Grieving for my family looks very different than what I've seen in the movies. And really, that's been the only tangible experience we've had as a family with death and dying. Grandparents have passed on after lengthy lives, but I was too young for their deaths to have played a major part of my life. And though my mother has passed, it had been decades since I'd seen her or she'd been relevant in my life. For me her death happened when she abandoned me, plain and simple, so when her actual physical death happened, it was sad, but there wasn't this.
My new normal means I carry a cracked and battered heart inside of me. I've always relied on the fact that my sister, just 19 months younger than me, and I would be old together. I've always known that I'd be the one that would look after our parents, I just never in a million years imagined it would be because my sister wouldn't be here.
Life is hard and bad things happen to good people and all of this, seems very unfair. And that's life. It's beautiful and it's fucked up and it's the true balance of Yin and Yang. (Chinese medicine really has it all figured out with the truth that all of life is yin and yang and it's trying to achieve that balance, that we strive for.)
When the shit falls down around you, you'll see friends that you thought were with you for life move along and you'll find strength in others that you've never met in person; a friend who gets you without having to explain.
I am fragile and I am made of the most resilient elastic. The sterility of it all, the words, the sucker punches that come with harsh truths, have to bounce off of me so I can carry on.