As previously mentioned, when I started this blog, I hoped to write consistently and frequently, but in the last 12 months, I did not even write a single word on this blog. I was unable to write. The reason, my child, lies in here and here. It is about your aunt. In November 2014, your aunt was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer. I remember it was thanks giving day when I received the devastating news. I was sick in my stomach, my ears grew hot and my palms sweaty. In my panic I felt defeated and I just hoped for the best. I was not completely aware of it at the time but because of that news, life would never be the same, ever.
I could possibly write a whole book recounting the events that occurred in the eleven months following the diagnosis, but because it was very painful for me, for her and for my entire family, I will spare you the details. On the 20th of October 2015 her 38th birthday would be the last day I would hear my sister’s voice. I spoke to her on the phone but I could not hear what she was trying to say. At that point, despite everything in me refusing to cooperate, I had to reach a point of acceptance that she would not live for much longer. Four days later, very early in the morning I received the dreaded phone call. She was gone. Today is exactly one year since she died.
My child, death is as part of life as life itself but one thing I can tell you about death is that no matter how much strength you nurture in yourself, nothing ever adequately prepares you for the pain, sorrow and grief that you go through when you lose a loved one.
My grief has been an unspeakable burden. The past few days in particular have been very hard for me. I have experienced much difficulty in writing this letter to you, but I am glad it’s out of the way. My mind inevitably plays back the events leading to the death. I am full of memories of the life we had before Cancer made a hostile takeover. I remember the days we spent together when she had become very ill and unable to walk on her own, I would push her around in a wheelchair. I would drive her to the doctors for her routine check-up and I would hold her tiny frame and help her to take a step when she was no longer able to take that step on one her own.
My child, there are so many lessons I learnt from this experience of going through this sickness with my sister. I will share some of them in the upcoming letters but for today, I want you to understand that death is real, it is painful and it is our lot. I am not saying this to discourage you but I want you to know that it is OK to cry. I would like you to know that when you go through such a loss, allow yourself to grieve in your own way. It is an important part of the healing process. One day, the pain will be gone and you will be able to smile at those precious memories again. Life is still good.