Dedicated to My Sisters – Vicki & Sandy
(Originally Written January 2015)
“A Letter to Myself”
My thoughts are wandering back in time today – it’s been almost 10 years since both our sisters left their earthly physical form. As I write to you Dearest Debbie, I notice with a sense of absolute wonder and awe how different “remembering” within the actual moments of the past is compared to “re-remembering ” those moments. Every experience in the “now” contains the beauty and heartbreak of a time when we could still physically touch and tightly hug our two sisters.
Oh lovely self, our spirituality and faith were certainly tested – our sanity probably more than those two put together ten-fold. In spite of our losses, we stand stronger than ever because we now know we never truly lost them at all.
Stepping back in time, I’m remembering our sister Vicki’s last days. You and I watched her pain and admired the unlimited amount of love and compassion she expressed to those she knew would be left behind. Her daughters, her grandchildren, her sisters and friends. You remember how we felt as we watched her slowly slip away – the devastation of loss was blended together with the joy of having her finally released from pain. It was like a cyclone of the good, the bad, and the ugly. But looking back, I also see the beauty of her illness; the true gifts we were given. We were with her when she slipped way. A gift we couldn’t see at the time, but none the less that gift of being with her now lives in our heart and soul. A sacred lesson she shared with us was to never become a victim of her death or life’s experiences. She taught us that letting her go would set her spirit free and that we would always have her within our memories and dreams.
It was tough working through the grief wasn’t it? Little did we know another horror was lurking in the dark. About one month after Vicki’s passing, our second sister Sandy was diagnosed with terminal cancer. During those next few months, we watched as she also fought so hard to live and win a battle that could not be won. Sister Sandy, again, was a shining example of keeping a smile on her face to strengthen her husband, daughters, son, sister and grandchild for what they would soon face. I so clearly remember her being silly, goofy, funny and sassy until those very last moments when she quietly passed away. Our last sister slipped away in a cradle of immense love – she left her love behind for each of us.
This time the best lesson was “It’s good to be numb”. We were protected for a bit. The pain was so intense, and feeling numb helped us feel cozy and safe in our fuzzy blanket of intentionally blocked feelings. Gifts can sometimes be dualistic. Without dualism, we would never know the difference between darkness and light. Between horror and happy. “Numb” was great compared to feel anything at that time. We needed safe – we needed time to build energy to even begin the grief process. We put ourselves away and hid in solitude to heal. That was perfectly fine – it was our way.
I’m thankful for all life’s teachings but damn, another crisis struck when we consciously became aware that we were now orphans. Both parents gone. Both siblings gone. “We” had become an “I”. To heal we had to walk through hell, feel the intense fiery heat of rage, and move beyond it all to come out the other side as a whole human being that no longer needed to be numb.
The gift: we learned we are not alone – we never actually are.
We rock Dearest Debbie. We learned to stop living as a victim, we stood up and faced adversity, we dug deep and found the beauty and began to become our authentic self. We took the intense loneliness and re-purposed that power to help us bravely begin walking down the healing path – on wobbly feet. We began to grow and slowly push through the numbness so we could feel; maybe for the first time? Our sisters spirits became the wind, the water, the air, the wood and fire that helped us bloom into the amazing person we now are.
We stand tall and proud today. We help teach others how to break away from the vicious life-strangling bonds of “being” a victim, how to find balance in health and well-being. We teach hope. We are blessed every single day. Why? Because we know each person we encounter are in reality both our students and teachers – which means Dear Debbie, we are always a student and a teacher as well.
I love you “self”. Maybe knowing that is the biggest lesson learned through these past years. Authentic love and acceptance of self does in fact free the soul. Thankfully, the beautiful spirits of our sisters Vicki and Sandy continue to soar with us and help guide us as we continue along our own path to reach beyond the stars – the gateway to all wonders. My love continues to be with you Vicki and Sandy – and with you as well Dearest Debbie.