I am very angry at my sister-in-law.
She passed August 20, 2011.
I remember being angry at my father for the better part of a year after he passed.
Why did he smoke into his 40s? Why didn’t he find something engaging to do after he retired? Why did he keep taking aspirin after my mother stopped from excessive bleeding?
He died of a hemorraghic stroke and was gone in four days, at the age of 72.
His father and grandfather had lived well into their 90s. He, my mother, my brothers and I all assumed he would too.
I sometimes say he died of boredom. What could he have done differently that might have given us 20 more years?
Or, was there anything?
Is it common for relatives to be angry at someone who has passed for not doing everything they could to keep it from happening?
My sister-in-law’s cause of death was different from my father’s.
But, that helpless feeling is the same. If only she had….
She chose her own path.
Now, the only consolation is those gently conveyed memories of people who knew her.
They remember she was so passionate about dogs that she was once arrested for climbing over a neighbor’s fence to rescue a dog left alone too long in the back yard.
They remember she took them trick-or-treating when a family medical emergency kept parents away from home
They remember the gentle care she took of a beloved aunt, brushing her hair just to see her smile.
I remember the song she wrote and sang for my birthday.
I remember the guest room she rearranged to look catalog-photo ready.
I remember her talking to my grandchildren as though they were the most important people in the world
I remember her running with artists, because she had an artist’s soul.
I remember her laughter, her jokes.
And, I am angry that the world no longer has her gifts.
We are all the poorer for it
Her three dachsunds were in her lap at the end.
A lady who loves dachsunds and belongs to her hometown animal rescue organization offered to take them within an hour after she found out.
I miss you, Laura.