A Quiet Moment

Wednesday, March 16 


I’m sitting here on the couch at my sister’s house after four emotionally draining days. She’s finally settled into an exhausted sleep on the couch across from me. It’s taken a strong drink, a little pill and three sisters playing massage therapists. 

There’s been an endless run of concerned friends all day and I finally turned the porch light off. Grief is exhausting and so many people want the comfort of her voice and face. But for now, she sleeps, blessed forgetfulness in the midst of tragedy.

Sunday night I received a distraught phone call from my youngest sister. It took her three tries to finally tell me that our niece had been found dead earlier that day in her apartment. She was 26 years old and never could you have known a more loving, talented, hilarious, beautiful, life affirming, air headed girl. 

Yes, there are lots of questions we will have to wait more weeks for the answers to. Yes, it’s impossible to believe that life is going on out there without her. It is, at times, equal parts unimaginable and comforting that she left us so close to mom. So hard to see the world without her perennial light and song and laughter. So hard to say goodbye. 

I’m angry that this is the way four sisters who live in three different states are brought crashing together. I’m angry that we we didn’t do more for each other. I’m angry that we were all so hurt in different ways that we refuse to rely on anyone even each other. I’m angry that we have to hurt like this, that a mother has to go to a mortuary and say goodbye to her beautiful girl. I’m so angry at the loss of such a wonderful life. I’m so ashamed that I don’t know my sister better than her friends. I’m so thankful for the people who love and care for her, here where she lives. 

I vow to do better. I must do better, we must do better. Somehow we must overcome our mistrust and find the ways to take care of each other as family should. Be willing to let each other in, to share our blessings and our burdens, to accept without judgement what we are and love and lift each other when it’s easy and when it’s heart rending.

It sounds so simple, why does it bring to my mind the perilous and deadly routes on Everest? 

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