I’m Responsible for My Sister’s Death

13 February, 2020
Q Assalamualaikum, I hope you are doing well. My sister was sick for 10 years. She suffered from brain cancer and then was in a wheel chair for 10 years.

She suffered a lot. She died 3 years ago, she caught a virus from me. Basically I am responsible for my sister's death.

She was only 18 when she died. I feel guilty.

I want to kill myself all the time. My parents are devastated. I want to know why did she suffer?

She didn't even do any thing wrong as she got sick quite young. She never hurt anyone. Why did she suffer so much?

How am I supposed to go on knowing what I did? My parents hate me. What am I supposed to do?

Thankyou. I appreciate any advice you can give me.


In this counseling answer:

It may seem as though your sister died because she caught a virus from you – but the reality is that it was her time (which was predestined by Allah SWT), for her to leave this world.

Seek professional help.

Acknowledge the fact that you are a living human being with your own needs, wants and desires. Instead of dismissing them, find what activities make you feel better about yourself.

Connect with Allah.

Assalamu Alaikum Sister,

Your post makes my heart reach out to you, for the pain you are going through. It feels as though you are crushed and devastated by your sister’s death.

Her pain which you had to witness, for years before her departure was immense and had a profound effect on you and your parents.

It is not easy to deal with grief which comes from the death of a loved one. From your post, it is evident that you blame yourself for your sister’s death.

From your post, I can also tell that your parents are going through a difficult time, and are not able to give you the attention and love that you deserve, and therefore you feel as though they hate you for being the cause of your sister’s death.

Life And Death is Decided By Allah SWT’s Will

In the Quran, Allah SWT says,

“We all belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.”  [2:156]

In another place He says,

’[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving –’ [67:2]

Sister, death is a reality of life that none of us can deny. Every soul that comes into this world has to go back to Allah SWT.

The nature of death can vary from person to person  – some people have a natural death, some die because of an illness, some die in accidents, and others fight life for years in coma or paralysis before they die. But death is the ultimate reality of life.

I’m Responsible for My Sister’s Death - About Islam

Allah SWT says to His Believers,

“O My People! The life of this world is only temporary enjoyment, while the abode of hereafter is everlasting”  [40:39]

Therefore, it is important to understand that death can take on any face. It may seem as though your sister died because she caught a virus from you – but the reality is that it was her time (which was predestined by Allah SWT), for her to leave this world.

Nothing you did or did not do, could have saved her.

It’s also the same for your parents – that no matter what they did or did not do – they could not save their daughter, because eventually we as human being are mortal, who are helpless in the face of Allah SWT’s will and decisions.

On the other hand, the Quran also says that,

’Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” [2:286]

This Life Is A Test

“Do the people think that they will be left alone on saying “we believe,” and they will not be tested? We did test those who have gone before them. Allah has to see who are the truthful and who are the liars “  [29:2-3]

Sister, life in this world in solely a Test by Allah SWT – Allah SWT tests all His Believers – it does not mean that your sister or your parents, or you have done anything wrong to deserve this pain.

Allah SWT tested people before us – He tested even the prophets. Hazrat Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him was His dearest Prophet – yet he tested him in various ways, including the death of his offspring; and it was a source of great pain for prophet Muhammad SAW but he accepted it as the Will of Allah.

Allah SWT tests His believers in different ways, for some people there are physical ailments and medical conditions, for some it is lack of financial resources, for yet others it is a test about their offspring – and whoever remain rightful and beleives in Allah SWT, is promised a high reward in the HereAfter.

As Allah SWT says,

“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” [2:155]

The Cycle Of Grief

As part of making meaning for our loss, we go through an emotional grief cycle. There are 7 stages of grief namely. 1. Shock and denial 2. Pain and guilt 3. Anger and bargaining  4. Depression, reflection and loneliness  5. The upward turn 6. Reconstruction and working through 7. Acceptance and hope.

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There is not a definite timeline for grieving – for some people coming out from the loss takes longer and it is perfectly okay! However, being aware of the process and knowing which stage of the grief cycle you are in can help you in being more acceptable of your feelings and emotions.

It is important to know that once you you have grieved for your sister, at your pace – you will begin to find hope and meaning in your life.

Seek Professional Help

I would highly recommend that you and your parents go for professional counseling and therapy since what you have gone through is huge and painful. Counseling will help you and your family to find your way back into perspective.

Indulge Yourself in Things That Make You Feel Good And Alive

It is very easy to be pulled into negativity and depression, especially when everyone around you is also going through a difficult phase.

However, I want to assure you, that as a human being you have a right to your life – no matter what. Instead of feeling guilty and responsible for you sister’s death; or your parents unhappiness. Acknowledge the fact that you are a living human being with your own needs, wants and desires. Instead of dismissing them, find what activities make you feel better about yourself.

Try out different hobbies, like writing, painting, or other expressive arts. You may also find peace and solace in helping out other people in some way, but that is only if you feel up to it.

Build Your Connection With Allah SWT

Last but not least – it is essential to form a bond with Allah SWT. It will give you a sense of peace and holding. Allah SWT loves His Believers more than 70 mothers.

I understand, that because of their pain – your parents are emotionally unavailable to you. A strong relationship with Allah SWT and the belief that He is with you in this difficult phase – will help you move forward in life.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

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My Brother Died Suddenly; I Feel Heartbroken

What Is the Islamic Way of Mourning the Dead?