Loss and Responsibility

i lost my sister 5 years ago to suicide, we were very close and i feel responsible for her death. were we karmically linked in some way?

thanks, a–

Hello, a–

Though we usually address romantic relationships here at Been There, Done That, I think it’s appropriate to look at other close relationships, as well; after all, relationships don’t fall into neat categories–and, if you subscribe to a belief in past lives, then the line is more blurred than ever, as the boyfriend who plagues you in this life could, for instance, have been your father in the past, or the wife you adore could’ve been a valued comrade who saved your life in the past–and those connections can go a long way toward explaining things in the present.

I’ll discuss your chart a little in a moment, a–, but one thing I can tell you without even looking at it is that you are not responsible for your sister’s choice.  If you were to see yourself as responsible, it would be saying two things: one, you would not be respecting your sister as an independent Being, with her own mind and heart, and two, that you see yourself as so powerful that you can actually make another person take their life–and no matter how much we might actually matter to someone else, we must admit that none of us possess the capacity to control another without their consent (and so, the power and choice remains with the individual, no matter what it looks like on the surface).

With Sedna exactly conjunct Chiron just inside the 1st at the Ascendant, and the Sun conjunct these, also in the 1st, you may have a difficult time seeing who you are, and how your personality interacts with and affects others; and, with a Grand Trine of Neptune, Saturn, and Mercury, you may not always think clearly or see reality for what it is, and this may play into your view of your sister, as the sibling 3rd is ruled by Mercury.

Mercury is opposed by Pluto, and this could suggest some intense karma associated with the sibling, but, you need to realize, karma is relationship, it’s connection, and negative or positive only comes into play when we want to label it. Further, you have a Neptune/ Pallas/ Vesta conjunction trine 3rd/ sibling ruler Mercury, and this suggests that you may have provided your sister with guidance, wisdom, nurture, and inspiration.

I hope you will consider that, no matter how much you love her, you cannot take responsibility for her actions, and that it is not, in fact, an act of love to carry guilt about the choices of another; it is, however, a way to stay connected with your sister, and I hope that you will see that you honor her much more if you remember the love you had for each other, and perhaps remember her by planting her favorite flower, or building a small shrine, or lighting a candle or burning incense before your favorite picture of her. Guilt will never be an adequate substitute for love–I hope you can see that, and embrace the memory of your sister with happiness, in the spirit of what the two of you shared in life.

Best wishes,


One thought on “Loss and Responsibility

  1. Aello July 30, 2009 / 10:16 pm

    Hi Julie – You have provided a sensitive, compassionate and practical response to a difficult question. Thanks for sharing it. Good luck on your journey a.

    Thank you, Aello–I appreciate that.

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