My sister died on Thursday. April 5th, 2018. However, she left this earth on March 28th.
She suffered a hemorrhagic stroke that morning that left her paralyzed on her right side and affected her speech center. Her husband found her before she lost complete consciousness as she was still able to open her eyes and grip his hand. Emergency surgery was performed to alleviate the bleeding and fix the vessels that had exploded.
Elsa never regained consciousness and the agonizing decision of turning off the machines was made on Sunday, April 1st. She held on for four more days, with labored breathing and a diminishing frame, before she escaped the vessel that was her body for 55 years.
This morning, my mother finished writing her obituary and we emailed it in for publication in tomorrow’s newspaper.
The words I need to express the rawness I feel escape me. The regret I feel for having hurried her off the phone the day before her stroke, which was the last time I spoke to her, is unmeasurable. The wish for just one more day, to tell her I love her and to know she heard me say it, will never happen. At least not in this world. We told each other that before hanging up on all our phone calls. But to be able to hold her hands and look into her blind eyes? I would do anything to be able to do that now.
You might ask why I am writing about such a personal event in my life on such a public platform. Most of the reasons are to help me cope and move forward with life. For my readers, it’s to tell you, to remind you, to make time for those you love. Don’t be in a hurry to get off the phone if you don’t have anything important going on. If you have a person in your life who needs extra attention, give it to them. Because you never know when they may cruelly be yanked away from you and there won’t be a thing you can do about it.
She was very proud of me when she learned I was starting my business. She wanted to help in whatever way she could, because she was like that. Always wanting to help and be a part of something. She will be a part of something now. She is now in my office. She will be in the passenger seat of my car as I drive along. She will be in the kitchen with me. She will be with me during milestones. And she will be walking alongside me; holding my hand and telling me she is ok.
Elsa, we love you and miss you. But we will hold you so close to our hearts and you will shine through so brightly. I promise you.