My sister passed away in June, four years ago. Her birthday is also in June. In fact, it was yesterday. This year has been harder than usual and that is saying something. It could be that T is starting kindergarten in August and I'm reminded of just how much she has missed. It could be the World Cup. We saw it on televisions four years ago while traveling home from India, after learning she would not be there to greet me upon return. It could be that I spoke about her for the first time during Listen To Your Mother this year. It could be so many things. It could just be that I miss her more than ever.
Jane Yolen shared one of her beautiful poems on Facebook the other day and it resonated with me.
Grief is Not
Grief is not getting easier
But becoming more ordinary
As if I've always carried this
stone in my breast,
calling it a heart.
Grief is not going away
Just not arriving in tsunami force.
Rather its a steady high tide
which makes me wonder about the rocks below.
Grief is not a one-time thing
Not several days, weeks, months
But is a visitor that has moved in for good,
and occasionally helps out around the house.
Grief is not unwelcome here,
for it reminds me of how much I have lost,
And how blessed I was
To have so much to lose.
Man, how blessed have I been? I had a big sister who loved me unconditionally for at least 26 of our 33 years together. I'm pretty sure she is still looking out for me now. We had this bond and as much as it hurts to think about her being gone, I was indeed blessed. She was the fun to my serious, the craft to my disaster, the calm to my storm. Blessed indeed.
Maybe that is what will carry me through this really high tide. Maybe it will be the blossoming flowers right outside my door that my team planted in her memory. Maybe it will be T talking about her and asking questions. Maybe it will be my little sister visiting next month or my trip home to see my family later this summer.
I'm pretty sure it will be a little of this and a little of that. Ironically, that sounds like something my big sister would say.