- Member for
- 3 years · 6 months · 25 days
- Find a Grave ID
My only interest is in managing my own family's memorials. I'm not a collector. I was not able to spend as much time with them as I wished. I was not able to give or receive as many hugs as I feel was needed. Too many birthdays, Easters, Mother Days , Father Days and too Christmases cut short.
This is my way to honor those that I love.
When You Insist on Calling Us ‘Half-Siblings,’ This Is What I Hear- - - - - - - --- - - - - - - - - - - - -- ----------------------------- "You don't belong together. You're not family. You're nothing to each other!!!"
I called my sisters my sisters, and I called my brothers my brothers, because this is who they are to me. This is how I talk about and introduced them to everyone. This is how I think about them.
I wanted my siblings to trust that I love them anytime they hear me speak. Calling them my “half-siblings” feels a little too much like saying, “We’re only half-family – I can’t forget this, and I can’t let you forget this." My siblings are the only ones who have never tried to diminish my sense of self-worth or my emotional experience – why would I diminish who they are to me?
I very intentionally name them “my siblings.” But inevitably, someone would point to out to someone, “This is Debra’s* half-sister!” Or someone will squint at our features and say, “Uh, but you’re half-siblings?” Or someone will hear that we have different fathers or mothers and say, “Oh, you’re half-siblings?”
When people insist on using this term, here is what I hear.
" So You’re Not Real Siblings!!!! "
In my own discernment with the term, I have to notice when it’s used to create distance between siblings. In the dramas I grew up watching and in royal dramas with “bastard” sons, “half-sibling / half-sister / half-brother” is often used to express contempt for a person’s existence and to suggest that their presence is a tumor in an otherwise healthy family.
In real life, I meet individuals – often teenagers – who’ll pointedly call someone a “half-sister” or “half-brother” because they don’t like the family member in question or they don’t feel like they are authentically connected to them. I saw my siblings as my family to the fullest extent. I never want their kids to worry that I feel otherwise. Many people who don’t come from divided families, who were raised by stable, even-tempered adults. These people have not experienced how certain identifications – “half-siblings,” “stepchildren,” “ex-wife” – can be weaponized, used to assert who isn’t really part of the family.
When they call my siblings and me “half-siblings,” they don’t realize our history with the term and only want to say it for clarification. But in the moment, it feels like one more person is asking me, “Why do you talk about them like they’re your real siblings? They’re not.” As someone beaten down by the term “half-sister,” here is my ask.
If people identify as “siblings,” please respect that.
Family histories are complex and extremely personal, and we choose names for our family based on stories that outsiders have no way of knowing.
When we stand outside of someone’s familial experience, let’s be aware of this. Let’s listen to them and take our cues from them.
Chalk, shaving cream, etc.FAQ #96 - Unless you are related to the interred on the headstone in question, DO NOT do anything to the headstone.Never clean gravestones with anything but water and a soft brush. Slate gravestones from the Revolutionary era and Pre-revolutionary era are best left alone due to their delicate nature and tendency to erode.Never apply bleach, ammonia, shaving cream, chalk, flour, baking soda, cornstarch, firm pressure or use anything abrasive. Do not post photos of recently chalked or shaving-creamed headstones.Consult a professional before any attempt to clean a headstone is made.Reporting chalking: Existing chalked headstone photos can remain UNLESS there is an already existing non-chalked photo OR until a new non-chalked photo is posted.Also, if the chalked photos appear on memorials that YOU have created and maintain, then you can ask to have them removed if you object to them, at which time they will be deleted. In such a case, report the photos to email@example.com. Use the same email address to report members who are continually posting chalked headstones photos.