I'm sorry to hear about all of the issues you're having with your sister and not being able to see your nieces/nephews. Your sister is obviously using that as a way to control the situation (like cmarie said). She probably feels as out of control as you but is using her "power" to help her feel intact. If she doesn't have to think or talk about it, and can maybe even punish you by not letting you see the kids (not warranted but her way of dealing somehow)? Unfortunately for you (and the kids - even for her), she's wrecking precious relationships along the way. How awful to compound your grief like that.
I can totally relate to the surface walkers/drones you mention. Your sister sounds like one of them, by locking you out. I am probably finding this to be my biggest struggle also, other than the guilt over my father's death. I am very in touch with my feelings (most of the time) and have tried really hard to "feel" and "be" during these years of hell, hoping I can heal. I knew early on that avoiding my feelings would only make it worse down the road. It's not been easy. I feel very alone much of the time, and like you, as though others just don't understand or care to. They are "happy" to go about life in denial, pasting a smile on their face. Not to say I haven't done this myself, at times, (not by choice) but because when you are rebuffed enough times, you learn that is what others expect of you. People want you back to your old normal self, which is selfish of them. Understandable but still selfish.
I think some people mature during life's hard situations and others go back to living exactly like they did before - learning nothing from it. Emotionally they are not on the same level I think. Sensitivity wise - they are failing big time. It's just sad. It changes long-standing relationships.
I have given up trying to be the good, solid rock you describe. The person who was always there for everyone. Yet when life hit me hard (various issues) where are they? Nowhere. Oh wait. They were there (they gave me a hug and a "I understand" early on, but then I heard nothing ever again. When I tried to talk about it, they glossed over it). It's all about them again. Like I CARE about their stupid vacations they brag about or whatever else that is meaningless drivel. Not only are they no help or support but then they are judgmental to top it off. I"m learning that with a lot of people, it's all about maintaining an image. Even after a tragic loss, as long as you look ok on the outside, apparently that is all that matters.
I've been called "too sensitive" or rude (because i no longer bow to their ever whim) or lazy (because I can't quite keep up at the same pace I used to). Geez sorry to put myself and my feelings first for once. I'm just tired of pretending...is all. Why can't we just have a real conversation with our family/friends about things? Not just once, but often. Get closer. Really support each other. For me - it's like a battle with some of my family members, mostly my inlaws. Who can fake it the most? I'm such a let down for them apparently. They had expectations of me and apparently I've failed miserably. Well - life hasn't exactly worked out the way I imagined either. Am I a little bitter. Probably. Justified? I think so. Do I want to be bitter and angry? No. But everything takes time, so they say. I am working through the emotions - like you - in hopes that I can shed all of this and truly move forward. Stronger and wiser.
For our family members that have gone through the losses with us, they are obviously dealing with their own issues - so there is no real hope for support as we're all "hurting" and searching for relief fro someone. We're all just going in circles. For awhile there I was putting my family members pain ahead of my own (I'm a helper) and it gave me something to "do" so I didn't have to "think" so much. But after awhile I just couldn't do it anymore. In some ways, I think they now resent me for it. The helper has become the "needy one." Roles have shifted.
For the friends and others who should be supporting US (even years down the road - as we all know it doesn't "go away") where are they?? Where is the "how are you - REALLY?" I never hear those words come out of peoples mouths.
I hope I didn't hijack your thread. Just trying to say (in too many words!) that you are not alone. I feel so many of the same things you are feeling. At least we have this forum to put down our thoughts and feelings and feel "heard and understood." I'm so grateful for that.
Hang in there...
Just taking it day by day. I miss you, Dad.