Monthly Archives: January 2015

One Year Annivesary

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This posting is for both Tuesday, January 27th (52 weeks) and Wednesday January 28th, exactly one year since my identical twin sister passed away due to complications during heart surgery.

I have planned to take the anniversary, Wednesday, off from work as I know I will be useless. And my beloved has taken the day off work as well. Even if his boss were to have some objections my sweetie said, “This is beyond contestation.” Love him. I also said I would be sleeping or crying all day and be totally useless. To which his reply was, “We’ll see about that.”

I Googled “anniversary of twin sister’s death” and it had several articles, some out in left field, some about homicides and suicides, and in general, most were unhelpful.

How shall I spend that day? If she had a grave, I would spend the day there. I would brush away any leaves, trim grass with scissors and leave flowers galore. However, her ashes are in my bedroom high on a shelf. I don’t know if there is some special place she would have liked them spread. I never thought to ask.

MemorialSome articles said to look through old photos or make a memorial. I’ve done both. Her memorial is beside my bed. And should the truth be known…I doubt I will cry all day-if at all. We were both hurt as children and have the ability or, in my case I think, automatically, take extremely painful occurrences and bury the pain. Not terribly healthy, but it helps one survive in an often hostile world. I’m afraid I will do that this week. Which means some time in the future it will raise its head and the grief will flood out when least expected.

The article said to make her favorite food and say a toast. I would do that but I don’t know her favorite food. Tastes change. I do know what she didn’t like.  Since childhood. She hated meatloaf. Maybe I’ll make that with a twisted grin. But I can do a toast with my family. And they will all ring their glasses against mine and look at me with big sad and concerned eyes …so maybe not.

Maybe I’ll go up into the mountains and hike the hills looking for deer and coyote and bear and mountain lion. Most are hard to find. But she would have loved to see them. And she lived vicariously through me as her health declined and loved my forest adventures.

What would you like me to do sweet Kishma? A walk. Listen to music. Write a story. Draw a picture. Read a book. I’ve a bunch of your books here in my living room which I am reading. Books we both loved and shared. When we were young, as one of us finished one we would exchange books and the other would read them. Thank you to her beloveds for allowing me to take home her books.

I’m sure the answer will come, though I am one for pre-planning and would like to know now what I will do then. But I guess this just isn’t one of those times. I’ll sit, and wait, and listen, and feel. And hope I get it right.

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She Is Not Here

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She Is Not Here

gone 1 I can not sleep

She is not here

My twin sister is gone I fear

Last time I visited

She was still here

I could feel her soul Unseen yet near

One year ago

When she left this earth

I knew she was still with me As she had been before birth

I could hear my twin

In each quiet whisper

In the beam of each sunrise I could still see her

But she is not here

She has gone for good

I can no longer see Where she once stood

The giggle, the pout, The groan, the laugh

Are all silent now

All in the past

I expected her perfume, a scent or smell

But all is quiet

Like some muffled hell

She is not here

I hoped, I prayed

That some small part of her Had stayed

Tomorrow I’ll smile

At the memories given

The joys of sharing and that she’s in heaven

But all I know now Is she’s no longer near

My sister so sweet

She is not here

SEVEN WAYS TO HELP SOMEONE WHO IS GRIEVING

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Seven Ways to Help Someone Who Is Grieving

  1. DO NOT SAY, “If there is anything I can do, please let me know” or anything remotely similar. Instead, actually griefmake an offer to do something. Or just plain do it. This can be anything. Stopping by for a cup of hot chocolate, bringing a quick snack from the supermarket, stopping by with a newspaper or picking up the mail for them. Anything that you actually do.  After a while, hearing the words, “If there is anything I can do, let me know,” may become in the grievers mind, “I haven’t any idea of how I can help and really don’t want to anyway.”
  2. Understand you are interfacing with someone who may not be thinking clearly. I thank heaven every day for my husband who gently offered me guidance in areas I thought I was cognizant of. Every individual who is grieving occasionally needs this sensible help, making decisions. Something as simple as deciding where or when to meet for lunch is sometimes all that is needed and lessens that single straw of the burden of additional stress on a grieving mind.
  3. Anything can trigger an emotional response in someone grieving. I was watching a fun movie at the theater a while back, when one of the main characters died in a hospital, and the sudden despair that dropped on my shoulders was incredible. A texture, or smell or sound often triggers a memory which can trigger the grief.  A dear friend of mine, grieving the loss of my twin sister as well, had moved forward enough that he had a new girlfriend and was experiencing some joyful times.  But when he was given a pastry he had shared in the past with my sister, he was hit by a literal freight train of grief.  Be Patient!  It often just takes a willing ear, even for a brief moment, that can bring back composure and comfort.  My husband reached over and put his arm around me, knowing exactly what had happened, and that was all I needed.  Acknowledgment or a willing ear is what most of us grieving need, but it is often, unfortunately, the one item others tend to avoid.
  4. If someone grieving tries to tell you they are dealing with their grief differently, or something has changed-LISTEN. Listen to understand, not to respond. Read between the lines, Ask to meet with them for a cup of tea. Talk about it.  They may just be reaching out for a shoulder to lean on without wanting to appear weak. Or may just need a friend.  Or they may be slipping down the well of despair and need some help getting out of it.  Lives are saved this way.
  5. Appreciate that someone grieving CAN function normally. Most of the time, those not close to me have no idea I am grieving. However, when evening falls and I am no longer wrapped up in day-to-day matters, the heaviness of grief is there, waiting for me. Those emotions I push away throughout the day are waiting, and rightfully so.  They need to be felt and expressed before I can move forward.
  6. Tears. Those dreaded tears. Sitting in a staff meeting (or any other situation) and suddenly having them appear could not possibly be more inconvenient, difficult, embarrassing, you name it. If you are a person uncomfortable with another’s tears do not, I repeat, do not tell the grieving person to “get over it and move on.” You will not only likely remove any chance of friendship but if they have anything to do with working with you in any fashion, even something as simple as doing your laundry or keeping your calendar, you are in trouble.  Find a way to gracefully and tactfully move on.  But better yet, learn how to quietly listen and pass the tissue.  Knowing how you deal with people who are emotional before you find yourself in such a situation can be a great attribute on your part. Above all, it’s not the grievers fault you are uncomfortable.
  7. Time DOES NOT heal. Unless you have a scraped elbow, time is not going to heal this. Grief is an entirely different state of being.  A grieving person learns, if they are lucky, to live with the loss.  It does not go away.  Most recently, one of the biggest anxieties I had in dealing with my grief is the belief that, by a certain date, I should be passed the grief. This month it will be one-year since I lost my identical twin sister. I thought by now I would feel differently.  But, as Sarah Parmenter of LifeHacker wrote:  “Time lessens the sting; but for the griever, it’s almost a prison sentence without parole. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to get up each morning and hope something gives you a glimmer that gets you through the day.”

For me, those glimmers and shining beacons have been my beloved husband, my family, my friends and my faith.

(Thanks and References to Sarah Parmenter of LifeHacker and her Article The Things No One Ever Tells You About Grief.”)

Mothra

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mothra 1961Kishma and I used to watch a wonderful movie called Mothra (1961 version). I watched it this evening and loved every moment of it. Especially as some of my adult children were watching it with me and enjoyed it almost as much as I.   Nowadays it is somewhat campy as it is a Japanese movie dubbed in English.  The thing that fascinated us, and were the most important characters (to my twin and I), were two Japanese girls that were about one foot tall.  They were twins and keepers of the beautiful yet monstrous Mothra.Mothra_fairies

We were enthralled with the song the twins sang and after watching the movie, would sing or hum it all over the place. It was a magical world.  ( Here is a link to the song.)

I still love that movie today. Perhaps even more now, as it is a memory shared.

49 Weeks

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know what you haveOn Sunday I had family over for dinner and it was fun. Just home made tacos then chocolate ice cream for dessert (which I skipped.)  However, someone said something funny and I burst out laughing and was then immediately quiet.  No one noticed.  But I was instantly introspective and the world went on mute.

Because when I laughed—it sounded exactly like Kishma’s laugh.

It took my breath away.