Posted by: chlost | April 12, 2010


Today is the two-month anniversary of my sister’s death.  The anniversary of the day my family’s world changed forever.  The day that I totally lost all control of everything when I heard the news.

In so many ways, it feels as though it was much longer ago than two months.  Winter has turned to spring. I have made two trips to Virginia. There has been a holiday and a couple of birthdays in the family.

But it has been only two months. 

It is still not real to me. Because we lived a half-continent apart, I hadn’t seen her since last August, although we spoke on the phone at least once, and often twice a week.  I have looked at some family photos which are on a 2010 calendar made by my other sister for this past Christmas. I have had a hard time turning the page each month to see my sister in these photos.  But I think I know which photo was the last one taken of all of us together.  If only we had known…….

When I woke up this morning, I felt a heaviness without really knowing why.  Then I realized the date and its significance.  Now I have been near tears and overwhelmed with all of it.  How long does this last?

When I look at the pictures, I see her and wonder who has her eyes, her skin, her bones.  She was a tissue donor, and every part of her body was harvested for others.  I hope that they are doing well. But not as much as I wish that she were still here using them herself.

It is going to be a long, hard day today.



  1. My brother died nine years ago in a drowning accident and although time has certainly eased the ache, I still miss him and wonder what his life would be like now. You’re still very early in the process – go easy on yourself.

  2. I always see/hear these statements on the news about “closure”… like some event, action or process can bring about this closure, then everything will be fine after that an you can move on. I don’t think there is any closure – I think that people who were significant in our lives leave a void when they are gone. I think it is OK to to acknowledge that, to recognize that void and remember that it was filled with that someone in our life who we loved, someone who was a part of us. Feeling sad that they are gone is a result of our love for them… THAT part never goes away.

  3. I came across your blog today and saw this post about your sister. I read backwards through your posts the past few months and was so startled to read about your sister. One of my sisters also died suddenly at home. Her husband was sleeping in his recliner and when he woke up he found her dead of a heart attack. She was 49; it was the day before her 50th birthday.

    It’s been four years. I don’t cry when I think of her, but there is a sad place in my soul where her memory resides.

    • Thank you. I hope to someday not cry, I think. But then I wonder whether that would be good or bad. It seems quite a coincidence that your sister also died just before her 50th and that you are a serious student and teacher of Judaism. My sister loved singing at Temple, and the Rabbi was wonderful at her service. She helped us so much more than my sister’s minister. Thank you for your comment, I plan to read your site some more.

  4. It’s hard for me to realize my sister is gone forever We were supposed to grow old, sit around telling stories about our youth and laugh together. We could have talked about Mom; by then the pain of losing her wouldn’t have been so fresh. I would have treasured that. Instead…

    I’m glad you had a good experience with the Rabbi your sister knew. I find the Jewish way of mourning to be filled with wisdom on what it takes to move from intense grieving to coping with life once more. In less than six years I lost my mother, sister, father and a nephew; I’m hoping to get a break from mourning for awhile.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog to read, even though I don’t think I’ve written anything worth reading in months or maybe longer! I’ve become bored with blogging about religion so plan to write about something else for awhile. I do enjoy learning and teaching, but…I need a change of pace right now.

    I’m also from MN, BTW, but thankfully from a different district than you so that I do not have to claim the lovely Michelle as my rep, although she still is a blot on the face of our state.

    • Thank you for your kind note. When you listed your losses, I realized that in the past six years I have lost my stepmother, father, a good friend from high school (also just days from her 50th birthday), and my sister. I, too, hope to have a break from loss, but I think it is just part of life.
      My sister was actually studying Hebrew, and was very close to the Rabbi and others at the Temple. They were all very supportive, but the Rabbi in particular. We three sisters were very close. I don’t have the alternative picture figured out yet of what our future looks like. The loss of that future together is very painful.
      Are you currently in MN, or just “from” MN? I am always curious about how people end up where ever they are living.

  5. I’m both from MN and currently living in MN. I moved away for 15 years and returned almost 15 years ago. My understanding is that MN has lots of retreads like me. I saw some of Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and most of the States during those years but eventually found my way back here, not even sure how! The first few years back I was quite restless and wanting to move on again, but I stayed put for my kids and now I enjoy my friends and community so I’m not all that eager to pull up roots anymore, although I still think about it now and then.

    I spent most of the away years in the southern U.S. and on tropical islands. After a few years on never ending summer I was ready to return to four seasons. Winters here don’t bother me but I love the fall best.

    Another person dying right before turning 50? I turn 49 this week perhaps not such a great age to be. Maybe I should just skip it, although my older brother made it through, along with two other sisters previously so guess I’ll just have to do the same. I’ll cross my fingers.

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