Family. You are born into them. You don’t choose who will be in that group. You take what you get. I had the good fortune to have a sister that I actually liked and loved. We had our moments, as all sisters do, yet we always came back into each others lives; sharing our joys and challenges over the decades we were gifted with.
Carol died in June. It was sudden and totally unexpected. She was a realtor. She woke up that morning and did what she loved best; showed a house to a family that was looking for a home. She sat down and a few moments later she was gone. It was a blessed and peaceful way to die. No pain. No fear. No suffering. No lingering. She just left her body. And she left me. I went into action; planning her funeral, delivering her eulogy, burying her and supporting her boys. I met with lawyers and tended to the many tasks that had to be done for her estate. I kept moving forward and the tears did not come.
Last night I went to see a Broadway touring company production of “Wicked”. It was incredible. The final song, where the two female lead characters are saying good bye, was so touching. It opened the flood gates and I was finally able to feel my grief and sadness for the loss of Carol. My regret is that I was unable to have a goodbye with her and tell her what being her sister and friend meant to me. I believe she knew but I still wish I had the chance…These lyrics summarize what I might have said:
“It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime. So let me say before we part: so much of me is made of what I learned from you. You’ll be with me like a hand print on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine, being my friend…Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better but I do believe that I have been changed for the better…Because I knew you I have been changed for good.”
“The reality is that I will grieve forever. I will not get over the loss of her; I will learn to live with it. I will heal and I will rebuild myself around this loss. I will be whole again but I will never be the same. Nor should I be the same nor would I want to.”
She lives in my history and forever in my heart. I am changed for good because Carol is my sister. Through tears and sweet memories….
P.S. If you have someone in your life let them know how they have touched your life. I would give anything for a chance to say this to Carol.
Know this feeling, to well! Really sorry of your loss.
Beautifully, beautifully said. What a tribute and I appreciate all that you have done to change me from inviting me on your birthday celebration in Greece to all the beautiful people I met because you said, come join the Repatterning Board. Special people everyone. So I hope you appreciate the change for good that you bring about also.
Lovely and I am verklempt all over again! Second time in 2 days this song has come up! I had it played at my uncle’s funeral in England – they said it was highly unusual to play a song DURING the service, so I gave up speaking to ask they think of Alan during the song.. There wasn’t a dry eye, and people thanked me for the reflection of “the colorful-talkative gay American” that changed them….for good. I’m guessing this is him ‘nudging me’ his 70th birthday is next week. So thank you for sharing your story of your sister and the blessings that Wicked’s “For Good” brought. They really can still touch our hearts from the other realm! Hugs~
Thank you so much for sharing this Ardis. I am so sorry for all you have gone through these past couple months. I appreciate all that you give to our class in spite of all that is going on in your personal life. Thank you for all you do.