Miss your big brother or baby sister? Have they moved to another country and you have lost touch with your sibling? Siblings moving away from home could be a stressful time, even if you were not the best of pals growing up. You're going to miss certain aspects of their personality or even just their presence at home. Try a few of these steps to close make the distance seem closer.
Harsh, but the first step would indeed be faking it. Chances are your sibling, whether younger or older to you, is probably feeling their share of anxiousness as they move to an unknown city or away from the comforts of home and familiar faces. So for their sake, pretend like it's not a big deal. Help them see how exciting their new journey is going to be and focus on the positive side of things. Try to mask your feelings for a bit, so you can let them go with a smiling face. This will boost their spirits too.
Share and care
Don't wait for something to 'happen' to give them a call or send them a text, do it anyway. Even if you have to simply send them a picture of how messy your room is now, do it. Share your day with them like you would normally do. Share news or pictures of things of common interest. This will help bridge the gap and make you feel like nothing's changed. Message them the same way you would message your friend group on WhatsApp, even if it’s just forwarding random pictures or jokes and memes during the day.
Who doesn't like to receive a parcel from home? Send them goodies. You don't have to spend a bundle on items which cost a fortune in shipping charges, just send them something you know they could connect to. It could be their favourite local brand of biscuits, a scented candle that reminds them of home or something you picked up at the local market. The idea behind the gift should be thoughtful rather than extravagant. If they're moving to study abroad or are going to be amongst strangers, maybe send something they could share with others too.
Be happy for them
If you're constantly crying over the phone about not being in each other's presence, think about it this way, your sibling has moved to make a better life for themselves. Be happy for their success rather than sad for their absence. Make sure they know you are happy and proud of their accomplishments. They should not have to worry about how you're feeling all the time and instead feel confident they have a strong family who supports their decisions.
Thanks to technology, the world has become a much smaller place. No longer is one separated by distance. A simple call can connect two people living in different sides of the world. Use mediums like Skype and Facetime to talk to each other face to face. Show them familiar settings or if you live away too, show them aspects of your life they are unfamiliar about.
Closer than ever
There is a chance that when your sibling moves out you would begin to share a lot more with them. The fact that they are no longer in your space will make you miss their presence, making spending time with them over the phone even more special. Think about it, when you we're living under the same roof, when we're you that excited about talking to each other. But now, sharing ideas, photos and silly stories can be fun.
The guilt trip
Sometimes, the green eyed monster might creep in and we could get jealous of our siblings and the fact that they have spread their wings. When a younger sibling moves out, you feel you should have had your chance first. Or vice versa, when an elder sibling moves out, you might feel the burden of family members has come onto you.
Do not guilt them into staying or be jealous of their progress. If you are already living away, do not get them to believe it is their responsibility to take care of family members. Everyone has the right to live their life as per their rules so especially if you're family, support and care for each other rather than be envious or bring the other down for their accomplishments.
Family is as close as you want them to be. Sometimes, a family living in the same house may hardly speak to each other. So you get to decide how dear to your heart you want your family to be. Distance on the other hand, plays a very tiny role.
- Sanobar Mistry is a published journalist and currently a teacher in Dubai.