Tag Archives: loss of sibling

Walking through grief


The past couple days have been rough, with migraines and frustrating bitchiness.   This morning I was allowing myself to get really bent out of shape over nothing, when I sat down and jumped on facebook.      I hope the migraine(s) are behind me, I think it’s related to barometric pressure, my head feels like it isn’t attached to my body.  Strange, and adding to the Bitch of the Year award!

As I surveyed my facebook feed, I read a post from a friend who is really a very lovely woman, a woman of faith, ridiculously talented, and kind to the core.     She posted about two children who touched her deeply today, and made her smile while she was gassing up her car.    It lightened up my mood, until close to the end where she spoke about telling the kids mother how much their kindness and friendliness meant to her, and today or all days, as her sister died early this morning of cancer.   Tears flowed down my face then.

I immediately sent her a message, offering condolences, and thanking her for her share.   My mind swept back to the very days my sisters succumbed to cancer.    I was broken, and I was angry at God for allowing this to happen.  And so began a war between he and me, for months on end.   I defied my morning praises, and no longer prayed at all.   How could he allow this to happen?

In time, I learned and accepted that death is a part of our life, and that fairness doesn’t really play a role here.  But my friend, who had just said goodbye to her sister, was talking about how good God is, and how much this experience helped her, and made her smile.   I cried as I reread her beautiful, lovely, words.    How amazing that she was at peace, or I should say, more peace than I had when my sisters took their last breaths.

I sat in silence, trying to compose myself, get my emotions into check, and while I would like to say the bitchiness melted away, it did not, but I was so moved by her share, and her eloquence, awestruck with her compassion and faith.     When she replied to my message she spoke words I understand too well, about not knowing how she will do this without her sister, her first best friend.    Her words lent clarity to me of how I felt, too.

I remember thinking how cruel it was that the birds still chirped, that life still went on, even though my sisters lives were over.   I remember people telling me “time will heal”.  I also remember being firmly (and probably belligerently) adamant that NO ONE would tell me how to grief, how to walk through this atrocity which had been handed down to my family.   Grief is a journey, a necessary journey that is so individualized.   There is no right or wrong way to grieve, though I hope I handled it with even a small portion of the grace that my friend did this morning.

At this time another friend texts me that she knew and was related to the pedestrian who was hit in Brattleboro yesterday and who died later from her injuries.    Many eyewitnesses have shared that she walked right out in front of the car, the driver was not at fault.  But that driver?  Is devastated.    I saw pics of him with his head in his hands, crying.  Of course he was.  What person wouldn’t be?    And then she shared that this person had also just lost two siblings to cancer.    I was relaying all this to my mom, and we shared how grief is an alternate existence, if you will.   You’re not in your right mind, your preoccupied, sad, emotional, and that may be a part of why she aimlessly walked into traffic.  How incredibly sad.

So, tonight, as I write this, I’m thinking about all that transpired this morning and how it changed and altered my piss poor thinking.   I am still working through some crap, but for the most part, I’ll be crawling into bed very grateful that my day may be frustrating, and my head may ache, but I had a fairly uneventful day given two other peoples lives that changed drastically in a moments time.

I wish you a restful nights sleep, and an uneventful (almost boring) day tomorrow.  Life can change on a dime, and it does.  We find ourselves walking through life without those we love most in the world, and I have since learned that the birds still chirping as we walk through grief is really a gift, because life does go on for some.    How easily, how naturally we take things for granted, at least I do.   And I think I’m a pretty grateful person, but obviously imperfect and still learning about life.   Aren’t we all?





Today I took my mom to her parents graves.   She wants to plant some flowers on them and couldn’t decide what to buy so we went there first.  My mothers youngest  brother died a few weeks ago.  We just got access to clean out his apartment.  We’ve worked hard the past couple of days, last night we received some very difficult news which left us both feeling very disappointed.  This morning I woke up, she was in tears.   My mother seldom cries.   She read some of the police reports when he had disappeared for 2 years and she couldn’t find him.  His then short term wife brought him somewhere and he had brain surgery, then put him in a nursing home and filed for divorce.   It took two years for the sheriff to find him.   The past couple of days she has relived her childhood, the auto accident my uncle was in that caused damage to his brain.   He could still walk, talk, but his thinking had been altered.   On my grandmother’s death bed my mother made a promise to her mother that she would take care of Hank, and she did.   I just listened to her this morning for a couple hours as she shared stories from her childhood.   This was why I suggested we go to the cemetery.   It ended up being a good thing to do.   She reminisced and shared childhood stories from the small town she grew up in, and where my grandparents, uncle are buried.  I think it was healing for her.   Then we went flower shopping!

We had a credit coming to us at Tractor Supply, so we bought some birdseed and annuals.  Then she wanted to stop at a local nursery on the way home.  We had an enjoyable time “just looking” and a basket full of plants!    My mom loves to be outdoors, garden, she loves to watch the birds, so we filled up the feeders, some for finches and others for bluebirds.  We trimmed branches on my “tree of life” so the blue birds can get a clear view of it and the blue bird house several feet behind.   We’ve always had blue birds, this year we do not.  I only saw one.  So we’re trying to entice them back.

As I drove her around and listened to her stories I felt grateful that I have this time with my mom.   I’m grateful I still have both parents, and I’m grateful that I can be there for her when she needs support.    She is spending the weekend at my house so we’re going to do a lot of small projects including planting the beautiful assortment of posies we bought…   How nice making these good memories.   I need to keep busy right now, am struggling with some things myself, so I think this will be good, for both of us.    I like doing for my mother.  My efforts and actions are not to seek her approval, but to be the best daughter I can be.  This makes ME feel good.  I love taking care of my animals.  This, too, makes me feel good.

We’re planning on what we can use for props in the flower garden and beds.  I found this old shovel at a friend’s dump pile and it’s going to be a perfect prop.   I bought a very old wooden wheel barrel at a flea market years ago.   We plant flowers in it every year.   I’m excited about the weekend.

I shall now retire to bed, watch a couple Golden Girls or Frasier reruns and will hopefully sleep well as I have an early day tomorrow.

Have a great weekend.   Be safe!