Note: This was written in 2013 in honor of my sister who passed away in 2006. She was 14 years old.
In honor of Sarah’s eight year anniversary of having passed on, I’m going to give my story on the events. This is based on a true story, but I will not be including the original names. This will also be longer than my usual page a day story. I’m not asking for pity. I’m not even asking that you read it. It’s up to you. I’m getting the story out as a part of the healing process.
It was 10:30 A.M on February 13th. Bryan woke me and Frank up urgently. Normally, I’m very hard to wake up. Today, I could sense something was wrong. I woke up immediately. I looked in Bryan’s face and knew something was wrong and sprang out of bed before he could even tell me that Drew was in the living room and wanting to talk to me.
I ran down the hall and got to the living room to find Drew. The look on his face made my heart stop. I knew somebody had died. My mind raced with the possibilities of who. I could tell that it was hurting him badly to have found out. I swallowed the lump that had somehow formed in my throat as I waited for him to talk.
“Sarah passed away this morning.”
This is the point where I completely lost it. Frank had caught up to the living room at this point and sat beside me where I had collapsed on the couch. I couldn’t tell you how long after he passed the news that Drew left. I couldn’t even tell you whether or not he said anything else. I was devastated and crying. I don’t even know how I managed to breathe.
Sometime after hearing the news, Frank and I drove to my grandmother’s house. On the way there, I couldn’t help but notice how dreary the weather was. It felt to me like even the Earth was mourning the loss. I’m sure that wasn’t the case, but that’s how it made me feel when I saw it. It’s amazing the things that comfort you when you are completely heart broken.
It was at my grandmother’s that we found out the whole situation of her death. Though I still remember it, I’d like not to repeat this. I will say that the news of it made me angry. I couldn’t believe that something like this happen and nothing was done about it.
Two days after Sarah passed away, they held a viewing for her. At the time, I didn’t understand why it was happening so fast. Between hearing the news and her viewing, I had somehow tricked myself into thinking that there was a mistake. That they had found out Sarah was really okay and that they had mistaken her for somebody else. Sadly this wasn’t the case.
The amount of emotions I felt that night was truly shocking now that I look back on it. I remember feeling angry and appalled that anybody would want to take pictures of this tragic event. I remember feeling horribly depressed seeing her lying there and not being able to wake her up. I remember feeling awkward when people came by to tell me how sorry they were and not knowing how to respond to them. The thing I remember the most, is that I wanted to run away. I wanted to just get as far away from the whole situation as I could.
The next day was the funeral. I remember being swept away by how many people showed up. It touched me to know that there were so many people who cared to pay their respects. I won’t go into the service of her funeral because something happened that I’m still working to erase from my memory. My mother will never forget it. To put it lightly, the preacher used my mother’s name instead of my sister’s. We’ll leave it at that.
We got to her grave and the full reality of the situation hit me. I was hit with an urge to scream at everybody to stop. I wanted to tell them that it wasn’t right and that we could save her somehow if we just tried harder. As the coffin lowered itself into the ground, I felt like a part of me went down with it.
For two years after her death, I didn’t speak to anybody unless I absolutely had to. I let myself be drug away into my own little world. I pushed some people away to the point there was absolutely no turning back from it. Frank left me after doing everything he could to bring me back. Looking back, I can’t say I blame him. I don’t resent him either. I think deep down, a part of me just wanted to be alone.
I blamed myself for her death. I was the older sister, and I should have protected her better. This was my point of view anyways. In reality, I know that there was nothing I could of done to stop what happened.
I will say this though. You never truly know the pain of loss like that until you’ve lost somebody you love very much. It’s a feeling you will never understand until you experience it yourself. Doesn’t matter how that person is related to you. They could be your parents, your friends, your significant other, or any family that you are really close to.
I knew that I didn’t want to suffer that kind of pain again. That’s the reason I did what I did. It’s the reason I stopped contacting people and stayed to myself for two years. In my mind, at the time, I felt like if I just didn’t talk to people I wouldn’t be close to people and it wouldn’t hurt me when something happened. I wouldn’t be broken so badly.
It has now been eight years. I now know that when the time comes, you just have to say goodbye. We are all bound to get hurt and lose people. It’s going to happen no matter how much we try to shield ourselves from it. At least we can hold on to the hope that we will see them again when the time comes. They are waiting for us.
It doesn’t hurt as badly as it did eight years ago. There is still a hurtful longing inside me though. Sometimes, I will find something that belonged to her and wish that she was here so I could hear that special laugh of hers again. Then I smile with the knowledge that one day I will. Until then, I’ll live for her. It’s what she would want me to do. She wouldn’t want me to put my life on hold for her. She’d want me to continue living my life. She’d want me to be happy.
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