26 March 2008

Acceptance

It has been quite some time since I've written about my sister. I think of her everyday though, and during the most unexpected moments. Her anniversary is coming soon, and I have been missing her more than usual. On the 31st, it will have been eight years. Eight years. I cannot even believe that I have survived for this long without her. When she first died, the pain of losing her was so intense. There were moments of grief so unbearable, I was convinced that one could die from missing someone so much. I had gone through all the emotional stages of grief: sadness, anger, realization, and finally, acceptance.

But even acceptance cannot heal the hurt in my heart and the longing that I feel for her. I look at my daughter, and at times I can see glimpses of my sister's face in her, or I see movements and mannerisms that remind me of my sister. It is in these moments that I miss my sister the most. But I also miss her when I'm reading a book or watching a movie that I know she would have liked. I miss her when I'm riding the subway and some weirdo takes a seat next to me. If she were still here, we could have laughed about it. But she's not, and acceptance has stopped me from cursing God about why He took her instead of me.

It's been a long road to get to where I am now in my acceptance of her no longer being here. I no longer cry for her everyday or sit in a room catatonic with grief. But the pain is still there, dull, but ever-present. It is that same pain that reminds me, however, that she still lives, comfortably nestled in my heart.

07 March 2008

No Explanation

We were roommates and best friends in college. Even after college, we stayed best friends, calling each other every day after work to vent to each other our daily frustrations. Some days, particularly on especially stressful days, we spoke twice a day or more. We were as close as two friends could be. She lived in New Jersey, and I lived in Washington, but because we spoke everyday, the distance never hindered our friendship.

I told her everything about me, sparing no secrets, and even divulged to her things that I would be embarrassed to utter to myself alone. She, in turn, a very private person by nature, revealed her deep and dark skeletons to me.

During my first months of marriage, I had kept private my increasing problems with my marriage. She was the only one that knew of my troubles, and my only source of venting. One day, after an extreme situation in my marriage, I called her for some sound advice. She is a family law attorney and is accustomed to situations far worse than what I was experiencing, but more importantly, she was my friend, and I knew that if nothing else, she would be a voice of reason. She offered me some advice and then said she would get back to me as she needed further clarification on something. I never heard back from her.

That was over four years ago. I have called her countless times and have written her letters. I even wrote her an apology letter shortly after our last conversation. I feared that maybe I put too much on her plate or somehow offended her in some way. She did send me one cryptic email reassuring me that I had done nothing wrong, but for reasons that she did not yet feel comfortable to share with me, she no longer could be friends with me. To her credit, she has never forgotten my birthday, and every year, I get a text message from her or an e-card wishing me a happy birthday.

So our ten-plus years of best friendship all comes down to one message a year. No explanation, no nothing. I have since given up on trying to contact her. She knows where I am, and how to reach me.

I read in the society papers that she has gotten married, and she and her husband have bought a lovely home out in the Jersey Shore. I felt happy that she and her boyfriend had finally gotten married. A point of contention in her relationship with him was that she felt that he did not want to get married even though they had been together for several years. It looks as though she got what she wanted.

As happy as I am for her, it hurt more than a little that I had to find out about her good news through the newspaper. Maybe one day, I will know what her reasons were or are for no longer being my friend. Meanwhile, I sincerely wish her nothing but happiness and good fortune.

"I don't even remember what it was I was mad about and I don't care. Whatever it was that you did, I forgive you."

"What I did? You and your lousy letters. Just to get one of them made me special even before I opened it. All your crappy stories, all your big dreams."

"I didn't know that."
 
"Well, what the hell did you know? Did you know how bad things were for me? No, because you wouldn't even open my letters. If you had even answered one, just one! Told me what a jerk I was, anything! But you didn't. You took your friendship away without even discussing it with me. So, thank you very much for forgiving me. But I don't forgive you."
~ Hillary and C.C. Bloom, Beaches