some day

I promise you sis one day I will be okay. I know how much you loved your life, and I don’t want to be ungrateful. We have had many blessings, so much love. But you’re gone. Mom’s gone. I sit with that loss and emptiness frequently.

Grief says your loss is as great as your love. If that’s the case, sis, maybe I’ll never be okay. I’ve had my ups and downs in the last three years. The highs of football games, and honors classes, Spanish classes, all the things that were important to you for your kids, they are doing. Going to college, engaging in life. I hope you’re proud of them. I know I am. I’m not an instigator sis, so I’m afraid in this way I’ve let you down. Okay, Covid-19 made us hunker down for more than a year as a family, so that’s not on me. But I am just not there yet, where I can get so excited about a thing that I want to drag the family out to do it. Sure we’ve gone to the Dells for a week of fun in the sun. That really was a nice time. Lots of laughter, snacks, bad eating, water parks, staying up late. But you would have made it better. I just don’t measure up to you. I never will. I still feel sadness. I still can’t believe it. I am still outraged. And I know you always wanted us sisters to be closer. Well, you know our family. Dysfunctional was a word created for us. Don’t get your hopes up. Where is this going sis? The anniversary of your death is tomorrow. I can’t stop thinking about you. I can’t stop the rage. I’m devastated by all our losses. Perhaps on this earth we will never be whole. My broken heart feels utterly worthless. I carry on, but I am crushed by the weight of losing you.

This is the week my sister was killed. It has been on my mind on and off. It is filtering into morning coffee making. As I water my plants in the morning’s first light it pushes through my brain fog. It has a loudmouthed agenda as I drive to work. My sister is dead, dead, and dead with the rhythm of my tires on the road. I play music even louder and open the windows to out scream that chant.

But my mind wants to remember three years ago and so I carry that like an albatross through my days this week. It is heavy, its claws bite into my skin, and it weakens my legs with the weight of it, my stomach lurches in remembrance of that life shattering pain.

“Paul killed Holly” the phone said. It felt like Déjà vu or I was still asleep, as if it couldn’t be true. The words floated around me but I was incapable of acknowledging that statement. Then, “Can you talk to the kids?” As one can imagine those next minutes are a blur in my mind, the most important piece being “I’m coming. It’s Auntie Melody and I’m coming.” There were tears mostly on the other end, tiny voices, and shattered souls, blown clear from their quiet safe lives. It was a strange moment of intense pain unlike any other in my life. All I could think is they are alone. I have to get there.

A lot of things broke when my sister was killed. Inside me most of all, I cannot speak for others, but also other relationships that I thought were something, became nothing. Did we really think we could survive that much pain? Grief is selfish in a way, in our anger we say horrible things; things that somehow can’t be undone, can’t be unwound, the ferocious language of rage and the bitterness of murder.

I am to blame but we couldn’t survive it. We are crushed, disabled, ruined.

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