I saw you again tonight- beautiful, young, and healthy. I do not remember the roles we played or the content of our conversation, but I do recall the details of your face and the boundlessness of your roaring laughter. I wish the erasing power of wakefulness had not overtaken your words. Just like a dream, not to warn me ahead of time so I could take mental notes or pay more attention. I was just your sister and you weren’t dead, a minor moment in a lifetime full of grand events, pivotal incidents, and proverbial forks in the road.
I wish we had a weekly lunch date in some restaurant serving the midpoint between Earth and the Great Beyond where we could philosophize, talk about superheroes, what if scenarios, and routines on either side of the veil. I wish I could grab your face and kiss your cheek like you detested. I wish I could hear you make light of my tendencies, infuriating me. I wish I knew the timetable for your appearances so I could be better prepared to remember, to focus, to make it count. Maybe I could turn a tiny interaction into a grand adventure or some wise instruction could be the salve to the sometimes crushing sadness I feel without you.
I know I sleep too much, hoping for a meeting with you or some dream breakthrough miracle that will transform my actual life. I know it’s been 8 months and 18 days since you left and I so often feel like my heart will stop working from the pain in my chest or I will bleed to death from the wound inside. I know numbness and avoidance are not the answer.
I also know that I am still here. I survived other nightmares, other times I thought the end point had been reached. I somehow clawed my way out of feeling like I had been buried alive more than once and I am still here.
Always & Forever,
Originally, I wrote this letter to my brother in January. When I feel the need rise up inside me, I usually talk to Josh out loud, but I have discovered that arranging my thoughts in the letter form helps me express my feelings in a way that soothes and is conducive to a different type of reflection. I highly recommend this method for those processing any type of grief. Sometimes the thoughts and feelings land on paper in an unexpected way and can illuminate the path to inner peace as we process loss.