Today, as I write, is the sixth anniversary of my sister’s death. Two years younger, and my only sibling, she’d gone to the ER six months before for a blood clot and found she had terminal cancer. I was with her most of those six months.
Karen died in hospice, just before the sun came up, about 10 hours after she went in. My wife and I kept vigil. It was time for her to go, her body so ravaged by the cancer and she feeling such pain, even with the drugs. I wrote about her death here.
C.S. Lewis called such a death “a severe mercy,” and it was, but I don’t think people who see those words always realize how ambiguous is such a mercy for those left behind. You see the mercy, but you also feel the severity, the pain of separation, of loss, and often guilt for things we did and things we failed to do.
It’s weird how that day, that very bad day, seems to be a long time ago and just yesterday, because I’ve adjusted to a world without her, and I haven’t. More…