PYHO: Healing

Last week, I was talking to a friend who accused me of "slacking" on my blog. "I know," I told him, while listing my excuses "I'm back at school, and I'm so busy..." "Plus," I told him, "I'm kind of running out of things to say that I haven't already said." (I'm pretty sure this is what they call an epiphany!) His response was "maybe that's a good thing," and he explained that my writing for me is therapeutic; I write when something is bothering me and (obviously) what's "bothering" me lately (to put it lightly) is dealing with Anna's death. Maybe, he suggested, the fact that I have nothing to say means I am healing. Immediately, I felt guilty. How can I move on? How can I be ok with the fact that I no longer have my sister? I felt as if by healing I was a bad sister. A bad person. That I am doing something in this stage of grief.

The more I thought about it, though, I realized I was thinking about this all wrong. That this is, in fact, healthy. I am in no way, nor could I ever, forgetting what I have been through losing my sister. I will never forget the day my mom looked me in the eyes and told me that, yes, she was going to die. I will never forget the day she took her last breath. I will never forget the last time I told her I loved her. I will never forget her.

Healing also doesn't mean the pain isn't there. It doesn't mean that every time something reminds me of her I wish I could pick up the phone and call her. It doesn't mean that the 3 month anniversary of her death last week wasn't one of my saddest days. It doesn't mean that every time someone talks about siblings or their sister, that a part of me doesn't die a little. It doesn't mean that I don't miss her every day. All those things are still true, but they are getting easier. The pain doesn't go away; it just becomes a part of life and is therefore easier to deal with.

I know that is normal. I know that I can't and shouldn't spend the rest of my life being sad and crying. Obviously, life goes on. I also know that Anna would want me to move on, and to be happy. To live my life. She never wanted anyone to be sad, and this is no exception. So I have to let go of the guilt and let myself heal. Because even though I never wanted to live my life without her, now I have to.

I also know that this is still only the beginning; there were still be so many tough times ahead. I know that the grieving process doesn't really end; it will always be a part of my life. That just because I am starting to heal doesn't mean that I am over it. I will never be "over" losing my sister. I think that is why I was feeling guilty; because I felt that by saying I am healing, I must be over it. But I know that I am not all the way healed. I am NOT over it. I am just beginning the healing process, and that is a good thing.

Healing doesn't mean forgetting. It doesn't mean that the pain isn't there anymore. It just means that I am learning to deal with it.

I found this poem on facebook last week, and I think it is pretty perfect. "I wish heaven had a phone so I could hear your voice again. I thought of you today, but that is nothing new, I thought about you yesterday, and days before that too. I think of you in silence, I often speak your name. All I have are memories and a picture in a frame. Your memory is a keepsake, from which I'll never part. God has you in his arms...I have you in my heart."

Missing you, now and always...
 I am linking up at Things I Can't Say with Pour Your Heart Out.

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Shell said...

You will never forget her. But, you'll learn to handle the grief as time passes. xo

Jenny said...

Beautifully put Patrice..she definitely will always be in your heart.

jen@its all about me said...

I am so sorry that you lost your sister to cancer. You sound like and incredibly devoted sister and I know you miss her very much.

Thank for the comment you left on my blog about the death of my children, it was sweet of you.

Makk said...

Well, for me happy moments spent with my loved always keep me in spirits despite of the fact that there not in this worldly world anymore.

But I know they will be happy, if I am happy.

Keep Smiling.

sues2u2 said...

I'm so glad that you wrote this. I've been wondering how you were doing. It is incredibly hard sometimes to realize that life does go on but Anna wouldn't have wanted you to wrap yourself in bubble wrap. Instead she'd want you to do exactly what you're doing.

Hugs to you always, Susan

Rebecca Louise. said...

When I was 13 I lost one of my best friends Lucy to cancer. I was crushed and then one day I went out in the playground and had a fun time. Afterwards I went crying to my teacher because I felt so guilty that I had fun playing our favourite game without her. But my teacher said that was my new normal now and that part of the healing process is to move forward and play those games, to not have lunch with her etc. I love that poem!

You put it so perfectly Patrice, you will always be healing and you will always have a sister.

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