Monday, April 9, 2012

In memory of my sister

I lost my sister a week ago.  She took her own life.  You might imagine that makes it difficult to return to this site, one that I have neglected for some time now.  But in fact this is exactly the place to come back to at a time like this.  Being grateful for what life has given me is a core conviction, even moreso now that I have personally experienced such a tremendous loss.

My sister celebrated life and lived it to the fullest in her best moments.  In her worst moments, she struggled with severe bipolar disorder and she self medicated with drugs and alcohol.  But her worst moments were only a slight shadow that she cast as she radiated life and beauty and humor.

I miss her - but I am grateful for having had a sister as amazing she was.  She put a smile on every person show came in contact with.  She loved her family, even as challenging as we could be at times to deal with.  She faced life's challenges with her chin up and her eyes on the horizon.  She loved the best things of life - great food, great people, and great stories.  I am sad, not for her, but for the world that she departed too soon.  She left a void that will not soon be filled.

Please, to whomever comes across this post, reach out to those around you.  Give them a hug.  Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.  Even if you haven't reached out in years, do so now.  Don't make the mistake I made - and lose the opportunity to say, "I love you," forever.  Spread your love such that those who are around you know that they are loved, and that they are wanted and desired and needed in this life.  It's not enough just to think those thoughts.  You have to touch the people you love either with words or physically.

I am grateful for my life.  I am grateful for both of my sisters, my wife, my son, and all of my family and friends.  I am grateful that this world had my sister in it and that she made it better while she was here.