My sister Karen died this week. She went into the hospital on Monday night and was gone by Wednesday a little after noon. She'd been feverish and feeling bad for a few days before Christmas, but she didn't have insurance and felt she couldn't spend the money to go to the doctor and see what was wrong. By the time the pain was so bad she finally relented, it was too late.
She was 48. The youngest of my siblings, you could say Karen was the heart of the family - everybody's favorite sister, aunt, daughter, friend. She made friends wherever she went and had that something special that made us all want to be around her. Maybe it's because she was so much fun. Full of high spirits and ready laughter, she was always the life and soul of the party and she made wherever she was the party.
She was also stubborn and brave and an incredibly hard worker. Succesfull in her chosen vocation, Karen won national awards for her dedication and skill. Deeply loyal, she loved her family and was fiercely protective of her boys, providing a home for them on a single wage. She brought our mother to live with them in Hawaii when she was transfered there and spoiled her with special trips & vacations.
My sister Karen was good and kind and one of the strongest people I've ever known. I guess some part of me thought she could never die.
I was wrong.
Anything I can say about her or how it feels to lose her seem trite and meaningless; the words burdened with an impossible task.
In the end there are no words at all, so I hold her in the silence of my broken-open heart and know her light will always be alive there.