Life’s Roller Coaster Ride – part 2

…continued from part 1

I’ve received the call before. You know the one. The “I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news” call.

When I finally arrived at Adam’s house after a long day of travel, I was still messaging with my sister, Linda about my day. We sent several messages back and forth and I told her I arrived safely.

Then she called.

I answered happily, thinking how wonderful it would be to chat with her instead of texting. Only she didn’t sound happy. She had just got off the phone with close friends of our sister Janet and delivered the bad news to me.

Janet is dead.

I have received calls like this too many times, and it never gets easier. I sat in disbelief as Linda told me that Janet’s good friends were worried when she didn’t answer her phone or her door and called the manager to let them into her place.

These wonderful people loved our sister dearly, and I can’t imagine the shock and pain they endured at that moment. But what would add to the tragedy and disbelief was what happened next.

Do you know what the procedure is when someone dies in their home?

Before anything can be done with “the body” the police have to come and investigate for foul play. So after delivering this terrible news to my sister’s oldest daughter I had to speak with a police officer who asked me a lot of invasive questions.

He then took my information including height, weight and eye color. For some reason that was the part that confused me the most. Why would he need that?

I had to find a funeral home and have her transported, and over the next week spent hours taking care of the business of taking care of the dead.

Adam made sure I got outside and we walked a lot and spent time at the Rogue River, where I could find peace.

Copernicus thinks he’s a bird dog

On Friday my brother Brian, who lives in Oregon, came to visit and by the end of the day, our sister was cremated.

My brother Brian and me

I left to go home on Saturday night and on Sunday met up with my son and daughter-in-law to pick up the girls. Every year we plan a week or so to have our granddaughters stay with us while their mom and dad have time alone.

We all look forward to it and this year was no exception.

We filled the week with beach time, scooter riding, ice cream, a boat ride, the zoo and more beach time.

At Stern’s Wharf

Arts and crafts were key most every day and we emptied out their old toy box and gave away the things that they had played with for years. We went shopping and replaced the old with new things for next time.

And in between all the fun, there were phone calls and messages to family and friends about my sister. I found a beautiful urn for her and sent it to the funeral home so she could good home in style.


We made plans for a service for her on her birthday in August to celebrate her life.

And life just kept going on even though so many of us were numb from the loss of our lovely Janet.

Our week was up and our granddaughters were back home with mom and dad on Saturday. And that evening I cried. I sobbed over the loss of my sister, my friend. John held me for hours and let me cry until I couldn’t shed another tear.

I know life will continue to be a roller coaster ride because that’s how life works. There will always be highs and lows and that is okay.

As my friend Maria, whose husband died suddenly while celebrating with their children said, “…I think the key is to embrace the contrasts to live fully.”

Reader Comments

  1. Juliet

    Loretta, I’m so sad for you over the loss of your beautiful sister. You’ve had so much to grapple with of late and I love your commitment to embrace contrast and love fully. xo

  2. Karen Marchese

    Loretta – I feel so awful for you! I also have many in siblings – our ages span over 2 decades- and we are sometimes very close, sometimes not – we are always there for each other in tough times.

    Take good care of yourself.


    • Loretta Sayers
      Loretta Sayers

      Your family sounds exactly like mine, Karen. My youngest sibling is 56 and my oldest is 76. We don’t always talk to each other, but man when the chips are down, we rally around each other. Thank you. X

  3. Rebecca

    I know what your saying Loretta. It’s uncanny how similar our lives are. My mom died at home of a heart attack in 1999. My hubby and I just started dating. He flew me from Arizona to Kansas City, rented a truck and took me to my mom and helped with all the details. It was then that I decided to marry him!

  4. LeAna

    Hi Loretta:

    I can’t imagine the pain of losing your sister. Please accept my condolences.

    After we lose our parents, our siblings are out our last link to the family of our childhood. I’m glad you have your sons and your beautiful granddaughters to give you strength (and fun) during this difficult time.

    Love & Hugs,

  5. Nancy

    I too have a age range that spreads over the years with my siblings. But we are all there for each other when we need each other.

    I am so sad for you and wish I could give you a hug. Make sure to take care of yourself my friend.

  6. Amy Kennedy

    Oh Loretta! I am just so sorry! Grieving with you and for you. I surely don’t understand the police questions either. I am so glad your family surrounds you with true love and support.

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