I can’t believe it has been 42 years; 42 years of missing you, 42 years of wondering why you’re not here, 42 years of trying to fill a hole that will never be filled.
My sister, Clare, died 42 years ago today. I remember it like it was yesterday. She died from an infection following neurosurgery. No one expected it – especially not me. When you’re eight years old, you don’t expect your 16 year old, beautiful, athletic, vibrant sister to die. But she did and I haven’t been the same since.
But I’m not unique. At my age, almost everyone I know has lost someone they loved so deeply they would rather die themselves. It’s part of growing up, but I think it’s different when you’re not grown up and you experience a significant loss. I think you try to fill that hole that’s left in your heart with lots of stuff – wine, cigarettes, shoes, clothes… the list is long.
Even now, I know that my freakish exercise habits are an attempt to mend that hole. At least exercise is a little healthier.
The fact is, we never get over losing someone we love. There is no “closure.” Like a broken bone, you can stabilize, set and cast it, but the bone will remember. It will ache when storms roll in. It might feel stress when pushed to its limits.
But broken bones do mend and in fact become stronger at the point of fracture through the body’s own miraculous means of restoration.
After 42 years, parts of my entire being still aches for my sister. Nothing I do will fill that hole. So, it’s time to stop trying to fill it and instead, accept it. Like that broken bone, I may be damaged, but I’m also stronger. And I know Clare will forever be a part of my body, soul and spirit.