G’day YZL readers!
In a way, I wish I wasn’t writing this sad but true post to you today! I wish instead I was sharing one of my much loved raw chocolate creations, or perhaps lending a few beauty tips for Summer. The reason I’m bearing my soul is because I feel that some of you may be suffering today too, and if so, please accept my deepest condolences, and love.
I lost my gorgeous, vivacious, blonde haired, blue-eyed younger sister, Kate, almost three months ago. She was stunningly beautiful. Although far too bold, fun, crazy, and uninhibited. Kate was our family’s ‘Marilyn Monroe’, live-life-on-the-edge golden girl. She was altogether too much love, generosity, gorgeousness, and she was only 34.
I’ve been utterly crushed, devastated. It is truly beyond words, you know, the ‘loss’. I never understood that word before. If I try to sum it up something of its meaning, I’d call it bottomless heartbreak. Because you really lose on so many levels, not only physically, emotionally, socially, and philosophically, even spiritually, the list goes on. Grief is a gigantic black hole that is like a dagger-laced tornado right inside you, swirling around cutting you, and going nowhere fast. It is that devastating hurt every day, and into the night. The anguish of losing someone you love dearly is relentless.
Often grief steals from you everything you thought you were, and makes you question whether you loved enough, shared enough, or tried enough for the person that is gone. It goes on and on. Thoughts of wishing you could’ve, would’ve, or should’ve. All that wishing can drive you crazy. I know – in my more sane moments – that I did give, love, and share. But when you’re down in the bottomless black of grief, you doubt everything you’ve ever done and question your core motives, and it just aches so much.
We were extremely close siblings. Our mother is Portuguese, and I also have one brother. My sister and I would sometimes kiss each others faces with what we’ve called ‘the Portuguese kisses’ until our skin almost wore off! As well as being very loving physically, we’d do pretty much anything for each other. It’s amazing to have experienced such love in my life. For this I am becoming even more grateful for every day.
My mum taught us that true love is eternal. That love will find a way to heal every hurt and wipe away every tear. Somehow, I have to hold on to this hope.
But now, more than just holding onto hope, after these long weeks and months of suffering I’ve realised I have to actually do something or die! It’s like a catch twenty-two situation because you feel like even living life, smiling enjoying anything, is taking from the sadness you should be feeling for your loved one. I could easily allow myself to ache like this for years. And no matter what I try to do, the truth is I will ache for years. Only, whether or not I’m still any good to myself and the people I love along the way, is important. Sometimes you feel like to breathe hurts so much, and that you’re literally ‘dying’ inside. I’m sure that’s normal but my precious family, and close friends, are still very much alive all around me, and they need my laughter, strength and personality as much as my sister did!
I’m writing to encourage you to take some time to do something nice for yourself if you’re suffering with loss right now. People have told me that ‘it’s ok to feel sad’ or ‘allow yourself to grieve’, and this is true and important. But no one told me that it would take conscious, deliberate effort to start living again and that’s even more important if you and I are to escape a nervous breakdown! People have actually died from a broken heart, I know this now.
Start small. Maybe a gentle nature walk, a revitalising smoothie or pot of tea with a friend, or perhaps a movie or book to distract your mind, even just for an hour! It does help the time to pass, and really the only thing that will help heal the wound in your heart is time. I’ve been playing a lot of chess lately. Thanks to my wonderful brother, I’m also becoming the mummy of a new baby, a gorgeous little Bengal kitten! Looking forward to lots of cuddles from him.
I must choose to be well, that be it slowly, one day at a time. I’ve spent too many weeks lately hardly breathing at all, let alone living. This morning I picked a beautiful bunch of yellow wild daisies, and walked a couple of miles. To live all the more for us both, and dedicate some of the best moments I love, instead of feeling guilt over them, to my eternally beautiful darling sister Katie.
As terrible a way it has been to gain perspective, grief has opened my eyes so much more to real life, and to how much people are actually hurting right now! As for that true love I mentioned…if you have never felt what that feels like, I’m sending some of those ‘Portuguese kisses’ across to you right now. Please let’s hold on to life! Remember that cliche as it may sound, there is honestly no-one in all the world like you, you are precious, you are beautiful, you are so very irreplaceable!