I can't sleep, so I might as well blog. Probably a common occurrence for some of us.
Sometimes we just can't help but think about our grief and pain more. Like, when someone's birthday is coming up. Kim's birthday would've been this Saturday. She would've been 45 years old.
I was thinking (when I couldn't sleep) about our sister Kim's memorial service, almost three years ago. Our sister Juli planned everything. It was as beautiful as something like that could possibly be. The food looked very nice (my husband Dean and I were too sad and nervous to eat), the music was nice, and the photos were great. The problem was, if I looked at the photos that were being shown on the screen, I would burst into tears, so I only saw about 7 of them.
I was very nervous and sweating like crazy (probably not nice for some of the people I hugged that day). I'm very nervous around people, so I didn't know what to say or do. I know I probably said some stupid things.
People were asking me how my mom was doing, and I know that at least a couple of times, I said, "Well, her favorite daughter is gone, so she's a mess," or something like that. The one time I said it, Juli was there, and said to me, "Oh, you're going to hell for saying that." I didn't know what she meant by that, but I guess she thought I was trying to make a joke at an inappropriate time, so therefore earned myself eternal damnation?
Actually, I wasn't making a joke at all. Mom just always was very obvious, to everyone, that Kim was her favorite daughter. We all knew it. I wasn't trying to be funny. I was just trying to think of something to say when people asked me questions. Of course, the people's laughter wasn't the raucous "aren't we having a ton of fun" kind anyway. It was more the nervous kind that people get when situations are awkward or painful.
The woman who babysat me when I was very little, who is also named Chris, came to the memorial. It was nice to see her, and relatives I never see, too, like my Uncle Dick and his wife Marianne.
Strangers, patients, and friends of Kim's were talking to me, saying how great she was. Yes, I agreed, and tried not to cry in their face. I actually did burst into tears a few times when patients who recognized me from photos asked if I was Kim's sister and told me how wonderful she was as a doctor, or when people I actually knew just came up to me and said they were sorry. I probably should've just been watching it all from a video drone or something, thereby reducing my social anxiety to zero and eliminating the embarrassment of sobbing when people talked to me.
Anyway, I don't really care about how stupid I seemed to anyone or how sweaty I may have been. All that matters is that Kim is gone, and no one is happy about that, since everyone loved her.
I so appreciate the lovely memorial that Juli set up. I don't know how she does it - she is younger than I am, yet so much stronger, more sane, and capable. She's also prettier, more fun, and a lot of other good things, but let's not start any sibling rivalry! Ha ha.
Seriously, though, Juli did such an excellent job, at a time when Mom wasn't up to handling things, and neither was I. I know some people couldn't make it to the memorial, since Kim knew people from all over the country, but the people who were there (and there were pretty many), were all there trying to come together and honor her, which is what it was all about.