Thursday, March 19, 2015

Grief by any other name...

It has been over a year since I have logged into this blog. The last two years of my life have been focused on living through the illness of my younger sister, Debbie. She was diagnoised with Ovarian Cancer in December 2012. Everything I read did not give much hope, and anywhere from one month to six months. I flew up and spent seven months with her and her family, caring for her, cleaning house, talking with her, sitting by her bedside through several surgeries; blood transfusions, chemo treatments etc. 
It was a time of learning for me.  Debbie and her husband Quin, just didn't want to know that it was terminal...She never lost hope, and I came to the conclusion that it wasn't my job to force her to accept death.  We had two years of talking, praying and accepting, that I wouldn't have ever anticipated.

On February 20th 2015, on her own terms and timing, Debbie slipped into eternity!
Cancer did not win
She is healed and whole and not in pain any longer. 
One last trip to Washington to participate in her celebration of life...We scattered her ashes on the Humptulips River and they ran into the sea.
I brought some home to California and Becky and I went to the Santa Cruz Wharf with long time friends Doug Speegle, Cathy Campos and Dianne Delisle. They all knew her from when she lived with me in the l970's! Full Circle, and Becky was able to scatter her ashes. We tied some to a balloon also.
What I have learned from this journey...
We who are alive and remain will get through it.
I can be a strong support for those who are the other generations...
Tell your loved ones that you love them---often
Ask for forgiveness
Tell them they are forgiven
Hug them often
You don't need all the answers, you just need to be present.

There is a time to be the Pastor...and a time to just be the sister.

Listen with your heart
It's not your words, but your love that matters.

Grief by any other name, still hurts and takes time to process.
I have many many friends who are walking with me.
And a spouse who loves me
and a deep awareness of being held by the Eternal God

What more could I long for?

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