I’ll start by saying, there are a great many things I want to write about in this space. I want to write a summer summary and I have so much I want to say about our family vacation. I want to record all the random things my kids say and do. But I can’t get those posts done, because my heart and mind are constantly compelling me to write this post.
The overwhelming sense of relief that I felt the morning Alicia died, and the continuing sense of relief in the immediate time after has faded away. Without her wrecked and ragged body here to remind me that death was a blessing. Without constant worry that she may be in pain. Without the confused mind and fading personality, I have a harder time grasping onto the understanding and clarity of heaven being her home. Instead of relief, I have a dull ache. I pick up the phone and start to text her. I find myself wondering what her plans are. I have to remind myself that she is gone. And at the same time I recognize that she isn’t. I feel her. She leaves signs and messages. I know that she is happy as I can feel a warmth when I sense her. But, that doesn’t change the fact that at school registration I had to cross her name out as an emergency contact. It doesn’t lessen the tightness in my chest when Riley wants to talk about Ishy.
I had a moment a few days ago where it hit me, it is a very real possibility that I will go on to have more years without my sister than I had with her. I struggle to remember the last conversation we had. I fight through the fog of those sick weeks and try to remember her telling me that she loved me without that damn white board. I think about the stories we told and try with all my might to hang onto the memories she shared that were her happiest. I think about the last time we sat around and had a drink together. The last time we sat outside on a pleasant evening. The last anything we had together. I know that with time the ache will fade, but it seems like that may take forever right now. Just like anything does when you are in the middle of it, and unable to see from a broader view.
I still see my life as a gift. And I still see her passing as a reminder to seize my gift and live more fully. To not be bogged down by small things. But that doesn’t change the dull ache. It doesn’t change the missing her.