Trauma invades our lives in various ways. Sharing our stories is difficult as we don't want people to know our deep, down secrets. Here, you can share as much or as little as you like. You are protected here. Learning what to do with our wounds is hard, let's help each other.
My Dead Sister (1977)
I was just a kid, but I remember soothing my crying mother in church every Sunday by telling her that Elizabeth, my oldest sister, is in Heaven now and where God wants her to be. She looked at me like I was an alien. How could this 7-year-old kid have such insight in a time like this? Was it her church upbringing? Or did she really believe this? Maybe it was because it brought her comfort.
I was playing down at Lisa’s house when I saw my sister Cathy marching down the sidewalk and up Lisa’s driveway. I thought I was in trouble for something. I always thought I was in trouble for something, still do. I don’t remember what she said but I had to go with her back to our house. Apparently, I stayed at Lisa’s for the next few days not knowing what had happened except that Elizabeth had been in an accident. I don’t remember praying, I don’t remember anything during those few days.
What I do remember is arriving at the funeral home with Lisa and her parents. Lisa gave me a bracelet, some kind of yarny thing she made for me. I said “Thank you” and I thought it was sweet, but it didn’t match my dress, I remember shoving it in my pocket. I walked in and up to the open casket holding my mother’s hand. After looking over the body of my dead sister I whispered to my mother ”Why does she have so much makeup on?” She never wore that much makeup. The mortician had painted on blue eye shadow to match her dress and ruby red blush and lipstick. She looked like a mannequin. I don’t think I was scared, just mad that she looked so fake. The pancake makeup they used to cover the bruises from her head injury made me curious but my parents still had not told me how she died.
My Dead Dad (2012)
My father passed away four years ago, two weeks before his 81st birthday. It sounds old, but he wasn't, He was vivacious and active, he was my biggest fan, and I, his. He slipped and fell in my home after planting flowers in my yard. His head split open right in front of my mother, my children, and me. I attempted CPR while trying to call 911. All I could think of was "Are you kidding, me? Another head injury???"
It turned out to be pulmonary embolism that traveled up to his lungs while he was working on my yard. His head was stitched up and he was given the go ahead to head home. He seemed fine, I had my dad back. Before leaving his hospital room he decided to shower and shave. He then waited in the reclining chair until my sister arrived and went to help him up. His eyes rolled back in his head, he went limp, and fell back in the chair. He never woke up again. He had a DNR so at least my mom didn't have to make the decision to euthanize him like they had to with my oldest sister 35 years before. The aftermath was torture. I reached out to my dead sister, as I have for the past 35 years. I asked her to be with me.
I have been told since then that she is with me, lying down next to me on my bed and holding my hand, even in the car with me when I drove to the hospital to see my dad for the last time. I ache for both of them. They are truly the two people on this planet that loved me the most. I feel their absence in every moment of despair and emotional agony. I feel it mostly when I have to be around my mom and two sisters. They have opened season on me now that my two guardians have gone away. I think about dying often. It brings comfort to me because I will get to see them again. I want to be with them but I don’t want to leave my own children. I am their guardian…