If that’s too harsh for you, I won’t apologize. Grief sucks. And she’s selfish. And inconsiderate. And oh, so evil. That’s how I feel. The grief I’m experiencing right now is so heavy it physically hurts. My oldest sister, my beautiful, sweet sister, passed away unexpectedly April 15th and losing her caused a pain I don’t want. A pain I can’t escape. A pain deeper than any I’ve ever known.
“They” say there are seven stages of grief: shock and denial, pain and guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, the upward turn, reconstruction and working through, and acceptance and hope. “They” don’t say which order they’ll impose in or how long they’ll hover and hold you. And if you’ve ever experienced grief, you know you can’t pick the order in which the stages of grief decide to dump themselves on you. Grief sucks. I miss my sister and I want her back. I want more time with her. I feel like I was cheated out of time with such a beautiful soul and I am angry about it. I feel terrible for my mom. I can’t imagine what she feels. To birth, raise, and then have to bury a child is something unimaginable, unless you go through it yourself. Yes, losing any loved one is painful. But to lose a child is, I imagine, and indescribable pain. My mom is so strong and spiritually sound, she is “dealing” with Simone’s passing. But I wonder if she really is. I’m not inside her head or heart. I don’t know the thoughts and feelings she wrestles with. I just thank God that she knows Him. I thank God I can be a witness to His strength through her.
I still want my sister back, though. She had a stroke last year after giving birth to a most handsome chocolate brown baby boy. She fought to relearn her name, how to walk and talk, and she thrived as one of the most awesome and attentive mothers ever. But, God took her back last month and that loss hit different. Each and every moment seems to be a struggle. At first. I didn’t understand why she had to die. Then I realized God’s will isn’t always understood. It’s just perfect. Sometimes, I feel guilty smiling with her son. I feel guilty smiling at all. Guilt is weird. It doesn’t make sense. Sometimes, I feel awful and paralyzed. Other times, I’m reminded of things my sister told me, and I am encouraged to fight through.
All the time, I miss my sister. All the time I think about how I can be the best auntie to her son, my only nephew. All the time, I think about making her proud, and so, I’m fighting through. Simone would want me to. She needs me to. And so I will. I will keep fighting to get up each day and push through the pain. I will keep fighting for my dreams. And I will fight to be a better sister to my brother and other three living sisters. I will fight to be a better person, a more kindhearted person, a more genuine person, like my sister, Simone Aisha Thomas Laners.
This is part one of my four part series about grief, in which I’m sharing some of the things that grief is teaching me, some of the ways my knowledge and expertise in self-care is helping me to cope, in hopes of helping someone else.
Stay tuned for part two. And feel free to leave a comment.