Today is November 9th.
It’s hard to put into words what was going through my mind on this day, five years ago. A million things and somehow at the same time complete silence and darkness. I recall almost watching myself going through the motions, nodding, signing paperwork, and putting on a brave front.
Before I could catch up with what was happening, my sister Diem was moved into a different room as we were told she’d be comfortable through the holidays, and that she may even come home. We shouldn’t discuss what the doctors were telling us with her. Remain positive. I blinked, and five days later I held her hand as she took her very last breath. For weeks and months after, my body pulled towards the hospital. I couldn’t and wouldn’t believe that she wasn’t there. To this day I don’t know if we’re programmed to ever fully accept the permanence of loss.
Since Diem’s passing other people in my life have lost loved ones; mothers, fathers, spouses and friends. Every time this news hits my ears I go back to day one with them. I struggle to reach out and say the right things because the reality of their journey is just too painful to deliver. Grief is the loneliest place on earth and no matter how many people surround you in your life that void just can’t be filled. Period. You live a new normal now.