my dear Beth

by mary
(South Australia)

Dear Beth

my younger sister died four days ago. It was a debilitating death she died of cancer. Painful and slow the last week she lived in a haze of morphine. I feel so guilty she would call me and say she was suffering from leg pain, her back was aching, she was weary. I told her that she had better be careful she was turning into one of these woman that made a hobby of complain about her aches and pains. I reminded her that just because she had aching bones and the odd pain or two she did not have to be one.

Then finally the doctor diagnosed bone cancer I feel sad about that. I feel sad that I did not make the effort to go to her sixtieth birthday, so many things that I did or did not do throughout her life that would have made it a more loving relationship. She was much loved by her stepchildren and grandchildren so for that I am grateful. I don’t know what emotion I am feeling right now. It's just pain without a name. She is younger than I am she should be burying me, not me burying her. Its out of sequence.

I don't want to speak with people right now I feel like a turtle crawling inside my shell. Christmas is coming up in two days and I am pulling myself together, it may be a long time before both my children and their families will be together as my daughter is moving overseas in the new year. I am moving as if in a dream; just functioning. The sadness is like a mist that swirls around me I seem to walk in and out of it. I hope none of my other relatives have such a painful death, it is too hard to bear. I don’t want to make any important decisions right now because my brain has gone to cotton wool. It's surreal, I am giving myself permission to just be in whatever emotion this is and just be.

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