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May 7, 2019

Grieving a Sibling: What I Learned from Losing my Sister.

A year ago, my sister passed away.

Today is the anniversary.  

Well, I don’t really know if I’d call it an anniversary. Anniversaries seem like something you should celebrate.

Today’s not a day to celebrate. It’s a day to grieve, to miss her, and to feel sorry because she isn’t here. But that’s nothing out of the ordinary, and it’s something I’ve done every day for the past 365 days.  

It’s not that I want to hurt like this every day or want others to feel sorry for me. There is just a piece of my heart that is gone and can’t come back.  

But it’s not me that I feel sorry for—it’s her.  

I feel sorry that, wherever she is now, there is a mother, a father, there are brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, family, and friends crying, praying, and begging she will come home. Waiting for her to walk through the door and act like she never left or just came back from another crazy, impromptu vacation like she always did.  

I feel sorry that, after working with kids nearly her whole life, she never got to have any of her own. That she never got to live happily ever after like Nathan Scott and Haley James or Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf like she always wanted. I’m sorry that she never got to have the gigantic and dramatic wedding she wanted or to have a house of her own. 

I feel sorry that she only lived 24 years and didn’t get to experience the things that really matter 

Instead, she spent her life taking impromptu trips to Vegas, California, Tennessee, and Florida or seeking thrills like skydiving. Working at her favorite retail shops just long enough to get the discount, babysitting, nannying, and hanging out with other people’s children. Going to every concert that was within a 50-mile radius, spending money like there was nothing to save for, and taking enough pictures to fill up an entire phone.  

She didn’t get the memo that we need to start young to make a life for ourselves. Go to college, get married, have kids, find a good job, and settle down. Focus on the things that really matter.  

‘Cause those are the things that really matterright?  

Maybe, after all, today is a day to celebrate.  

It’s a day not to dwell on the fact that she didn’t get the chance to find the cliché relationship she idolized on TV or to have her own children, but to celebrate that she lived her life making memories with her family and friends that will last us a lifetime. Because those things are what actually matter, and that’s what she taught me. Her life was about adventure, thrill-seeking, chasing vibes, and making others laugh. Her life was about showing others that money doesn’t mean everything, that in the end it will all work out, and to “stop being so dramatic and live a little, because we aren’t promised tomorrow.  

Today is the anniversary of the day she taught me to not focus on the things that people say “really matter” but to focus on what actually matters and live life just like she did: with the purpose of just living. 

So, I celebrate today as a time to remember that, from the day she was born until the day she left the physical world, she lived her life to the fullest. In 24 years, she lived more of a life than most people do in 50 years.  

Most importantly, she taught me the importance of life.

And for that, I celebrate.  

author: Alyssa Stout

Image: Author’s own

Editor: Kelsey Michal

Mindfulness Morning, Day, & Evening...with Waylon Lewis.

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Joanie Madsen May 15, 2019 7:54pm

Such a loving tribute to your sister who is still teaching you to embrace life, ALL of it because none of us are guaranteed more than this present moment. I too lost my brother and a son so I have a daughter who lost her only sib. I never tell her that I “know” how she feels, yet I can share how it feels for me.
Gentle care with your tender heart as you remember, honor and know that she will send her sis a cosmic two by four if she feels you are “slacking” in the living your life fully department if she hasn’t done so already.

grace7632 May 12, 2019 9:01pm

I lost my son,but my kids lost their brother.
Loved your story?❤️.

avickery1970 May 7, 2019 12:31pm

I’m so sorry for your loss. I have not a sibling but have lost my daddy, my first granddaughter, my 23 yr old daughter, and my 22 year old nephew..the grieving never goes away but you learn to go on and like you said, you learn the things that really matter.. my daughter was such a loving aunt and one of the things I wish she had experienced was her own children but I know she’s in Heaven loving on my granddaughter, Cara and her cousin, we called them twin cousin’s because they were born 6 hrs apart, he passed April 2015, and she passed February 2016..thanks for sharing…

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Alyssa Stout