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A life and a death

By Sarah
Posted on

I wish I had the conversation with my sibling.

I always felt guilty because I had read up on having "the conversation" and was ready to do it... I just never felt like it was the right time. She wanted to be positive and I got the feeling that talking about death was perceived as giving up. I regret not trying harder.
 My younger sister has struggled with Chron’s her whole life.  She was on steroids on and off for the last 8 years of her life.  She decided to take a risk and try Remicade… because she wanted a chance to have one more baby and a normal life.  She was about 5 months pregnant when she started to have uncontrollable pain and was hospitalized on and off for months.  The doctors didn’t know what was wrong and didn’t want to subject baby to any extra radiation, so they held off on tests.

I will always remember September 20th, 2010 as the day that her perfect beautiful baby was born and the day that her death sentence was announced.  She was riddled with cancer when they opened her up… due, in a large part, to her impaired immune system.

My sister and her husband tried to stay positive.  They continued to tell us that she was going to fight and going to win her battle.  And, while I think she always knew the truth, she was so resolute that I was reluctant to ask her what her wishes were.

After a 3 month fight, the cancer took my beautiful sister’s life.  I always felt guilty because I had read up on having “the conversation” and was ready to do it… I just never felt like it was the right time.  She wanted to be positive and I got the feeling that talking about death was perceived as giving up.  I regret not trying harder.

My older sister helped me find peace… she told me that it wasn’t my job to have that conversation, it was the job of my brother-in-law.  And now I know that they did have multiple conversations about what her death would look like, how she wanted to be buried, and what the kids could / should know.  She talked to the kids about the future and was able to say her goodbyes.

I miss her every day, but I take comfort in knowing that she was able to talk to someone, even it it wasn’t me.  Her kids know that mommy is in heaven listening to everything they say to her.  They talk to her a lot and have some beautiful ideas and insights.  They are an extension of her and they are a gift.

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