Anywhere But Here

Have you ever wished you could do anything or be anywhere different than where you are expected.  This coming weekend is one of those times.  I am filled with such gloom and sadness that I am not sure I can even get through the rest of the week.

My oldest sister passed away very suddenly last September.  I am devastated and this weekend, her husband is hosting a celebration of her life at their home.  It is the first and only public acknowledgement of her passing.  My sister, a very private person, did not want a ceremony, religious or not, she didn’t want a burial, there is not a headstone. No where that I can go to, to place flowers or sit and talk.   She wanted to be cremated and if he wanted, she wanted my brother in law to have a garden party with her family and their “group”.

I thought I was o.k. with this plan.  I thought I was o.k. with playing the supporting role.  I thought, as a sister, I would receive some deference or acknowledgement that I am hurting and missing my big sister.  One of the most influential people in my 58 years of life.  There wasn’t one important event in my life that she wasn’t there to lend her support, humorous approach and love….except this one.

How do you say goodbye to that part of you that is a sister?  How do you stand by and smile when people you don’t know tell you about your sister, your best friend?  My middle sister will be with me.  We will represent her family, we are all that is left of our family.  We will have each other, but it will still feel like something has been removed from our being.  Last year this time, the three of us were in the Keys.  Regrouping a year after we lost our mom.  Three sisters together; processing and holding on to our shared past.  Now there is only the two of us.

Losing a sister, or a sibling I guess, is different than losing a parent.  You aren’t supposed to watch your sister die.  They are of your generation.  You bury the previous generation together.  This feels unnatural.  It has been a very long 8 months.  I kept thinking that I was doing well and patted myself on the back for handling this life changing event with grace and maturity.  I was just kidding myself.  I want to scream and curse and shake my fist!

i will put on my good face Saturday.  I will do what I need to make sure my brother in law feels supported.  I just hope that someone recognizes how difficult this is for my sister and I and take care of us.

mvb

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