Thursday, May 08, 2008

I was replying to a forum post on Brocante this morning about my thoughts on my beloved sister's death in January '07. I realized I hadn't blogged much about that time in my life and it was so therapeutic to write that forum post. I want to share it here on my it part of my healing process and indulge me. There is also a link to a tribute website which our son started at the time of her passing which you might like to take a look at. It could use an update...but that will be for future months. The addy is

My post read....

When my sister died in Canada in January '07 she was cremated immediately and her ashes were collected by her married daughter (placed in an urn on her dining room table...."because it felt like mom hadn't left yet"...I think you'll understand those kinds of feelings).

With me being in the UK I had been rather detached physically from her final 2 months of illness in hospital until her death and then at the point of death I had just had those kind of phone calls or webcam chats with her daughter where sobbing happens and you just indulge one another...there is just such a depth of sadness. Being an ocean away (my sister lived in Canada...our birthplace, and me in the UK) it all seemed so real and yet so far away.

Her Memorial Service was held 3 months after her death (due to poor weather conditions and my inability to get away for the service until then) and we planned it, printed up service sheets etc. over the phone and fine-tuned it all when I arrived at my niece's home. It was a kind of surreal time between death and the Memorial Service. Yes, my sister had died and I was distraught. Yes I had the trip back to Canada (accompanied by my daughter, her hubby and our 4 grandkids..her first return journey to Canada since leaving for the UK at the tender age of 7 yrs.), the opportunity to connect with some family and friends and especially get all those hugs of comfort and understanding.

The most beautiful and for me concluding act following her death, was upon my return to Canada. We returned with niece & family and daughter & family to the small island where we had grown up and carried out my sister's wishes of scattering her ashes on the beach. It was a most holy event. I felt such a connection to was sad and healing all at once. For me, that was my final good-bye, my opportunity to "release" her. It felt so right and as a proper end to her life...and what she had asked to be done.

We travelled on after 3 days of family visits on the island to the home of my niece, went through a lot of my sister's belongings which my niece had stored in her basement, shared all the good and not-so-good memories of our childhood and made that important link between the generations. Now, more than ever, I feel such a connection with my niece. We clung to one another like flotsom in a ship wreck...and still do.

I miss my sister a lot...she was 18 yrs. my senior...and it was awful the last 3 years of her life to watch her decline from Parkinson's. I wasn't even able to understand our phone calls the last 3 months of her life, she couldn't write because it was just too we cried and laughed on the phone calls. I got to "speak" to her on my niece's cell phone barely an hour before she passed away...I read her "our" psalm 139 which holds so much tender meaning for us both and I released her into God's loving arms. Another "right" moment.

It's good to share. If you are travelling through a time of grief I hope it helps to know many others survived that journey too. "God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."


At 5:46 pm, Blogger Kentishmaid said...

Jacquie, I was moved reading this as it is more of the story you told on the SA site in January. I hope the writing of it helped you too. Good to see you are keeping the blog going, I feel sure it will benefit you greatly.
Frances xxx

At 1:22 am, Blogger Jane said...

How are you doing? It has been a while since you posted. I ahve been thinking of you and hoping you are doing well.


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