Still dealing with the grief from my sister’s passing, though there have been a few bright spots to light the darkness.
I was out last Saturday and got a call from Carlos to call my Dad immediately; I did. He told me my sister was gone. I didn’t go numb, didn’t begin to cry; I asked questions … when … was it peaceful … who was there. I told my Dad I’d call him the next day, hung up, and finished what I was doing and then I drove home.
I didn’t cry. I figured it was because I was out in public and able to hold it in, but there I was in the car and calm as could be though all I could think about was my sister.
Then I got home and saw Carlos and it all came out. I realized I couldn’t cry, couldn’t become a big mess, until I saw him. I was reminded that it’s not just in those moments of joy when you realize how much you love someone, it’s also in those moments of pain, when you need them and they’re right there. And so I cried, and cried; and he held on which was what I needed. I needed to hold on because I felt like falling.
Later, I called my sister’s house and spoke to my niece Brigitte, who told me that she was there and Tom, my sister’s husband, was there when my sister passed. That made me feel better, if not for her, but for them, that they could be by her side.
The next morning, as Carlos and I sat having breakfast in the kitchen I saw her, in the doorway to the dining room, smiling at me. It was just a flicker, like a movie projector and the bulb is going out, but she was there because I saw that smile, and I felt better, I felt okay.
As it happened, Carlos and I had made tentative plans to be away for a few days, a long weekend. So I didn’t have to go back to work until today which I really needed. I haven’t left the house because I didn’t want to; I just sat and listened and read and heard music. And cried more. I kept thinking about that saying about sisters and brothers loving one another from the cradle to the grave but never thought about the grave part of it; I just always thought she’d be here.
Tuesday night, while sitting with Carlos we got a call from the Round The Way Gays, David and Neal; they were in the driveway … they thought we weren’t home. They — as good Southern belles, and gentlemen, are apt — brought flowers and a card, and a cake, because you need cake at times like this. It was a lovely gesture and one more reason I’m glad to have them in our lives.
Now, as you all know, I am snarky and sarcastic and have a wicked and inappropriate sense of humor, which maybe I use to mask my feelings or maybe I’m just funny. But, Monday Carlos also had the day off and as the afternoon wore on I asked him what he was fixing for dinner, and he looked at me, stunned, and said, ”I have to make dinner.”
I said, “My sister just died! My mother died seven years ago today! And you can’t cook a piece of fish?”
Somewhere, I heard my sister laugh because she would have thought that all kinds of wrong but still very funny.
I also keep thinking of one of my favorite songs, by Karla Bonoff, though sung by Linda Ronstadt — I posted it with the piece I wrote about my sister on Sunday. I like the last lines of the song ....
Life's so fragile and love's so pure
We can't hold on but we try
We watch how quickly it disappears
And we never know why
But I'm okay now
Goodbye my friend
You can go now
Goodbye my friend
I will always love you.