I wrote the essay below about my sister sometime around July 1998. It’s amazing how things change. I read this now and I see it’s a different me who wrote this. Yep, I was definitely a different person then. I was depressed, hopeless, angry, consumed, frantic.
It’s interesting the stages of grief and how you don’t really go through them in order and sometimes maybe you revisit a stage or two. It’s a relief for me to see that I have moved so far beyond the 24 year old girl who wrote this, even if it took me a really long time. I’ve begun to notice it takes me longer to do some things than most people. Like grow, I guess. I’m a slow grower. Hey—I’m like a Persimmon tree! Mmm, persimmons.
God’s Bar ~ 1998
People often say they don’t understand why my sister did what she did. They say no one knows—no one can know. But those are people who have never felt so icky and swollen with sadness that they can’t function. Those are people who don’t have their bodies and their minds betraying them.
So she had everything going for her, so what? Did she know that? No, obviously not. If she could have seen, felt, known what everyone else saw, felt, and knew, she would still be here, making me laugh, making me see that I am not alone, that there is someone else out there who knows how I feel. Just like if people could feel and see what she felt, they wouldn’t have to ask why.
So then I think, what the hell is going to happen to me when I am 32? My sister is gone, so what do I do now? What would she have done if the situation were reversed? How am I going on without her? How are my parents going on without her? How?
It is often very distressing, not having my sister around. I was all drunk the other night, making toasts to my sister as I always do, and one of my (very patient) friends said, “She’s in a better bar, now,” or something like that and I said (really loud because I’m a loud drunk) “SHE’S IN THE BAR OF GOD!!” God’s bar. Is she there with the others we’ve loved and lost? Will we (mom, dad, me, etc.) be with her again someday? That is my idea of heaven. Being together again with those you love and who love you. That’s how it is, right?
I have to believe that, or I can’t function.