I’m finally able to come here and express myself without tears blurring my vision. Right before Christmas I lost my big sister. It was sudden. It was quick. We didn’t know she was so ill until she went into the hospital and passed away three days later. When she first went into the hospital, I had hope. I told myself that everything would be fine. The day after she was admitted, it was critical but in my head this was a speed bump that she would recover from. On the third day, I received a call from my mother urging me to get down to the hospital because my sister didn’t have much time. She wasn’t expected to make it through the night.
I don’t like seeing people on the brink of death. I rather remember them in happier times and full of life. But sometimes we have to put our own shit aside. I’m so glad I did. I think, no, I’m certain I would have regretted not going to see my sister. I arrived at the hospital to see my zany and vibrant sister hooked up to machines that kept her alive–if you can call it that. My heart broke. I wept at her bedside for so many reasons.
I wept because she had such a rough life and was finally finding peace and happiness. I wept because we had lost contact for a period of time and I had just gotten her back. I wept because she was such a lively person with a zest for life even when it had been cruel to her, and now she was slipping away. Machines were keeping her alive and I thought, “this is so cruel.” I took her hand. I know she felt us all surrounding her. I wanted her to know that it was okay to let go.
She didn’t deserve to remain in the state she was in. Her heart was weakening. She was removed from the machines the next day. I opted not to be present for that moment. I had already said my goodbyes and would not have been okay with witnessing her last breath.
It’s only been a few weeks. My heart aches everyday. I go through moments of normalcy with her passing always looming in the background. I go on with everyday chores with that black cloud in the distance. My sister lived about two hours away from me so we didn’t get together very often. But I took comfort in just knowing that she was there. Even when we lost contact, just knowing that she was out there made me feel less lonely. Now I feel so alone. It’s weird because our papa is a rolling stone. I have at least 8 more siblings out there. (A post for another day)
I don’t know my other siblings, I only know of them. I was raised with my sister for the first few years of my life. We share the same father but have different mothers. My mother cared for her since she was very young. My mother was the only mother my sister ever knew. Our parents divorced and my father split us up. I stayed with my mother and was raised as an only child. But I always knew that wasn’t the case. I had a painfully lonely childhood but the fact that my sister existed always made me feel better. And now she’s gone.
I’ve gone through periods of time when I lost my sister, but we always found our way back to each other. The fact that I’ve lost her for good has left such a void in my life. I’m back to that painfully lonely place. I know there are pieces of me, in the form of other siblings, floating around out there, but none of them share the bond I had with my sister.
These past few weeks have been eye-opening and chock-full of life lessons that I’m not sure I was ready to learn. (Again, a post for another day) I grieve for all the future moments that were taken away from us. I regret letting petty things get in the way of spending what time I had left with my sister. Because of my deep dislike for another family member I was cheated out of the last moments of quality time with my sister. I can never get those moments back because I chose to distance myself from the group the last few times she visited. All because I was avoiding that one other person. Lesson learned.
Front cover of the card my sister gave me on my last birthday.
Interior of birthday card. This says it all.