Those who know me, know I’m not shy about talking about my life. Well, I lost one of my sisters to lung cancer a few weeks ago. From diagnosis to death was 4.5 months. I’m shattered. And gods, I’m so pissed at her.
Erin smoked, forever. She stopped once, for a few years. (I think. Maybe she just stopped in front of family.) But cigarettes were impossible for her to quit. Even after her diagnosis.
I’ll never understand. We were close and I’d given up trying to use logic, or asking why she didn’t quit for her two grandchildren. Wanting to see them grow up. Her son, a wonderful young man…walking the girls down the aisle… Nothing worked.
Cigarettes were her best friend. Her lover, her confidant. She was more than chemically dependent.
But enough of that.
I miss her terribly. And the pain I feel, striking me out of nowhere, is ruthless. Tears are never far from me. We argued, a lot. Mostly through emails and Facebook IMing. I was never very good with on the spot conversation. She was a much faster wit than I was. And a faster strike. And she didn’t always play fair. Erin had a sharp tongue and very little awareness of how painful her words could be.
That was simply who she was. I did better with her when it came to using my keyboard. And I think she took a bit more time when she was writing/conversing.
She was one of my big sisters. I have two, one is 7 years older. Erin was 3 years older. She and I were more of the same generation than with my other two siblings. Though she really stood at the border. I can’t believe she isn’t there anymore.
The last time I lost a family member, it was two months after I’d nearly died from Sudden Cardiac Death. And I was wandering a bit in my personal PTSD, hiding quite well from the trauma and fear of my close call. When Dad died, PTSD sheltered me from the pain. (It isn’t just fight and flight, there is also freeze. I froze with my PTSD. Felt little, reacted in a fog…took me half a year to face what happened.)
I have no barriers with Erin. It’s now, it’s present and it is so, so painful. I know I’ll walk out from beneath this cloud eventually. And I’ll stop being pissed at her at the same time. For not just leaving her son and his family. And our mother. And our siblings. But she also left me.