my sister passed away on friday, losing her battle with breast cancer, and she really did battle it, up to the last, denying that it could possibly tear her away from her children, who she was desperate to watch growing up. She tried everything possible, and remained positive for far longer than i think i could have managed. I loved her so very dearly, and although I knew this day would come, somehow I am still in total shock and devastation at being here.

She was the sister I loved, played with, argued with and laughed with. we were chalk and cheese over many things, yet had many things in common. we had music and our kids to bind us together, and being part of an embracing family. She was prettier and on the whole nicer, with a generous spirit and love. She was also grumpier!

I saw her last last weekend when I was deciding to go to a conference in canada. i was fairly certain i wouldn’t go, but when I was there she told me not to be so silly and to go, and bring her back something nice. In my heart and head I knew it would be a risk, but thought it would prob be OK, only 5 days after all. And I knew not to go when she asked me to would fail her, that she would know that i thought her death too imminent, so I went. By thurs i knew I was too far away for too long, though got no messages from home, but my heart was clutching with anxiety. i had a friday call from chris, which didn’t say anything was wrong. but by the time i queued for the plane i was agitated and worried. By then, she had slipped away. my mum and dad, her husband and children were present as she breathed her last. that morning she had said her last words, which were to her husband ‘have fun today’ which i think are pretty damn cool last words, though they are making me cry. I think most things will be making me cry for quite some time. Knowing for so long someone is going to die, and grieving for so long about it really don;t appear to lesson the awful grief now.

on the plane home I knew with certainty that when i switched my mobile on in baggage reclaim i would find that she had died. It was prophetic. I sat down on a chair, switched it on and saw 7 messages of condolence. most of my family had not contacted me, having decided dad would tell me when he drove me home, but those that didn’t know… several nice strangers offered me tissues and steered me sobbing to the right exit.

i saw her in the chapel of rest. she looked no different to less than a week ago. asleep perhaps, but her lips were pursed up in the way she did just before she asked for a cup of tea. she looked like she was still alive and thinking. It broke my heart anew.

so we are all struggling, my brother in law to hold things together, clutching at his children to keep the need to keep going onwards, his children, in shock and barely believing she won’t come back [a position i find myself in too] and my parents, who are about to bury a child. You just shouldn’t be predeceased by your children. They hurt with every pore in their body. It is just too hard.

I don’t plan to write many sobbing posts, I plan to make little steps that will lead me from here to a place where the sun can rise without me crying that this is another day my sister won’t see, to a future where between us all, my brother in law and my niece and nephew are whole and can carry on in life with beautiful memories and sadness also, but on the edge, rather than all we can see or feel. Thankyou for al the texts and messages. i can’t quite answer them, but i am v greatful for them.

21 responses to “Rainbows

  1. I feel so bad that I encouraged you to go, but I think you are right, she told you what to do and you did it. You did as she asked.

    Have been thinking of you so much and also of your parents; have a new and profound horror of what it must be to lose a child you have brought up and just cannot bear to put myself in their shoes.

    I think you have been amazing and try not to judge how you will feel soon by how you feel right now. You’ve been awaiting this moment for so long and everything is bound to crash. But you are amazing people and an amazing family and I know you will be great and live for her and because of her and make sure that what has to be done is done right.

  2. I’m so sorry Helen. Thinking of you and your entire family.

  3. My heart hurts for you all. Lots of love.

  4. Your love for her has poured through over and over every time you have talked about her so of course you are struggling. Merry says it so well, as always, so I’ll borrow her words, you are all amazing. *hugs*

  5. No answers ever required, just offering you all my love and support and letting you know that we are here if there is anything we can do. Big especially sends her love to Sb and Bb.

  6. Crying for you, your parents, Chris, your niece and nephew, your BIL, SB & BB.

    There are no words of wisdom, there is no comfort in facing such tests, there is no fair or natural order or rhyme or reason.

    I never met your sister yet her life has touched mine.

    Thinking of you all with much, much love and sharing your sorrow.

    And yes, very cool last words indeed.


  7. oh Helen, I love the way you have been so open and real about the whole situation up until now.
    I’m so sorry that you’re all having to go through this, but from here it does sound as though you and your family will have the strength between you to get to that place you talked about – in time.
    Hope you can all give yourselves that time.
    Sending lots of love to all of you xxxxx

  8. Like Nic, crying for all of you. Your love for your sister is and always was so clear. Wishing with all my heart that there was something I could do. Thinking of all of you, all those who loved her. Many, many hugs and condolences.

  9. I wish there was something to ease the way a little. You have been so strong. Allow yourself to wallow. Rest as much as you can. Hug yours and hers beautiful children. If there is anything at all we can do just call. Xxxxx

    • that he ll accept the uniform civil code,tell me any muslim outfit which can criticize or debate their religion,as long they cant or dont want to do that,this ll continue.The radicals ll always hold power over the liberals.

    • That is super cool! I have been on the fence about a video monitor…I might have to take the one I have on my registry off. My question is (and i don’t know much at all about monitors), it looks like most standard monitors come with 1 camera and then one screen to watch on. this looks like it is two cameras? i am a little confused about that.

  10. I thought if I went away and came back to comment I would find adequate words. But I can’t. My thinking is too disjointed. These months have been so awful, find solace that Viv isn’t suffering any more, she bore it with such strength. That strength will pass down to her children. Very cool last words. Love to all. Xxxx

  11. Just try to survive today and think about tomorrow only when it’s tomorrow; don’t expect too much of yourself. I hope you slept a bit last night. Thinking of you all.

  12. Oh Helen, you have been so strong & you must be so weary. Viv’s loss is so enormous for so many people, it is so wrong. I’m just so sorry Helen.

  13. No real words, just the verbal expression of an enfolding hug and a few tears to mingle with yours. Have a tissue. And another hug.

  14. Crying in the Greenbelt internet cafe …… I could tell how much you love her and how painful this is. Much love xxxxxxx

  15. Thinking of you and your family. You are all so amazing and I know that your strength will help you all through this sad time. Very cool last words. Love and hugs xxxxxx

  16. My heart aches for you and the family, especially your niece & nephew. I know for them, your BIL & your parents watching your sister pass away must have been unbearable, but they did it as a loving family. And that love will see you all through the grief & the pain.

  17. Helen I’m just so very sorry. I wish I could think of something inspirational to say. I’m just shedding tears for you and the rest of Viv’s family and wishing that there was something I could do that could ease the pain. So much love xxx

  18. Oh Helen, I’m so sorry for you all. You’ll be in our thoughts xx

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