This is the first post in a series this week in honour of the three year anniversary of my sister Jocelyn's death. I'll share writing from a variety of places (old blog posts from here, from other personal blogs, writing never shared), but all things that I've written about her death and my grieving. While not the most cheerful stuff to read about, my writing about losing her has been pivotal in my healing process. Thanks for allowing me to share with you this week!
(Jocelyn passed away on a Friday...the following post was written on the Tuesday prior to her passing.)
Other posts in this series:
Stop and Take the Call
On Life After Her Death
Dear Jocelyn (Six Months Later)
My sister has been battling lymphoma for the past two years. In the past three weeks she has contracted pneumonia, and is currently hovering precariously on the brink of leaving this life behind.
It's just The Waiting right now. Any phone call could be "THE" phone call. Our family is huddled together, both literally and figuratively....just waiting.
And I think to myself, So, this is what this feels like....facing the possibility of continuing this life without the presence of someone you expected to get to keep close for a lot longer. It feels surreal, like a bad dream. I keep waiting to wake up, with relief flooding over me, so grateful it was just a nightmare. But instead I just keep waking up to check my phone, again, with my heartbeat quickening at every message, email, call.
My thoughts are consumed by this, swinging from wildly desperate hope that she will make it... to the crippling consideration of what it might feel like without her here, to hug, laugh with...for her babies to grow up without their mommy.
I feel like I'm on a roller coaster...how you hop on, get a few ups, downs, and turns...just to get you started. But, in the distance, you see the huge hill and the massive drop. These past couple years have been the initial ups and downs...and these past few weeks have been climbing, climbing, climbing straight up this big hill where the only thing left seems to be The Drop. I feel like I'm reaching the summit, where something is about to give, the bottom inevitably about to fall from under me...and the only thing you can think is "Well...here we go. Here it comes."
I think about my kids. I think about what they know about death. The only frame of reference they have are fairy tales, where death is cured with a magical kiss or special potion. I watch them when they are playing and pretending, and every time someone "dies," they are soon kissed awake and restored. We have talked about how their auntie is sick, and might have to go home to Heavenly Father. Baby-Rae, now four, asked only "How does Heavenly Father carry her?" Very carefully, is all I can think to say through the lump in my throat.
I have never appreciated friends bringing meals over so much. It is just that much less to think about, that much more love to feel, and that much more comfort by way of eating my feelings. I don't feel even a little guilty about it in a time like this. I'm finding little joys where I can, be it in my sweet-smelling baby's neck, or in the warmth of a cheesy lasagna.
I've been walking around in a fog, simultaneously lost in my thoughts and hiding from them. But it is amazing to me that the things that can pierce the fog are how pretty my slices of apples look in the morning light, the way my baby's eye sparkle when she sees me, the lovely steam curling peacefully from a rooftop into the sky. I know that it is my God whispering, for only He can cut through these clouds. He is reminding me that even in the darkest sorrow, He is there, and there is beauty.
"Each of us will have our own Fridays---those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
But I testify to you in the name of the one who conquered death---Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come."
-Joseph B. Wirthlin