We have always been known as the five Shyne girls. Our mother once called us her "Five Graces". Forever a close family, we often said to each other "who needs friends when we have sisters?" We formed a tight knit little group, and shared many experiences and adventures. We got together regularly, laying down traditions that caused our children to grow up loving each other in our example. We were a family, living under a blessed cloud, who sometimes felt as if we had it all. Maybe we did, for a while.
My youngest sister Trish died Sunday.
Only 53, her life cut short in the most unfair of ways. She will never see her children marry, never hold a grandchild in her arms, never share another recipe, read another book, or smell the jasmine on a warm summer evening. She was wickedly funny, generous to a fault, an avid reader, ardent shoe lover, and so domestic, she preferred to stay home in the bosom of her family above all else. She lost her 21 year old daughter Camille to cancer a year and a half ago, and was diagnosed with cancer herself this past January. To say she got a raw deal is a gross understatement.
The hole that her loss creates in our hearts is big enough to let hurricane strength winds blow through. I am reeling in grief and denial, but need to remind myself that this is far from being my story. Daughter, mother, wife, sister, cousin, niece, aunt, daughter in law, sister in law, friend. She was many things to many people and her absence is incomprehensible.
I am told that although the burden of grief is a heavy one, it grows lighter over time. I hope that is true, because it feels pretty crushing right now. I want to hold her hand just once more, kiss her cheek just once more, laugh at one more silly joke, share one more secret, tell her I love her, look in her eyes
just one more time