It seems incomprehensible that it’s been 10 years since I got the phone call that you’d died. Incomprehensible, in part, because at the time it seemed beyond the realm of possibility that I could go on living without you. I didn’t realize at the time that losing you would be ongoing, because we lose people in tiny increments, feeling additional bits of loss along the way as I see things that you would have liked, or things that remind me of you. In that sense, it’s never over.
The world has changed a lot since you’ve left us. I think of how we could have stayed in touch with Facebook and Skype. But the fundamentals have stayed the same: family and friends. It’s always painful when I hear people talk about their sisters. The reality is that no one wants to talk or hear about my sister, because she is dead, and it makes people uncomfortable. I don’t warm up to people the way I once did, and I suspect this is a permanent change. Some things that are broken can never be fixed.
I hope you find it amazing that we have given 36 scholarships away with your life insurance money. I remember you and I sitting in coffee shops on our various trips to Vegas, talking about our dreams. Never in our flights of fancy did we imagine this ending, but it turned out pretty noble and I think you would like that. I’ve learned to expect neither too little nor too much from life; it simply is.
For many years I thought I would never be truly happy again. I cried rivers when you left, and I still feel robbed of your presence. Things will never be the same of course, but life did go on well for me. There is a little blonde headed girl running around my house who crinkles her nose when she laughs – so reminiscent of the aunt she never knew. She laughs a lot. She’s a great reminder that nothing is permanent; we are all here for such a short time, and our main purpose is to nurture the next generation.