March 3, 2018

The pain is deep, the loss is great; I just lost my sweet sister. I am not sure how I move from this spot of hurt, how I get through whatever is left of my life here without her comforting words and warm heart, a heart that loved me as no one else can, a sister’s heart, a sister’s love. I am broken and crumbling with pain. It was sudden, it was in an instant that everything changed. I am not much on public display of anything this personal but, I write when I hurt; it helps me, she helps me…

Oddly, at 3 this morning I woke and tried to put myself back to sleep but could not. I remembered I had not closed the door to my chicken coop so I wandered outside in my nightgown, a bit afraid, a bit compelled. The waning full moon had caused beautiful dappled shadows across the yard, the beauty took away the fear I had from the desolation of the hour and caused a stir within me, a moment that was beautiful and mysterious, a moment not seen by me before. Minutes later, when back inside, the phone rang. It was my brother with the news…strangely, he was calling from Thibodaux, the town where she was born.

I hold tight to this as I try to get through this passage of darkness. It is a place we all have known, this place that brings us together and makes our differences seem so trite and our hearts seem as one, this shared place of human suffering and inevitable loss.

Forgive my public display of emotion and my dark demeanor but I write these words of sorrow for her acknowledgement, for her wonder. It’s all I can do.

March 11, 2018

There are two words that have emerged from the sudden pain and circumstance of my sister’s death from one week ago, “resistance” and “regret”. The consequence of these words can cause much pain and unhappiness…I tell myself this as I continue to stumble down this dark path to recovery; I talk to myself in each hour that strikes, comforting myself with good memories and recognizing that, unlike myself, the sweat from life is gone from her brow, her face is relaxed and her heart is at peace. All of that helps a bit but the hurt seeps through into my limited human mind and I fall off of the edge again. I know the drill, I know about loss, so, I have some hope, that in time, the days will hold more joy. They will never be the same, for when someone you love leaves, there is always a missing part. As nature does, something or someone will replace the physical time slot of loss but no one will replace the carved out notch within your heart; that is how it happens, I know.

I think about these two R words, “resistance” and “regret”, and I realize that at times like these, they are the enemy, they will take you down and will leave you there – rid them from your life. I cannot continue to “resist” the fact that Susan is not a physical being anymore; she will not call me each morning and afternoon to tell me about her chickens or share a short story about our mother and a laugh about our dad, she will not be here for Christmas hugging my children and bringing her special taco dip for Skip as she lovingly attends to Thomas and Emma as though she hasn’t seen them in forever. I cannot resist that, it is true, it is real. I, we, must go with what is before us and accept it, for as long as we “resist”, we will feel pain. I find her in my heart and in my thoughts now, she accompanies me
throughout my day as we continue to discuss life and search for answers and share one another’s pain and joy as only the two of us can.

“Regret”… that is a destructive emotion felt by all of us to some degree. If we have human relationships, we have some degree of regret. Susan and I were sisters, four years apart and on the surface, very different, in other words, we had our “moments” of friction, especially growing up. I look back at those “moments” with a sense of humor and see them as essential, I have no “regrets”. As adults, we have smoothed out the rough edges and discovered that we have the same heartbeat, we are the same inside, we are sisters. I suppose my current “regret” would be the phone call I did not make last Friday night. I wanted to talk something over with her but decided to wait until the next morning, the morning that never happened. I will let that go…

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