2020 has been a year, hasn’t it? I’ve mostly kept my head down and just moved forward, but recently I was hit with an event that felt like the collapse of a brick wall.
My sister died.
The week it happened, I don’t think I felt much after the initial blow. We had family to house and board, a funeral to plan and attend (no mean feat in the days of covid), and constant sound and movement to keep my mind occupied. Then, the next week I had to catch up at work for the week I’d missed. No time to grieve for this gal.
A previously planned dive vacation was rudely interrupted by dueling hurricanes, so a week I had hoped would bring healing didn’t materialize, just more busyness and putting my grief in the corner.
Then, time slowed down. The grief hit with the force of that hurricane. Every day has brought fresh waves of pain, but thankfully they’re mitigated by sweet, sweet memories.
What do you do with grief? I’ve lost loved ones before. Both my parents have passed away, but their lives were full and long. I’ve lost friends before, and grieved for them over the years with a poignant melancholy. But, I’ve never lost a beloved sibling before. Blood ties run deep. It’s an entirely new type of grief that I’m not sure where to put or how to deal with.
And there are regrets. I wish… I wish I had more time. We always think there’s time, don’t we? I lost a beloved uncle a few years ago, one who was in his 70’s, but that’s young these days. I remember thinking, “I thought I had more time.” More time to connect. More time to reach out. More time to share lives. But, I didn’t. Suddenly, he was gone and I couldn’t ask him anything else or talk to him anymore.
That’s the way this grief is hitting me. I wish I had asked the photographer to make a picture of the three of us sisters at my daughter’s wedding. I wish I had called her more often. I wish I had driven to see her the Sunday before she died instead of just having a phone conversation. I wish… I wish I had more time.
My prayer is that I stop wishing and start acting. That I spend more time with my loved ones while they’re here. That I remember to reach out to them on their birthdays, even in the busyness of my life. Nothing is promised.
Family is important. Friends are important. Relationships are important. Make the phone call. Have the hard conversation. Mend fences. Reach out. Get in your car and make the trip.
Don’t wish for more time. Make it.