Becoming 60-something brought loss with it. I lost my father four years ago and I lost my sister five months ago. I lost my mom when I was 30-something. So now, all my biological family, other than my own children, are gone. I learned something as I made my way through my sister’s passing that I would like to share. My sister was younger than me, but plagued with addiction, she died prematurely. I loved my sister deeply. We lived fairly separate lives. But through it all, we had a bond that traversed the miles and in the end we were as together as we were discovering angel caps so long ago with our mom. During the last few months of her illness, I had her transferred to a rest home a couple of miles away from me, and I spent several hours every day, visiting with her and trying to care for her. This was the most amazing gift, I think for both of us. We had those few months to reunite, to talk, to laugh, to cry and to love each other with all our might. And here comes the lesson: I have a habit of wanting to fix everything. If someone I love is ill, or sad, or hurt, I NEED to fix it. So I hover, and I don’t know when to let go. I could not cure my sister of years of alcohol abuse and smoking. I could not change her eating habits. I could not heal her poor body. I could not convince her to put it to prayer. Her body had given up after a life long struggle. And that’s when my daughter (who happens to be a therapist) explained it to me — As we sat there (actually the day before my sister passed), my daughter said, “Mom, stop. Be quiet. Quit fussing with her blanket. Quit patting her head. Mom, she needs space — she needs quiet, so that she can find a way to comfortably leave this world and go to the next.” So we sat quietly, holding hands, and I tried to breathe. I visibly saw my sister relax and after some time, she seemed to be seeing things that we could not. My sister passed away the next day. I was there, but I was quiet. I let go. I let God.


About susansplace

Widowed in 2012, I am a mother and grandmother. Born in San Francisco, I now live in the town I grew up in: Mill Valley, California. I love nature photography. Just an amateur but that's OK! My goal: world peace. Got any ideas?
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6 Responses to Sisters

  1. Rich Kenney says:

    Wow… I, too, am sixty and have experienced loss. I see it daily as a hospice social worker. Your post speaks volumes. Thank you.

    • susiebell123 says:

      Hi Rich, Thank you for your comment! Hospice was a Godsend to me, as we cared for my sister. I’ve even wondered, if I ever retire (!) if I could become a Hospice volunteer. That is something I think I would love to do. But, it must be so hard on your heart strings! Keep up the good work. You are doing His work. But then, you knew that!

  2. Laura says:

    I hope that I am as good a sister, mom and some day grandma, as you have been. The lesson of letting go is a good one and it doesn’t make it hurt any less. Letting go might be the ultimate final act of love.
    Thank you for always showing me that caring and loving is what it is all about.

  3. Kristen says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. You care so much. You are a beautiful woman, mother
    ,daughter. Sister, and wife. With lots of love,

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