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‘My Sister Killed My Fiance & My Family Wants Me To Forgive Her’ — Woman Seeks Advice On Overcoming Anger

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Woman looking into camera

A conflicted woman came to Slate’s “Dear Prudence” advice column to ask for advice on forgiving their younger sister.

“Dear Prudence” is Slate’s advice section in which someone will answer readers’ questions about anything from relationships to home to work and more.

A user, who uses the name “Chasing Forgiveness,” wanted advice on how to forgive her sister after she killed her fiance in a drunk driving accident.

The night after she got engaged, her sister killed her fiance in a drunk driving accident.

“I don’t know why he let her drive, or why he was in her car, and I don’t know where they were going—my sister doesn’t remember—all I know for certain is that when I woke up the next morning he was dead,” she wrote.

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It happened about ten years ago and later caused conflict between her and her sister.

The whole situation was messy—her sister was hurt in the accident, she was in legal trouble, and even though she was angry and her parents understood why they couldn’t exactly leave her to fend for herself—she wouldn’t want them to, but there were also times when she did.

Her family really wants her and her sister to make amends.

They’ve pointed out that her life is “significantly better” than her sister’s; she’s married, has a good job, and has a house full of foster kids, while her sister has and continues to struggle.

She knows that her parents are implying that her sister has suffered enough, but the way it comes out makes it sound like “they think it was a good thing [her] fiance died.”

“I would like to forgive her. She was my little sister, and we were so close until this happened. Every year I think that this year I will be able to look at her without feeling sick, but I just can’t,” she continues.

Now, she wants to learn how to forgive.

“How can you forgive someone for something they don’t remember? Over an incident they view as having victimized them too?” These are the questions she asks herself today.

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Having been through therapy, she’s learned to move on with her life, let go, and embrace her wife and kids. But things become complicated when her sister is involved.

“Tolerance is about all I can manage. But I want so much to just hug her again and mean it.”

Prudence gets stuck on one thing. What has her sister done to ask for or earn forgiveness?

Her family has asked a lot from her. They’re asking her to move on and change her heart, but the whole thing sounds heavily reliant on “Chasing Forgiveness.”

They write, “Our emotions move at their own speeds and some things we never get over. You’ve gone through therapy and expressed a desire to have your sister back in your life. But sometimes that’s not enough and we have to accept that.”

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However, it can be more difficult to forgive or move on if the other person isn’t putting in effort on their side.

Yes, she doesn’t recall the incident, but there is still a tear in their relationship that requires her sister’s attention. Just because a person has suffered, it doesn’t mean that they’ve made amends.

If “Chasing Forgiveness” wants to be proactive, she can have a conversation with her sister and express that she wants to clear the air and forgive her, which may prompt her to ask, “Well, what do you want me to do?”

It might be challenging to answer, “[b]ut an apology is a good start, especially if she can acknowledge, specifically, how you were harmed.”

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Ashley Darkwa-Anto is a writer at YourTango who covers News & Entertainment.