Her Gift To Me Was Me…

I haven’t written a post about grieving in quiet some time. Because I’ve healed tremendously, grief is no longer my constant nor consuming companion. Honestly, I fully realize that my lifelong acquaintance with death is more than anxiety-induced hyper-awareness, somehow, it is apart of my divine DNA and purpose to be akin to the sacred secrets of the dying, deceased, and the despair that comes with the ending of natural life. Now, before you clutch your pearls and look at me with the side-eye, understand, you won’t find me cemetery dwelling nor conjuring spirits nonetheless, I can’t deny that my ability to know the unknown and my encounters with the presence of those who have passed on, is evidence of an endowment that is still an enigma to me, but I digress. While death is a taboo topic and a painful part of life, it’s an experience that has the potential to invigorate and even heal. To date, my sister’s death has been the most catastrophic, debilitating, devouring, yet revolutionizing occurrence of my life.

As the fourth anniversary of my sister’s passing approaches, I find myself reflecting, settling, and awaking more and more. My reverence of death coupled with my strength to grieve in a way that allows me to feel the pangs of loss without being consumed by the power of my emotions has ushered in a consciousness of life that I’ve never known, talk about a paradox. It seems that Rumi was right, the gaping wound caused by grief has become the portal of a light so bright that it has liberated me and provoked a metamorphosis. I remember my grandma telling me, that when someone dies another person is born, I didn’t truly understand it then but I get it now. I am the most self-aware and balanced than I’ve ever been. The comfort that I’ve found in my individuality fuels me. I live with a peace that’s almost as inexplicable as the enormity of the grief I encountered four years ago. The harmonious waves of the ebb and flow of my emotions has given me a stabilizing intimacy with myself that has transformed my thoughts including a shift in my perception. The bittersweet irony of my evolution is the realization that my sister had to leave for it to happen, life.

It’s funny how the confusing things that my grandma used to say are now sources of calming clarity, she would say, “death never comes empty-handed, it always leaves a gift.” When I think about how my life has changed since Von’s departure, I am amazed. My admiration of my mom’s courage to raise me despite her struggles, my empathy for the plight that my parents conceived me in, the ability to forgive the man who altered my life, and even my acceptance of and respect for my sister’s right to slip into the heavens on her own terms, are death’s presents to me. Please, don’t assume that every day is angel kisses and rainbows, I have moments where the continued awakening to my new normal snatches my breath and leaves me starring into space looking for proof that maybe my reality isn’t real. Some days I think of her and the tears fall, other days I am filled with the deepest gratitude because I shared my life with her, but every moment of every day I am mending. They say that hindsight is 20/20, in my wildest dreams on my darkest days, when my only hope was to make it to the next moment alive, I couldn’t envision being in this space. There isn’t a minute of the day that I don’t miss my sister but interwoven in my longing for the sound of her voice, the wisdom of her words, and her physical being is a contentment that reassures me of her nearness, continuously bestowing upon me life lessons that are propelling me further into healing, happiness, and authentic wholeness. Thank you, Von, for loving me enough to give me life even in death.

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