This morning I learned my sister died; not my blood sister, but my sister by choice and mutual adoption, which can result in an even stronger bond than one related by blood. We were friends more than 40 years, and considered ourselves sisters for perhaps the last 25. We lived 35 or 40 miles apart, and usually met for lunch at least every two or three months, midway between our homes. We spoke frequently by phone, sometimes daily, sometimes every three or four days, but always kept in touch. We celebrated birthdays, Christmas, children’s weddings, births of grandchildren, and, with me, even great-grandchildren. We shared our happy times as well as our times of sadness, sorrow and difficulty. We talked over problems and took pleasure in being reliable listeners. We both loved people, and did our best to raise the level of love within society.
This death seemed to come so suddenly that I was definitely not prepared for it, and I’m sure, neither was she. Though, perhaps we are never prepared fully for the death of a dearly loved one. It was not related to COVID, but her health became suddenly so severe that I never got to have last words with her, as she was placed in an induced coma from which she was never fully released before her death. I was not allowed to visit, due both to her condition as well as COVID. Even her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter were not allowed to visit in person until the very end.
My reason for discussing this is to remind us all, particularly myself, and especially during this time when we are most often separated from our dear ones, just how important it is to let them know, in one way or another, that we love and cherish them. Optimally this would happen regularly and often. Expressing to friends and family just how much they enrich our lives is a bonus both for ourselves as well as for them.
I will greatly miss my sister. As the day passes, I absent-mindedly think about something to tell her when we talk again soon; then the tears and sadness return when I realize that will not be easy or possible. I will leave her folder on my computer, as I have left the folders of other friends no longer in this world. I will not forget the bond that we had for these many years, and think about her with much love, touched with great sadness.
Goodbye, Sweet Sister!