My sister-in-law passed away 5 days ago.
My sweet, kind, bright, loving, warm, beautiful, faithful, gentle, strong, thoughtful sister-in-law.
Wife to my brother, mother to 4 amazing kids, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend to so many.
She was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer 15 months ago.
She was 43.
I have heard my brain asking “Why?”
She was so young.
I have heard my brain asking “How?”
How can her precious family be asked to go on without her?
I can’t find any reasons that make it ok somehow.
Nothing that makes it anything but unspeakably awful and overwhelmingly sad.
And that in and of itself, is ok.
Sometimes things are just terrible, and heartbreaking, and sad.
Important, special, rare people are just gone from this earth and our lives.
And nothing looks like it did before.
But the reason we feel all of this pain, and loss, and emptiness…
Is because of all of the love and beauty and joy that we felt before.
“But she knew that the brightest light makes the darkest shadow-
that if she was to be blessed with the fulness of joy,
she must also realize the depths of sorrow-
that in exact proportion to our joy is our capacity for grief, and that
THERE IS A LOVE THAT LIVES THROUGH BOTH.”
(The Living Age, Vol. 161)
We could avoid heartache, by simply choosing not to love.
We are here on this earth, for whatever amount of time, be it 43 or 93 years…
To feel and give love.
To see and experience the joy and beauty life has to offer.
And that means, that we are also here to experience pain, and sadness, and grief.
So I will continue to cry my tears.
Of sadness for my brother who had to say goodbye to his wife, best friend, and confidant of 19 years.
Of sadness for my oldest nephew who has to stand up at graduation next week without his mom in the audience.
Of sadness for my 16-year-old nephew who’s mom won’t be driving him to the DMV and taking the photo of him with his brand-new license.
Of sadness for my niece who lost her mama just before high school and dances and dates.
Of sadness for my 7-year-old nephew, who doesn’t understand why he can’t hug his mom anymore.
I will choose my tears, because that means that I love my brother, and my nephews, and my niece with all of my heart.
And I love you Ginny.
I love you so much it hurts.