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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Things No One Told Me (About Grief)

As I get ready for church this morning, I am feeling low on faith and strength.

I saw a quote yesterday: "A woman without her sister is like a bird without wings."

No one ever told me that I would feel this way after losing the person closest to me. When my mother passed away, that was a different kind of grief. That was grief shared. With Mike.

Unlike other women my age, I didn't spend a life with husbands and kids of my own. I spent a life with my sister and my mother. We always lived with or near each other. We were a team of the family women.

After Mom passed, Mike and I became more than sisters. We became a team of two. We were each other's strength when relationships failed, when job stresses overwhelmed us, and when life did what it does and went into little surprise tailspins.

At one of the loneliest times of my life, when a marriage had failed, I remember looking out of the bedroom window at the sky. I was thinking of how big this world is and how orphaned I felt - in a strange state with an abusive husband and no family of my own around me. I was thinking that I had one thing on this earth that would get me through: my sister. She was somewhere on earth, under the same sky, and that made everything bearable.

No one ever told me that grief would ebb and flow. That I would go from feeling numb to feeling new every sensation of emotional pain that ever could be felt. No one told me that I would sometimes feel paralyzed by my loss, unable to function, barely able to breathe. I didn't know that I would catch scent from one the hats Mike wore or catch sight of some of her belongings and then just die a little.

Last night, I sat looking out the window, thinking that I no longer have Mike somewhere on this earth and under the same sky.

So, I am going to church this morning, feeling orphaned and wingless.

No one ever told me this is what grief feels like.


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