On my ongoing list of impossible-to-grasp life concepts I plan to bring to my maker upon my own demise, GRIEF gets its own subtitle. Why is it that post tragedy, some days we are perfectly fine — as if nothing bad ever happened — and can just as easily work, shop, watch TV, even laugh ... in total denial of the gaping holes in our hearts? And why, when we have already endured and valiantly recovered from the pain of past losses and tragedies, well deserving of our sweet happy endings, does it get heaped on us again in full force?
If you are thinking, God, that we are supposed to deal any better this time, I am afraid you are sorely mistaken.
My sister Kathy, a well-loved home school choir director in Austin, Texas, was brutally murdered in her home in the early morning hours of December 6, just 22 days ago. Her body was discovered by her son, my nephew, later that afternoon. (Kathy's son is 23; her daughter, 22 ... both recent college graduates launching their adult lives.) The police initially said the killer was someone she knew — there was no sign of a break in. After more than three weeks, no arrest has been made. We are still in shock, devastated, sad, angry, and frustrated, and in dire need of progress on the part of the part of the police. Something about this has to make sense. They have to get this guy.
Being that the investigation is still underway, I am not going to get into who we think was the perpetrator. But our family has its theory, and is praying the detectives find concrete evidence to book this deranged person. When he did this his only intent was to hurt my sister; he was too selfish to realize the many other lives he damaged through his unimaginable act of violence, most notably my mother, who has now lost two of her three children (my brother to AIDS in 2003), in addition to her husband and mother, in a just over a decade.
I miss my sister and will miss our long phone conversations in which we updated each other on our kids' lives and helped each other through the perils of toxic men in our lives. Kathy was going through Al-anon and had made great headway into loving herself and understanding the root of her unhealthy choices with manipulative partners. Our most recent conversations centered around our childhood home — the good and the not-so-good of it. Important discoveries on both our parts in those talks, coupled with lots of laughs at stories and situations only the two of us would understand.
Did I mention I miss her?