September 2, 2012
In Memory of my sister (10/1963 to 8/2012)
I know this blog is straying from my usual format but it has been a difficult week. Funny thing is that all week I knew I had to write my blog but I just couldn’t bring myself to getting in the right frame of mind. It was a struggle to want to write as I knew this would probably be the last week for my sister, who had been battling rare appendix cancer for several years.
Of course, I didn’t know exactly when she would breath her last breath but it wasn’t until I awoke the day after her passing that I felt compelled to write again.
My sister fought hard and strong to overcome this dreaded disease but the aggressive, rare cancer ultimately took over. She fought the battle like no one I have seen before. She loved her family tremendously. Every family has its ups and downs but she was grateful that in the end our family grew closer. For, as dreaded as her disease was, it did bring our family closer.
Grieving is a normal part of life. We all experience it in someway. Whether a death of a loved one, a divorce or broken relationship, or loss of anything that is meaningful to us.
Many of us are familiar with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross‘ book, “On Death and Dying.” In it, she identified five stages that a dying patient experiences when informed of their terminal prognosis. Kubler-Ross identified the following states:
- Denial (this isn’t happening to me!)
- Anger (why is this happening to me?)
- Bargaining (I promise I’ll be a better person if…)
- Depression (I don’t care anymore)
- Acceptance (I’m ready for whatever comes)
Many people believe that these stages of grief are also experienced by others when they have lost a loved one.
Although there may be typical stages of grief, the process is different for everyone. Whether sudden or expected, grieving is a necessary process in our lives. I believe one’s faith is an important part of how they deal with anything in life but especially during times of loss.
For me, I remember my sister as a strong, joyful, caring person. Her faith, family and friends were essential in her life but most important to her was her faith. Her faith became stronger through her illness and carried her through the difficult times. This same faith is what will carry me through in dealing with her no longer living with me on this earth.
I am blessed to have a large network of family and friends to get me through this difficult time. But if I didn’t, I would turn to the outside resources that are available to the loved ones left behind. For those grieving now and for those that will be grieving one day, I hope this blog post will help in some way to encourage you along your journey.