Thursday, March 17, 2016

Making Memories and Strengthening Connections in the Last Months of a Sister's Life

From today's Carolyn Hax columns, a sister talks about what she did to make good memories and strengthen connections in the last months of her sister's life, and how that helped her when she was grieving.

My sister’s diagnosis gave her six months to a year, with treatment. She lived 1,200 miles from me, but I decided to give her whatever I could, to make her comfortable and happy. I took unpaid leave to spend a couple weeks at her home. I made her a window-seat cushion that she hadn’t gotten around to making. My husband and I painted her kitchen and hung the five-year-old wallpaper border she had been waiting for her husband to do. I used vacation time to visit again and take her to a Cirque du Soleil performance. She had always wanted to see a Broadway show. My brothers, mother and friends arranged for a flight to NYC, tickets and a hotel. I included her daughter, my daughter and our mother. We had a Mothers/Daughters weekend that brought so much joy to her life.

I miss our daily conversations, her laughter and everything about her. I still cry and feel her loss. But every moment we had together during those last months helps to soften the pain. My sister knew I loved her, and I enjoyed every second of life we shared.

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