Fortunately, I was by her side when she died. I had just missed the deaths of my mother and eldersib, but this time I was there, along with supergee and eldestsib and her family. womzilla arrived in a rented car from the airport just after youngersib died, and we joked that he had taken the curse for me. I don't know if youngersib could hear us at the end, but I said all the right things, includng that I loved her and that we'd take care of anything she had to leave undone.
Eldrersib called me in Thursday or Friday to tell me youngersib was in the hosptial. That wasn't unusual, unfortunately, and at first I thought I'd wait to see whether her condition got better or worse; but then a little voice inside told me to just go & I did.
Some months ago, youngersib as diagnosed with cancer of the liver. (I wanted to write about that here, but I felt it wasn't my story to tell.) She wasn't a candidate for a transplant because she had lupus and other auto-immune issues, and so a quick death was a blessing in some ways. The final cause of death was a raging systemic infection that shut down her kidneys, caused by an everday bacterium on her deliberately suppressed immune system. She was only 56.
This has been so hard for me, much harder than the death of my parents or of eldestsib. It's harder yet on eldersib, who had been taking care of youngersib since youngersib's health really declined.
Last week I had over 40 hrs of straight work (no breaks, not counting commute), which I really don't recommend right after something like this. Fortunately, very good therapy about handling my emotions and having to frequently deal with the death of beloved rodents helped me be able to put my emotions away when I needed to.
On days when I couldn't fall apart, I did everything I could just not to think about youngersib's death, which worked. Mostly. Two of those nights I had dreams in which I was talking to or about youngersib & talking to other friends who had died, roadnotes, Womzilla's brother Tim, and Supergee's S.O. before me. They were mostly good dreams until I woke up. A more recent night, something actually weirdly irrelevant reminded me of youngersib's death, which I got past the next day by talking and crying to Womzilla as he drove me to the subway.
I want to minimize those kinds of things, so I'm trying to face my emotions directly when I can. Monday and yesterday I had too much work, but today I put my foot down about Skyping on my day off so I could write this, at least, and cry.
W. and S. are being wonderful, saying all the right things and just letting me talk, or understanding when I am sad or gruimpy. Of course, they almost always do, even when I have a lot less reason to be sad or grumpy.
At the time I posted on Facebook, as the quickest way to reach a lot of people & because I signed on as youngersib and let her Facebook friends know. I suppose soon I'll write to her LJ friends on nigelpuggle's LJ. Fortunately, Nigel and Quinn, youngersib's dogs, were immediately adopted by eldersib and her husband Math Guy and seem to be doing well--I think the fact that youngersib and they lived at eldersib's house for a few months really helped, as they were used to the environment and to eldersib feeding them.
In addition to everything else, this has certainly made me realize that I need to change my will & put it some place everyone knows about!
Life is just so unfair. While mostly I feel sad, a few times I have felt angry--oddly, not angry *at* anyone or anything, just stabby-type angry. I realized that if I believed in a Gnostic-style demiurge, that would be a perfect object of my wrath, but I don't. So the emotions just *are* in a way unprecedented in my life.
I appreciate the dozens of people who checked in to give condolences on FB, but now I'm back on LJ and hope we can have deeper discussions, maybe, of death and grieving. I know it will get better, and I know that there is no way out but through; but any advice is appreciated, and I just find the process endlessly fascinating.