real life

'My sister is terminally ill, and I don't know if I should visit her before the end.'

Not every sibling relationship can be all roses and sharing each other’s clothes. For some, the person society tells them they should be closest to is the one who hurts them the most.

A man who goes by the name ‘intheendidoright’ has looked to Reddit for advice after his sister, who he hasn’t seen or spoken to in almost 20 years, asked to meet with him now she’s on her death bed.

“My sister and I had a very traumatic ‘break’ in high school – I was in the 9th grade and she was in the 12th grade for the second time. She was troubled – we came from a great family but circumstances outside of our family caused my sister to be among the most vile people roaming this earth…” the 34-year-old began.

“She set me up on the first week of 9th grade saying I had said something about a popular kid… unbeknownst to me, he was waiting and attacked me from behind. I probably would have died had it not been for a traffic cop who happened to drive by. I wound-up in the hospital and he wound-up being charged with a crime. My sister was discovered to have orchestrated the attack. Was she charged? Nope.”

Image: Getty.

After the attack which left intheendidoright with a limp for a year, his sister, now 39, was forced out of the family home and went on to abuse drugs and alcohol. After not speaking to her since 1999, the man discovered his sister has succumbed to health issues and now only has months to live, and has requested to see him in person.

"My sister was a vile, mean-spirited, vicious person; her organising my beating was the culmination of YEARS of torment and I still resent her for things. On the other hand, maybe she's changed? Maybe she's a different person? I feel like if I don't go, I'll never know," intheendidoright wrote.

"I feel like crap, but I'm conflicted. So... What would YOU do?"

The response was mixed. Rightfully, some cautioned the man to think about what would happen to him emotionally if his sister did not want to apologise for her behaviours all those years ago.


"I would just say that if you choose to go, don't expect her to have changed or to be a different person and don't expect to get any closure. In your memory, she'll likely always be the person who helped organise somebody to beat you to death," one user advised.

Another said: "You are under no obligation at all to go. But before you decide, think about how you will be able to respond if she apologises to you. If you can only reject her apology, and that would be understandable, then do not go as this will only harm both you and her. In this case, I would send message that you wish her peace and stay away."

"Do you have a good support mechanism at home in case she turns out to upset you all over again, or this re-opens old psychological wounds?" commented another user.

Listen: Robin Bailey and Bec Sparrow deep dive on toxicity, and the difficulty when it’s coming from those closest to us (post continues after audio...)

However, many urged the redditor to go, if not for her sister, for her own closure.

"When there is uncertainty I prefer to err on the side of forgiveness. Not so much for those around me but for myself and for the person I want to be," one user eloquently wrote.


Another spoke from a similar personal experience with her own sister.

"Go see her. My estranged sister died very suddenly recently and I wish I could have seen her again, even though our relationship was essentially nonexistent," they said.

"If you never saw her again and she died, how would to feel? If you met her and forgave her and she died with forgiveness, how would you feel? You need to compare and contrast the best and worse case scenarios of each choice. If you go, what's the worst thing that's going to happen? What's the best? If you don't go, what's the worst thing that's going to happen?" another user questioned.

"Honestly if worst case happens, where she's still a shitty person, at least for me, it would help justify the last 20 years of no contact."

Despite the many insightful pieces of advice given by other women, at the end of the day, most recognised it was a decision only the anonymous woman could make.

"I think you answered your own question. The choice is yours, and no one else's," one very wise user said.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated the Reddit user was a female. Reddit user intheendidoright is a 34-year-old male.

What would you do if you were in the same situation? Would you visit the sister who made your life hell?