In an attempt to comfort me in the wake of my sister’s death, a friend gave me your book in which Sister is the leading lady and the most celebrated relationship of your life. While reading it I thought, how wildly inappropriate, how deeply insensitive of her to give me this book. Did she read it before giving it to me? Doesn’t she know that I lost my own Sister, and reading this is the equivalent of swallowing shards of glass soaked in vinegar?
Yesterday was the one month anniversary of her death. One month ago, I held her lifeless body while Mama washed her, preparing her to be seen by her husband and 4 teenage children, so we could all gather around her bed and say goodbye. Finally. After six and a half eternal years of the fight of her life against cancer, she lost, we lost, and we watched the men come and carry her body away; her body that looked like something out of the holocaust. It was our holocaust, watching her die, and we haven’t been able to make any sense of it.
But your book, Carry On Warrior… in it you don’t attempt to make sense of grief, of loss. There is no hiding from the pain that rips your world and your heart into unrecognizable pieces. Yes, reading about your loving, transcendent relationship with your Sister makes me want to die and tears my God sized hole even bigger, but thank you anyway. It turns out your book was a deeply meaningful gift from my friend.
Thank you for honesty and clarity in the face of a life that makes no sense. I have been feeling utterly and completely alone – she was my… Sister. There is no deeper or more meaningful word. The term best friend is flimsy and folds under the weight and meaning of the term Sister. I’ll never have another one, and the pain and redemption of our own story needs to be remembered and honored. Thank you for reminding me of that.
The day she died I sat by the hospital bed in her bedroom where she had laid for the past 8 months unable to walk, immobilized by the monster in her bones, and I saw the title page of my book that hadn’t yet been written.
I don’t know what the book will be about, what it’s point will be, or what I hope to accomplish through writing it, but I know there is a book inside me that exists because she exists. I can’t breathe for missing her, and I’m completely shattered from her leaving us, but I will Carry On, and I will live my life with as much joy and fullness as I can in honor of the life she lived here with us. I’ll write my story.
Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me that I needed to be brave and share mine as well.
With a thankful, shattered heart,