By the time you are reading this, I will most probably be on my way to my sweet sister’s funeral. When you lose someone that you have always felt so close to, it is not easy.
My sister Bobi was my first and forever friend and losing her feels like I have lost a part of myself. As kids she was my protector, a childhood friend called her “the cool big sister” — even as adults she was always trying to make things “easy” for me. We’re not kids anymore… we both have adult children. Bobi was also blessed with grandchildren and her very first great-grandchild.
My big sister (who always tried to tell folks that she was the younger sister!) helped me through some dark periods in my life, so often she knew the right thing to say and when to say it. Alright, there were times I balked at things she said, but most times her words rang true. Since our folks died before I was blessed with children, my sister was the one I called when I needed advice, and maybe that’s why she always seemed to take a big interest in my offspring’s welfare because in a small way she helped raise them.
We cried together when we lost our parents and other loved ones. And boy did we ever laugh together… not always at the most appropriate times. We had squabbles like most sisters do, but we never stayed angry at each other for long. Talking to each other almost daily was like sustenance to us and our husbands tore their hair out back when long distance calls cost per minute.
As a writer her support was immeasurable which is why I feel a bit frustrated that somehow, I can’t find the right words to express the hole I feel now that she is “gone”. Fortunately, our parents raised us with a bit of belief in an afterlife that surrounds our earth-bound selves and I sure as heck hope that is so and that I can always feel her presence in my life. We were five-and-a-half years apart in age but we may as well have been twins, we always seemed to be so connected. I remember the day when my daughter, in a petty mother-daughter disagreement, heard my sister comment on it and my daughter exclaimed, “There’s TWO of them!”… and now there is just me.
They say that losing a sibling is a different kind of grief. You lose someone who has known you all, or almost all, of your life. If your parents are already deceased, losing a sibling means losing another vital part of your “elementary family” and takes away a piece of your childhood. Your childhood memories are now only thoughts in your own mind, there’s no more sharing of childhood secrets and adventures. Burying a sibling is also burying a hunk of your life.
I am going to choose to remember all of the good times, maybe pick up a long-ago abandoned diary and record those memories that we shared. I will do my best to speak of her to her children and future generations for as long as I am here. And when I close my eyes I hope to picture her in my mind and hear her voice when I am lonely. I will always look up and tell her how much I love her.
September 5, 1948 – June 20, 2021