Here we go
How did it happen- how did you lose your sister?
She was ill. She died after a protracted illness
How old were you?
44years old. She was 35
Ouch! After knowing her for so long. What is your favourite memory of her?
A small chubby toddler running to give me a hug whenever I came back from school when I was still in primary school.
How was your relationship, were you guys close or apart?
We were close and then apart after she got married
What are some of your regrets?
I wish I pried more into her affairs after she got married. I just hands off and gave too much space such that I didn’t even know when she took ill
Wow. What was moving on like?
I am not sure I have moved on. Memories of what could have been still hurt and hunt.
Nodding. I’m sorry. Do you have any random memories of her? Could be silly things, or awkward moments or weird things you both did.
Yes, I remember when I was in primary 4, she was just a chubby toddler, and each time I come back from school, she will run out to give me a hug. Also, I remember the day she put a seed of corn into her nose and it got stuck. My mum almost skinned us alive thinking it was the groundnut we were supposed to be selling then. It was scary but luckily it was removed using forceps at the hospital
Smiles. Did you have any support while trying to move on?
Yes, I had a lot of support from my colleagues at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), Bonn, Germany. I was that far away when the news of her death broke.
What changed when you tried to get back to normal?
Nothing changed. I took a decision to come to terms with the fact that I may never see her again.
If you could say anything to her now what would you say?
I love you. Everything will be alright. We can pull through together. Hold on, don’t give up.
What were some of her pet peeves?
I don’t remember any. She was such a sweet little girl and very hardworking and industrious. She couldn’t stand anybody insulting me.
How did you move on or eventually find peace and joy?
I must come to terms with the reality of her death and the fact that there is nothing I can do, but I still feel if I had done more initially, maybe, she would still be alive. I am not sure I have a closure yet though the process has been ongoing. I couldn’t attend her burial because I was on a fellowship in Germany and couldn’t afford a return ticket even though I had wished to attend. Her husband also refused an autopsy and my parents did not insist on one. The stories we heard surrounding her final days in the hands of her in-laws were heart wrenching. But she left behind a five month old baby boy. He reminds us of her. I find that comforting.
All of these make the pain and sense of loss deep, but time has a way of easing pains.
What advice or encouragement would you offer to someone struggling with loss?
Face, it. Don’t live in denial. Cry when you feel like. If you need to talk to someone, do not hesitate. Always remember that even if you feel alone, you are not alone. Most importantly, talk to God about exactly how you feel. See the larger picture in the loss and be comforted.
Thank you so much aunt for sharing your story. I cannot imagine what it feels like to lose a sister after knowing her for 35 years. Thank you for encouraging someone out there and letting them know they are not alone.
Last in the mini-series would be yours truly. Yes I lost someone too.
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Talk to you soon,