It wasn’t completely unexpected, but still a hard thing to handle. You were my sister. I had to say good bye. You were reckless and carefree. I admired your spirit and the way you looked at the world. How am I going to do this? Should I even do this? I wondered if I would even be accepted. I contemplated for days before I booked my flight. Next thing I knew, I was sitting on a plane with my mind already back there. Remembering all the places we had been together all the good times we had. You were there when I got to experience my first sunset over the lake. Before pulling into the funeral home, I stopped. Do I really go? I did travel 1500 miles to get here, for what? To not show up? To not be there? As much as you are my family, we are not family anymore. Maybe I can sneak in the back. Nobody has to know I am here, I just want to see him and make sure that he is managing. I put the vehicle in drive and make the turn. “Shit!” he is standing outside. I can’t do this. Maybe I can just pull around and leave. He probably didn’t recognize me in this vehicle anyway. With my entire body shaking, I walk up to the front door. I stop in front of him and give him a hug. It felt so good to be back in those arms. I didn’t want to let go. I just wanted to be there to comfort him. During the service I sat behind him, watching every little move he made. I wanted to reach forward just to let him know I was there. If things would have worked out differently then I would be sitting there, next to him. It was hard to remember that he is not mine to comfort anymore. I can’t count the number of times I started to reach for him and had to stop myself.
I was invited to the celebration of life for you, I gladly went and sat on the outside for a while. Like I said, this is not my family anymore. I was invited over but was thankfully saved by a close friend. I wanted to go, but I didn’t at the same time. Feeling like an outsider was a new feeling for me with this group. They had always made me feel welcome and like part of the family. I am glad I moved over and we all spent time together. I almost got lost in a way that took me right back to where we were less than a year ago.
The hardest thing I have ever done was to leave him. At least that is what I thought. Walking away this time brought back all the feelings from the first time… and then some. It was so much worse. I was in tears before I was completely out the door. I had no choice; I had to leave. I could see the effects that the alcohol was taking on him, I could feel that it would be bad id I didn’t leave. I couldn’t risk hurting him again. Especially now, with everything he is going through. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t. I wanted to see him again, but was relieved when he didn’t answer his phone before I left town.