When you’re going through it, all you know is what you feel. All you know is the hurt. But as an outsider, it’s the hardest thing in the world to comfort. Grief – Loss’ fucked up sister.
Today, all I can do is use my words.
On the second anniversary of my sister’s passing, I got inked. It wasn’t anything special, it was just a word: “Memories.” It hurt, and anyone who knows would know that I am a baby when it comes to pain threshold. But I sucked it up and did it. Ironically, it wasn’t the tattoo pain I needed help dealing with. With every pierce of the needle, I remembered a little more how much I missed her.
Why did I do it? Well, I had my reasons. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows the pain that comes in waves. Sadness, hurt, disappointment, anger, resentment. Sometimes all of those at once. But in between, and after those moments, is even more loss. That is why I did it.
I lost a little more every day. I lost her smile. Her laugh. I lost the sound of her voice. The nuances in the color of her hair. I lost her comfort. I lost her advice. I lost her strength. I just…. lost.
That ink kept her close to me. I knew, no matter what, I’d always carry her (and the memory of her) with me.
Every April 30th for many years after her passing, it rained. As if God, Himself, were paying tribute to my grief; I would watch the rain mirror my tears. I cried, and sometimes I still do, because it hurt. I allow myself to feel that.
More days now, though, I think of what she wanted for my life. I hear her speak to me in quiet moments. She tells me to love myself more. She tells me to take better care of my heart. She tells me to honor my spirit.
I never got the opportunity to say goodbye before she passed. But I have spoken with her many times, since then, in prayer and in my dreams. She’s okay. And she wants nothing but the best for me. She wants me to be patient with being human. But she also doesn’t want me to use that as a crutch. I try to honor her place in my life by living a better one. I try to add days to her existence by adding light to mine.
This song brought me much comfort. Angel Standing By – Jewel. Sweet and simple. I hope, to any of you who might feel the same sadness, that it brings you comfort, too.