As I have mentioned before I only feel comfortable writing about my journey throughout my mother's death. Everybody experiences situations in their own way and I cannot tell you how my brother or my sister experienced their journey. I can, however, tell you how the process of their own journey affected mine. Today, lets focus on my sister, Kristin.
Throughout life your big sister (or at least mine anyway) can be your protector, your therapist, your go between when you are a teenager and having a fight with your mom, your ally and your best friend. Yes, that is true even when you want to wring each other's necks because you are sisters. You share something that nobody else can share with you. I am not really sure how to best describe that sister thing but it is amazing because even in being very different people, you share something special in your heart.
So, my sister lives in Chicago. For her this made my mother's process much harder because every time Kristin came out to Massachusetts she was leaving her support system. She was leaving her kids, husband, job and friends to be with mom. She came to be with mom, but I believe she also came as a support to me. Even if she didn't to that intentionally that is what she was. Every time I think of those days, I picture Kristin in one chair and myself in the other and lots and lots of laughter. Isn't that amazing? There we are with our mother dying and sisters can laugh together. Oh yes, mom was laughing too!!! I also remember when my sister got there mom's hospital room started to look more like it should. Kristin brought beaded necklaces that her girls had made and they were hanging off IV poles and such!!!
The other thing that Kristin brought to the table was her anger. For those who know Kristin she never backs down from her anger and although at times (like when that anger was directed at me) that is scary, in the hospital that is exactly what we needed. Kristin got things done and wasn't afraid to tell people she was pissed and she was taking action. That gave me strength to be more pissed at some of the injustices we faced. Anger in the face of death is absolutely natural and Kristin has taught me it is okay not to back down from your anger and it okay to let people know you feel that way.
My sister made things easier for me. In the end, I think that is what siblings are for. We make things easier for each other. We hold together in the face of the storm and we don't let go of each other. When the storm blows past and you look around you, the people closest- that's your family. Love them with all your heart and remind them you love them every chance you get.