We say good bye to people all the time. Every time we leave our home we call out good bye to who ever has been left behind. We say goodbye to people that work in shops that serve us as we leave, and in turn people say goodbye to us as they depart from our presence and the space that we have occupied together. Saying good bye is usually said with the unconscious belief that we will see that person again. It’s the greatest presumption that we will-and we continue to believe that nothing terrible will happen to either of us in the meantime, and that we will get to see each other again soon. That’s the way we go through life. We expect to live indefinitely and when death comes to call unexpectedly and cruelly there is often no time to say good bye.
My darling younger sister died shockingly 2 years ago, 9 days after giving birth to twin boys. Her death was as a result of an undisclosed aneurism that ruptured between the central lobes of her brain. The medical staff in the emergency Dept that she was rushed to after she was found at home collapsed and unconscious, could not stem the bleed and she remained on life support for two days until we- her family took the decision to turn it off. We said our good bye’s that moment and over the blur of the next few days before she was eventually cremated.
Tonight while tidying out a press I came across an old mobile phone. I had changed my phone to a smart one shortly after her death and must have put this one away. I charged it up to see what was on it – and shockingly and unexpectedly there was my beautiful sister. All our texts to each other prior to her delivering her babies- reports from the hospital gagging over the unsavory food- the thrill of coming back home with her new boys to greet her 5 year old (whom she adored and called her “Prince”) and settling in back home with her 3 beloved children and husband. This time was short lived and 3 days later her aneurism ruptured.
Finding all those sweet messages that we shared before, during, and after her hospital stay really made her come alive for me briefly tonight. The texts from her friends and family were all still there too, and although it was heartbreaking to read them, it also allowed me to reflect and recall that terrible time and to say goodbye privately to her from my heart. We were very close and I loved her so. Her love for me was evident in those messages too and I am glad that I had the opportunity to read them again. I know I must have read them when she died, but I was crazy with grief and don’t remember doing so.
My dear and much loved sister may be gone from this world- but her beauty lives on in her children and her kindness lives on in the many people who were the beneficiaries of her generosity. Goodbye to a wonderful sister, friend, companion and confident….. I miss her every day, and although life continues it does so in a different way. I believe implicitly that she is part of my ultimate destiny, and I too held onto that simple assumption that we would see each other again and that we would share the joys of watching her children grow. I was wrong.