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