It’s been two weeks since my sister passed away, and everyday is a bit of a struggle, some worse than others. Some of those days have also been beautiful and amazing. In the midst of the beauty and the pain, in the midst of the struggle to focus and find my drive to keep moving forward, have been these little moments when a single word heard within the string of lyrics in a song pairs up in random synchronicity with an image in my field of vision and a slippery emotion that bubbles up into my conscious mind. In that moment, she is there with me, completely present in my mind, and I realize that impossible state of knowing she is with me while knowing she is gone.
It’s an Alice in Wonderland moment to be sure, a moment in which I am holding two completely opposite and opposing thoughts in my head simultaneously that are both equally true and false. She is here and she is gone, and in that juxtaposition, as reality bends and warps and the moment fades, I am struck by one defining certainty. My sister was one of the bravest people who I have ever known.
There is no single person in existence who shared the raw experiences of my young life, experiences that shaped and honed and groomed me into who I am today. She knew me on a level that can never be replaced or achieved again, and she was my first hero. She was the person I wanted to grow up to be like when I was small, and it wasn’t until we were grown that I learned she had always wanted to be like me. The truth is that we have ended up more like each other than either of us ever knew, and now it is only me who understands that singular truth because she is gone…and yet she remains, here with me in my mind and heart, hidden from view until moments collide, bringing her to the surface of my mind and reminding me that I am not alone.
That is the beauty of a sister.
That is the beauty of my sister.