and speaking up for what you believe to be right or wrong, but the emotional fallout from losing a sibling in adulthood comes with a long, slow, drawn-out cost.

You share a household and an important background with your siblings, which gives them great insight into who you are. It lends to a great understanding of what makes someone tick but also arms them with the worst possible things to do or say to throw daggers straight into your heart.

You can pray for God to change them, you can pray to God to change you, you can do everything in your power to protect the parents and children caught in the middle, but no matter how your pain comes out as your chosen reaction, in the end, it just plain hurts to lose that relationship. In many cases, it turns into a petty, pride-filled, tug-of-war rejection game.

RELATED: The Truth is Not All Siblings Grow Up To Be Friends

You try to shy away from it, but can’t help but remember the innocent times growing up before you knew anything about complicated adult relationships. You remember when things were less stressful, you remember popsicles next to blue plastic pools in the yard, riding bikes, rides at the state fair, skating parties, and trips to Grandma’s.

You existed together and shared things you didn’t share with anyone else. 

You had the same jumping-off point.

You grew up within the same walls but developed your own views and ways of life, which can turn out to be vastly different. Your own experiences guided you to the place you’re in now and set the tone for how you raise your own family. It’s understandable that different views might clash, and no one likes to be judged on those points.

Though I’ve drawn my own crystal-clear boundaries, I find myself mourning an incredible loss. How profound it must be when one gets to their deathbed, what are their biggest regrets? It rarely has to do with money or fame or a job, but all of the time that could have been spent with family.

I get to see my nephews in tag-team visiting scenarios and staggered birthday gift dropoff visits, but it is not the same. Won’t we wish we could get this time back? How do we work toward healing without feeling like doormats?

RELATED: Love Your Siblings and Other Advice For My Grown Children

My son overheard a conversation about all this recently, and I explained it to him with the first thing that came to mind. With siblings, it’s a lot like when you’re little and you might fight with your brother over a toy.

Without question, you always love each other at your core, but sometimes you get mad at each other and need to separate for a while.  

I wish I had advice or an easy solution for healing, but I don’t. All I can do right now is refuse to participate in toxic energy that continues to fuel the fire, hold my ground on what I’ll allow my children to see, and still make an effort toward the innocent loved ones who surround the situation. It’s not an easy balance.

But maybe the first step is taking the time to sit alone outside with God to try and heal the soul. Taking the time to set aside pride long enough to mourn and acknowledge the heartache and family fallout that takes place when adult siblings stop speaking to each other.

Audra Rogers

Audra Rogers was a news photojournalist in her former life, but stopped to smell the roses by moving back to raise her family in the same small town where she grew up. You can read more about what Audra's up to on her blog

A Mother/Daughter Bond Should Be Unbreakable, but Sometimes It Isn’t

In: Grown Children, Living
Frowning woman holding phone

It’s OK to grieve your absent parents while they’re still alive. I see so many articles or well-meaning posts from people who had beautiful relationships with their parents and are now grieving their loss. It’s amazing to read about such incredible parent-child relationships, but it also usually comes with guilt for me. “Call your mom, I wish I still could.” Yeah, me too, I want to say. I stare at my phone, my finger hovering over her name, and sigh. I let the screen go black instead. My birth mother is alive and well but I chose to end my...

Keep Reading

Your Son Won’t Care About Decorating His Dorm Room

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
College boy in dorm room

  ‘Tis the season for dorms for those of us whose children are in college. You may be designing, planning, and buying dorm essentials because the decorating has begun; physically or mentally, it’s happening. And here’s what I’ve learned: boys don’t care. That’s right, boys don’t care what their rooms look like. OK, that may be a bit of an overstatement, but trust me, it’s not that far off the mark. Last year, I remember scrolling through my newsfeeds admiring my friends’ daughters’ room pictures. Everything was color coordinated, and I mean EVERYTHING–even the Command hooks stringing up the fairy...

Keep Reading

We’re Learning to Be Just the Two of Us (And It’s Fun!)

In: Grown Children, Marriage, Motherhood
Couple cooking in kitchen

My husband and I have been married for 23 years and we have never spontaneously gone four hours away to anything, much less a concert.  When we got married, we both brought daughters into the marriage, and three years later, we had a son. We were a family of five. In our 23 years of marriage, it had never been just the two of us. There were always ballgames, concerts, school awards, etc that kept us busy and split between two places if not three. After the girls both left the house for college, we still had our son. While...

Keep Reading

Mothering a Little Boy Seems Like it Will Go On Forever—Until it Doesn’t

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother with two grown sons

I walked with a determined gait through the airport doors after I hugged my adult son goodbye. My tenacious walk was designed to communicate to him that I still had a purpose in life apart from being his mother. It was the same walk I had adopted when I left him at the preschool gate some 23 years earlier, at his university campus, and more recently, after his wedding.  The same stoic, and yet if I’m brutally honest, somewhat fake walk.  I reached airport security and slung my carry-on bag onto the escalator in one swift motion in case he...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, You Still Amaze Me

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Mother and grown daughter, color photo

I don’t know how she did it. My mother excelled at motherhood. It was as if she attended a university renowned for its studies in being a mom, and she graduated at the top of her class.  Growing up, our family had homemade meals six days of the week (Friday was either pizza or sandwich night) and there was always a fresh vegetable. Nothing ever came out of a can or a box, including our drinks, which were iced tea from steeped tea bags and hand-squeezed lemonade with a few drops of blue food coloring because pink lemonade was so...

Keep Reading

Walking Mother Home

In: Grown Children
Elderly woman holds hands with daughter

I call my sister for another update on Mom. Last week had been my week to help out. Our mother lives in her own home in Battle Ground, Washington on the property she and my father bought together—their personal version of the American dream. My sister Kari and her son Dane live with her and provide most of her care since her stroke several months ago. My sister took intermittent FMLA (Family Medical Leave of Absence) and was able to decrease her work hours, but her leave is running out. My nephew took a reduction in hours from his job delivering...

Keep Reading

Where Is the Instruction Manual for Parenting Grown Children?

In: Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Two teen boys dressed in suits, color photo

You know what’s really hard? Parenting. You know what’s even harder? Parenting a child who isn’t a child anymore. My husband and I have leveled up.  High school graduation has been a major event in our house for the last two years. It’s an exciting time and a great chance to celebrate the accomplishments of each of our boys individually.  That being said, this level isn’t something you can mentally prepare for. It’s just so much. So much of everything. Exhausting. Gut-wrenching. Exciting. Confusing. Rewarding. Bittersweet.  My son graduated last year, and my bonus son graduated this year. I’m equally proud...

Keep Reading

A Painting from Heaven by Way of St. Louis

In: Grown Children, Living
Woman standing next to painting, color photo

The very first piece I ever wrote for Her View From Home was posted on the website June 14, 2018. It dealt with losing my mother little by little to the ravages of dementia and how happy we all were to have the bonus time with her—sharing her enjoyment with old movies, a purple sunset, her high school yearbooks, and all of the new friends she made in the memory ward of a wonderful senior living facility. We were so blessed to have her remember all of us as her other memories began to fade, and we spent as much time...

Keep Reading

Good Dads Make Great Grandpas

In: Grown Children, Living
Grandpa walking with two grandsons, color photo

This is not only written for my dad, but for all the dads out there who aren’t the typical, everyday dads. The hands-on dad, the dad who goes on bike rides, the dad who watches his grandbabies. The dad who creates a legacy whether he realizes it or not. The world needs more of you.  It’s not every day you get a dad who enters a diaper changing contest and comes in second place. Yes, that happened to my dad. He would take me up to the local mall to walk around and one of the stores was holding a...

Keep Reading

The Kids are Grown—Now What?

In: Grown Children, Motherhood
Middle aged couple at home smiling

Between video chats with our son stationed overseas, our daughter flits in and out our door from college while the shoe jungle by the front door and lack of peanut butter in the house are proof our youngest adult son is still under our roof.  Our kids are now independent—almost. Gone are the days of diapers, endless food preparations, naps (well, not for me), and announcing everyone’s daily schedule like a calendar drill sergeant. After years of simultaneously spinning multiple plates on various body parts, we managed—by God’s grace—to raise three kids to adulthood. We made it! (High five!) We...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.