Posted by: chlost | March 23, 2010

It’s the little things

Yup, it is just like I’ve read so often.  It’s the little things that get to you.

I am still in the denial stage of my sister’s death.  I still can’t believe those two words go together.

Today, around 4:35, I got a phone call on my office phone.  I rarely even pick up my phone after 4:30.  But I did this time, for some reason.

It was one of my mother’s oldest friends.  She and our family go back about 40 years.  She had just heard about my sister’s death, and had talked to my mother on the phone.  Her friend, who is very physically active, and a very intelligent woman ( a retired epidemiologist at a world-renowned medical facility) was concerned about my mother, as well as calling to pass along her condolences. 

 What can you say?  “Thank you. Yes, it was a shock. No, we are not sure yet what my mother will be doing. How are you?”

It all seems so rote.  It doesn’t really connect in my mind with my sister.  It is so hard.  I can’t  think of any better way to describe it:  HARD.

I know that people are well-intentioned, and I know that I would do the same thing in their shoes, and I really don’t have any alternative to offer.  But I don’t know how many more times I can do this. 

My daughter is here.  I have some clothing and some other items that my sister may have liked her to have.  I still haven’t gotten around to showing them to my daughter.  How to do that?  “hey, honey, how about you take some of this stuff that Kathleen loved?”  I don’t know that I would have been receptive to that at age 26.  I guess I am now only because I feel as though I can’t just throw her stuff away, or just give it away. 

The past few days, I have been reliving the decisions that my brother-in-law had to make.  My sister was an organ donor.  So am I.  I believe in it very strongly.  But because of that, we never got to view her body.  There really is not much left once all of the organs are harvested.  Bones, skin, eyes, ligaments, I don’t even know what all.  She was a singer-professional.  Her voice was amazing.  So, did someone get her vocal cords?  She was very protective of them, worried about damaging them all the time.  (So much for that.)  So, her stuff, especially her clothes are all that we have that we can picture her.  It has ended up that her clothing is her.  Is that weird?  I think so on one level, but then I realize that everything we have gone through is weird. 

How many more of these little things-phone calls, coincidences, lost items-will there be?


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