Regrets Left Unsaid. My sister left this earth in a flash. No goodbye. No phone call. No hints of a life ending. How could I have known? Having grieved her decades ago yet some regrets still linger. When I think of her my soul quiets down. If it’s okay with you my reader, I would like to share these with you. Perhaps you can learn from my experience that grief has no statute of limitations until regrets are acknowledged.
“Grief never ends….but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of Love.” ~author unknown
Why am I writing this–regrets?
Last night I heard her voice in the middle of the night. She called my name in a whisper as if to say she wanted to share some secret with me, her older sister. It was a strange feeling. I had no fear but gentle nudging caught my attention.
I miss her so much even though it’s been 31 years, her smile will not escape my thoughts and the way she talked. Foreboding. What would I give to have her back here on earth for us to chat about life and family?
One of my regrets is that I was so busy with my own family and career that I didn’t make greater efforts in connecting with her. The distance of a thousand miles should not have been an obstacle. She was only a phone call away.
She was two years younger than me but we were different in personality and even in appearance so we were not as close as sisters could be. She had the most beautiful dark wavy hair and dimples that brought so much flair and beauty. I was jealous. We had a lot of family history. As teenagers we shared a bedroom and played together as children, but as we grew older our lives drifted apart. She entered nursing at our hometown college. Then after graduation and a few years of nursing at the local hospital she moved to the big city. I also left our hometown to attend university in another city, married and eventually returned to our hometown. She, however, returned in a body bag. This saddens me, still.
All the while we lived apart we had few occasions to meet. She didn’t come home for Christmas after a few years and life went on. She married in the big city, and I never really got to know her life after that. She kept to herself, and the secrets died with her, although we had suspicions.
One memorable memory of spending time with her was during one of her few trips to our house when we lived in the United States. Her dream of traveling the world had become true. And she did it as a single woman! We laughed a lot and talked about fun times, and she played with our kids. She never had children of her own. That stopover was a good memory as we spent time together as a family.
However, I regret that I didn’t discern the sadness she carried. In those days, we didn’t ask questions nor talk about depression.
So my sister, Irma, now in heaven, was one who cared for others much more than she cared for herself. After all, she chose a career dedicated to caring for the sick. Yet she did not acknowledge or care for her own mental health. How important it is for family members to know and be a support for each other. My regret was my ignorance of mental health issues, and not taking further action about staying in an abusive relationship.
Break traditional rules–regrets
Sometimes traditional rules act as a safety net, but not always. Marriage is one of those. Many of us grew up with the view that divorce was a taboo. No matter what–couples stayed together for better or worse! Although I am all for marriage, sometimes it is just impossible to reconcile the differences couples face. And that was one regret that I could have carried but, fortunately, I did advice my sister to separate when she divulged some of the dangerous levels of emotional stress she had in her marriage relationship. I could only speak to the issue.
But she would not listen.
And we ran out of time.
So depression is sometimes unidentifiable yet touches many. My sister had so much to offer the world, but as her life was cut short, I want to remember her life in a positive light. We must keep abreast of mental health facts.
Give support when you can.
Connect with loved ones, far and near.
With the Christmas season now approaching I recommend that you keep it simple and cherish the days with family as much as possible. Or if not, then a phone call will do. And keep the hope of eternal life, and one day we will see our loved ones again. Regrets no longer unsaid, but said.
Thank you for reading and allowing me to share my life with you on such a personal level. Pass this blog on to other readers, and to anyone who needs to connect with loved ones.