Monday, March 19, 2012

Good Grief.

The Miller siblings 1956, left to right: Julie (me), Mike, Patti

i like to call it "clean grief." That's the best way i can describe it. A grief uncluttered. A purity of "i miss her" with no complications.

Not that i mean it's an easy grief, for grief to me will always be painful, hitting me out of the blue, taking me to the mat hard at the least provocation.

But with my sister...i just miss her. i miss the reality of never hearing her voice again, or seeing her face, never again sharing a laugh caused by her off-beat, cynical sense of humor. i miss the thought of sharing the good memories of the time i spent with her in the Colorado Rockies. i miss being able to ask questions about our childhood of things i only remember on an emotional, fearful level.

 i miss. i miss.

With other relatives who have died, there have always been the wrappings of the dysfunctional family we were born into: the packaging of accusations that we had not-done-right-by or enough-for the now deceased relative, the bow tied with a flourish usually the pronouncement that We Were Lacking. Guilt, my family loved them some guilt.

With Patti, my only sister (and the only sibling left to me after our brother also decided We Were Lacking and left with no forwarding address back in 1989,) i see no gift wrap of Not Good Enough. She loved me like no one else in my birth family had: without condition. It was a New! Improved! way of relating in our birth family. We had changed things for the better within our gene pool.

That change makes it hard to say goodbye. There is so much Goodness to miss. But at least it's a New! Improved! grief, an uncomplicated grief, untouched by large servings of guilt. My only regret? That i will never again be able to tell her "i love you!" and hear her answer with a smile in her voice, "I love you more!"

i will miss.

Skimmer's Recap: i miss.


Unknown said...

{{{{Hugs}}}} Sweety.... I know where you are coming from because I have been there.

julia said...

Thanks, Jo. i appreciate. :-)

Nancy R. Carter said...

I haven't ever had that kind of relationship with a sister, but I've been thoroughly blessed & surprised when some dear friends made it easier to be "me". No guilt, no abandonment, no resentment or manipulation.

The grief you describe reminds me of some notes from a sermon that a friend shared with me:

A dad lost his 25 yr. old son in a climbing accident and he wrote a book, Lament for a Son, about it 12 years later and had some great insight into grief.

In response to someone who asked if he was still grieving as much now as when he first lost his son, he said: 1) The grief isn't as raw as it was, but his son's absence is still felt strongly. He said that there will always be "one" missing. And that his son's absence at family gatherings was just as present as their presence. And that his son's absence was just as loud as their talking/laughing, and he said, 2) "If he was worth loving, he is worth grieving."

Sounds like your sister was definitely worth grieving, in the most wonderful way. (((hugs)))

julia said...

She was, Nancy! That dad had some good thoughts alright. :-)