My sister’s death from cancer opened my eyes to life
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” — T.S. Elliot
My sister’s death from sudden, aggressive lung cancer changed who I am as a person forever. I know, without a doubt, that I will never be the same Kylie again.
We all are aware that death is inevitable. But, it still hurts in a way unlike any other pain when it happens, especially sudden and tragic deaths. Healing does happen and I know this. Her loss was not my first just my most sudden and tragic. I have buried a husband and my father, but this death just hit me differently and out of nowhere.
I woke up the day after her death, expecting to feel the heaviness of grief. And I did. But I also realized immediately that I was a changed person who, going forward, would be living life differently. I suddenly understood I had been holding myself back in almost all areas of my entire life. I was living my life by trying to avoid attention. I was not being who I really wanted to be. Life was suddenly an extremely fragile thing that I had been wasting for years on mediocrity. I would no longer waste a second that was given to me.
Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.Jane Addams
What stops us from trying new things? In my opinion, it is due to the opinion’s of our peers or the people we consider to be the closest to us. Why? Because we know the masses are uncomfortable with being different than the rest and with change of any kind. A lot of conformists want everyone around them to be leery and rejecting of anything different than the status quo. I refuse, adamantly, to live my life like that going forward.
The masses have always viewed anyone who does, looks, or acts differently than the rest of society as odd or outcasts. I find that herd mentally extremely disturbing. Why can’t the different personalities be beautiful or brave instead of outcasts or troublemakers? Personally, I find bland and normal people to be boring as hell and shallow.
What would our lives look like if we took chances, fought back or rocked the boat sometimes instead of cowering? Is the fear of failure or embarrassment really that big of a deal? I don’t understand, because I do not care if people like me or not. What if we had taken more chances? What could we have accomplished by now? Would cancer be cured? Would my sister be alive?
So, I decided in my grief that I would live my life without fear holding me back from anything. I owe this to her beautiful soul. I will never take my life for granted again. She did not want to die. I will live for her now. I will keep her memory alive in her granddaughter, Piper, that she never knew was coming or got to see.
My main goal is to go sliding feet first into my grave. I want the gossips to keep busy by talking about me. I want to have lived a large, exciting, meaningful life filled with amazing moments and memories astounding enough to be talked about in my family for generations to come. I will not accept my fate as being one of the other sheep in this world.
I started my new found way of living by deciding to follow my dream of writing. This was a huge deal to me because I had always let the opinions of others hold me back in this regard. The value of other’s opinions died along with my sister. I started writing and I have not stopped since. Much to my family’s chagrin. I have a lot I still need to get out.
I write more humor pieces than anything. I do this because I have used humor as a coping mechanism my whole existence. There is nothing that I can not twist and mold to turn into a laughable situation. I am comforted in my grief by the memory of her laughing at my antics.
Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.Goethe
I have started a website, started blogging, joined Medium, and haven’t looked back. Am I a huge success? No. However, success is subjective. Writing makes me happy. That makes it a success in my eyes. And, going forward, my opinion is the only one that I will validate.
From now until the end of my days, if I want to do something or experience life, I’m going to do it. Haters riding on my life train can get off at any time. I sincerely hope they do. I am not blind to a few of my friends and the fickleness they show with their support. The time has come for fake friends or people with less than pure intentions to exit my life. That way, I will have room for more supportive people to enter my life. I am definitely ready for some new passengers on my figurative life train.
I will no longer make any apologies or explanations for anything I do. I am different and I am loud. I am too much of a woman for some and too little of a woman to others. I am not here to follow. I am here to lead. I am me. I am proud of who I am and I am free for the first time in my forty one years. And it feels amazing.
I have the full love, support, and acceptance of my husband. He has embraced every change that I have made and fully supported every shenanigan and/or scheme that I have ever come up with. Whether it ends up being successful or not in the end.
I also have the support of my other sister who is my best friend in this world and has been since I was born. Even if my writing is terrible, she knows it is a healing process for me and builds me up every chance she gets. I also support her in how she expresses her own grief which is in a very different and private way.
Let us resolve to be masters, not the victims, of our history, controlling our own destiny without giving way to blind suspicions and emotions.John Kennedy
As far as the memory of my lost sister goes, I can still hear her sweet voice when I close my eyes. I know she would be supportive of me. I miss her everyday and I am prepared to live the remainder of my life missing her. But, instead of focusing on all that I have lost and my sadness, I am going to focus on living and making myself, and her, proud.