Yesterday would have been my sister’s 42nd birthday. I wish I had the time to go away somewhere to just think and be and grieve for her. It amazes me that the world puts such pressure on people to move on… and perhaps we put pressure on ourselves.. but grief really is a very long process. And my grief has been continually squashed by 3 boys and their events and needs and a hubbler and a job that is overwhelming at the best of times.
Over the past 2 years she has been gone I find myself being weepy on the rare occasions when the guys are all out of the house. Especially if they are gone camping for the weekend. I guess my mind just knows that sometimes the heart needs to be put on hold… and then when the quiet moment comes, and I know I won’t be interrupted, the grief can emerge.
My sister wanted no funeral or memorial. Her death came at the end of a long year of ups and downs, close calls and then renewed hope. I was thousands of miles away and trusting my parents reports. After 4 or 5 rebounds, I think we all started assuming a set back would be just that. Recovery would happen. But the same day the youngest child came down with swine flu, she passed away. I almost couldn’t believe it. With no funeral, and a very ill child, my parents said not to come. My mother still says I was so lucky not to be there. And I angrily respond I should have been.
Because they did get together and mourn the next day. While I remained a long way away, alone in my grief.
My mother in law gave me this beautiful Camellia as a remembrance of my sister. My sister was very different from me – she had no interest in sewing or gardening. But my mother in law knew that I loved flowering plants, and she chose one that would flower around her birthday each year. And sure enough, this year the blooms have been gorgeous, opening this week of her birthday.
The camellia bush is right outside my office window where I can see it and enjoy it. And at this time of year, hold my own mini-memorial. It was a lovely gift.