It has been a while since I have sat down to write about losing my sister. Grief is so strange. I think you expect yourself to feel better over time… or people expect you to feel better over time. But you don’t. We are in the (as my therapist likes to call it) “year of firsts” of all the traumatic events surrounding Jessica’s death.
Jessica’s DEATH. I still see that or say that or hear that… and I don’t believe it. It’s not like the passing of time has made it any more clear. The only reason it feels more permanent is because it has been longer since I have seen or talked to her. And again, you think in time you will feel better, but how does going even longer since talking to, hugging, or being with someone make you feel better?
Maybe there is this “other side” of grief where you can see more clearly. I think I have been comparing myself to that, to people who have loved and lost a person that seem more whole now. On that other side, you must feel very different than how I feel now.
She is still gone. And life has been messy. I try really hard but the regular pressures of life are hard enough, compounded with worrying about her children and grieving her. I just wish things were different. I wish I could jump back into the pages of one year ago, when I was texting her and in disbelief about her diagnosis. When we all truly thought this would be a 4 year long process of RECOVERY.
Someday, I will write about all the faux pas wording associated with cancer, cancer diagnosis, and cancer death. That is not for today. But this is a reminder that I have a lot to say on the topic.
If I could talk to Jessica right now, I would say I LOVE YOU. I would say I MISS YOU. I would say those words are not enough to describe the way I feel inside without you. The longer you are gone, the more I realize you were my person. We spent our entire lives growing up together. You were more comfortable to me than any other person I have ever known. The safety you provided in my life was something we never talked about, but you made me feel safe to be my complete, full, messy self. You accepted me, even though we were very different from each other. You had a way about you… you made us all laugh. Laughter is in short supply without you here. I want to sit next to you and hold your hand and talk to you about everything. I want to know things I never knew about you. I want to talk to you about being a mother. How did you do it all? I want to tell you that your children are growing up. They are changing and they need you. I want to tell you I am sorry for so many things.
I still want to know how everything felt for you in the last few days of your life. I want to know what was going through your mind. How did you push through? How did you feel and how were you so strong? Or were you weak? How did your body feel? What could we have done differently to make you feel better?
And I want to apologize a million times over that your life ended when it did… and that you did not get to live to be an old grandma. I want to apologize that life did not give you more. More time, more experiences, more stability.
I want to know what you would do differently?
And mostly, I just want to be with you. I want to feel your presence and a warm hug. I want you to know that no one can or ever will replace the presence of you in my life and in the lives of your children. You were one of a kind. You were special.
I miss you so much, Jessica.