What, me worry?

Sunday, June 20, 2010


The time comes to reflect on those who have come and gone in one's life.

Today is the anniversary of my sister Joyce's death. I've been thinking about her a lot lately.
There has been so much loss lately. Not necessarily people wise I just feel a sense of loss.
Not every year is like this, it's just particularly hard this year.
I always take a portion of this day and go to the cemetary to visit.
This is the poem I wrote in the days after she left us:

Happy Father's Day
Early in the morning
I have yet to rise
I hear car doors open and close
There are voices outside
People walking very fast
Judith comes running into her room
She climbs into her bed
Proceeds to cry.
I ask her what is wrong
She says I will find out when I get up
I am very confused
I decide to get up
I open the door to the hallway
It sits next to the front door
The front door opens and people enter
Firemen carrying a stretcher
They carry it onto the patio
I watch and see what Judith is crying about
Our sister's lifless body as they try to revive her
Her limp body being lifted onto the stretcher
They carry her away
Happy Father's Day.

It is Father's Day
They are taking her body away in an ambulence
My mother goes along
Dad is staying with us
He tells us as we rise
Where were we when she took her fatal swim
The extra sleep was not worth it
It is too late to worry about that
We all sit and wait
A policeman takes a statement from Dad
They look at all the conditions
They look to place blame
It is not our fault she could unlock doors
It is not our fault she rose early(or was it?)
The phone soon rings
I pick it up
Mom says, "She's gone"
Dad picks up the other phone
As if he hopes there is still a chance
He needs to hear again because he can't believe
Realization sets in
He sobs
It is the most awful sound I have ever heard.

I call some friends
They do not believe me until they see the news
How can I joke about that
The funeral is Tuesday night
We have to go see the body first
Privately we say good-bye
She looks like a doll
She feels like a doll
A beautiful doll in a liitle white box
I can't believe they make them that small
All I can do now is wonder why
Even my brothers cry
Father Michael comes to pray with us
He brought holy water and sprinkles her
He gives her her final shower
Together we are a family
It seems for the very last time because she's not alive
We are at the funeral now
The church is packed
There is not a dry eye in the church
Everyone keeps telling me that everything will be alright
How can they know
They are all stupid
They just want to make me smile
Don't they know she was the only light in my life?
It has not been a Happy Father's Day

It used to make me sad but now it is not crippling as it used to be. The whole event changed my life in such a way that I wasn't able to come to grips with until the last couple of years. I was unable to cope for much of high school and I believe in part I can attribute that to this one event. I think part of that made me angry at her, for dying. She was my purpose. At the time I wanted to take care of her after high school, after college. After she was gone, I had no plan. I never realized this was, partly why. Otherwise I didn't know what I wanted to do. But I never knew why I had no direction until much reflection and growing up I've forced on myself in the last few years. It's like a light went on and then I could finally let her go and stop blaming and start living.

She wasn't a cause, she was my sister. I should honor her as such. I don't think we talk about her enough. Some people were too young to remember her and how special she was. Anyway, she is loved and will always be missed.


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