When a person is dead it is difficult for survivors to believe it. Outsiders step back and give survivors space and time to grieve. Thoughtful grieving takes some solitude but the time allotted is not easy to measure. I cried for many miles while driving toward Camano Island when I heard that sister Ruth was taken to the hospital. At the time I thought I cried that she was in serious condition. The highway, the traffic, and road repair put that emotion on hold but that initial grieving helped to see me through the many hours at her bedside when it was obvious her brain – her command center – had not operated for hours and would be unable to operate ever again.
However my brain will act on my thoughts and I will grieve a little more each time I recall a moment of her life. And that grieving will not end. It will not be devastating as time goes by but there will be grieving. I know that because I still grieve over memories of my husband and he died quite suddenly seventeen years ago. He had been ill and experienced many days of distress so his death came as a relief to him. I mourned my loss. Still do. But most memories are good ones and often bring laughter.
Ruth’s life had been different but memories are many and will be welcome when I can accept she will not be around to share the laughter.