My Sister’s Brother and Other Fictional Characters

The blog posts that have received the most feedback and comments have been the ones about losing my dog and my grandfather. In my first blog post, I mentioned that I once tried to be a writer, a novelist, but the agents who read my submissions didn’t like my writing style. It seems that my talents are better suited to biographies rather than fiction. However, my sister once created a fictional character so believable that she was given bereavement time off work to mourn his passing. Let me explain…

My sister had used up all of her time off at work, but really wanted to be with the rest of the family for a weekend at the lake. So, she created a fake death in the family. Her make-believe deceased loved one had a name and a backstory, as any good fictional character would have. His name was Vance. He was only 36 when he dropped dead from a sudden, and unexpected, heart attack.

Luckily, in those days employers didn’t ask for obituaries or death certificates to prove that a relative had indeed died. This was a simpler time when employers treated employees like adults and trusted us to behave as such. Perhaps fake dead relatives are the reason we are no longer afforded this luxury!

Ironically, Vance’s death was only the beginning of his story. Months later, when my sister had long forgotten about the passing of her imaginary brother. she started dating her manager. He accompanied her to family events and fit right in with us. After being in our homes, listening to our stories and looking at the framed family photos on display, he noticed that something was missing. Eventually, he asked my sister why we never talk about our brother. She responded that we didn’t have a brother, there were just three sisters.

Then it hit her! She had to come clean and tell her boss that she’d invented the story just to get the weekend off. Perhaps this was the moment that he understood why she returned to work after the “funeral” with a sunburn!

My writer’s hat is off to my sister who is far better at creating fictional characters than I am. No one ever suspected that her story wasn’t true. Not even me! After that weekend at the lake, I sent my sister a sympathy card. It said, “Sorry to hear about the loss of your brother. Love, Your Sister.



6 thoughts on “My Sister’s Brother and Other Fictional Characters

  1. Midlife Dramas in Pyjamas

    I really enjoy your style of writing and I think you do it very well. You don’t waffle and go on and on, you write about interesting topics plus you are funny. What’s not to like?! I’m sure the novel inside you will make it to the bookshelves one day 🙂

    1. DEB Post author

      Thanks so much! That’s very kind of you to say. I don’t know about that novel. Maybe I’ll publish blog posts someday.

  2. Erby Mason

    That’s a good one. Which sister was this, if you dare tell. I have thought about using that excuse before but felt that bad karma would follow and someone close to me would really die. Perry has an employee that has had about 4 or 5 Grandmothers, several Aunts, several Grandpas and etc to pass! Man, she has a huge family!!!!! ?

    1. DEB Post author

      I guess I forgot to reply to this… sorry! It was Patty. I lost two step-fathers within a few years. By the time the second one died, I had changed jobs. But if I’d still been at the same place, they might have noticed that I’d already used that excuse. In my case it was real.

  3. david locke

    I never used the death in the family excuse, and now that I am retired, I guess I’ll never get the chance.
    How did the manager relationship work out?

    1. DEB Post author

      That relationship could be another blog post – or better yet, a made-for-tv movie, but not on Hallmark! It was great for a while and her dead non-brother had nothing to do with its demise.


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