Sometimes It Hurts To Blow Out The Candles

Posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Today would have been my sister’s 49th birthday.

I don’t often speak of my sister here.  I can’t, or don’t want to, try to put it into words.  So, I don’t.  Every year on her birthday, our family is again shaken by the suddenness and sadness of our loss.  But, this anniversary of her birth is different.  I had to put something down in words.

I find the ‘nines’ to be particularly difficult birthdays for me – the end of a decade, a chunk of life.  The ‘nines’ are unlike the ‘zeros’ which I love to celebrate because they feel like the beginning of a new chapter.

I know it’s foolish. I know it’s just one day’s difference between a ‘nine’ birthday and a ‘zero’ birthday, but it’s just the way I feel.  Can’t help feelings, you know.

So, with the 49th birthday of my sister comes another end, a decade she didn’t get to live.  The sadness I feel about that is beyond the words I could write here.

In my mind’s eye my sister will be ever young, vibrant, and as bright as a star.  In reality, she didn’t get to live yet another decade.  With her 49th birthday comes just another reminder of that horrible truth.

Perhaps next year on her 50th birthday, I’ll be able to celebrate her life and the time we got to have her here on this earth. But right now, the ‘nines’ have gotten a hold of me and are pulling the joy out of me.  I miss my sister every day, but today I  miss the decade we should have shared together.

Time will pass and I’ll get through this joylessness. I’ll talk to my other siblings soon and share some laughs through the tears and we’ll all feel better.  But today, I just feel the loss.

When you blow out birthday candles it’s all about wishing.  I just wish my sister was here to blow out her 49 candles.  That’s the only wish I could make today.

Sorry I can’t wax poetic about the blessings of a life shared or the celebration of the time we had. Today is just about loss. Mourning a death isn’t a linear process; it’s a process that’s all ups and downs.  Some days the memories give you wings, and other days they plummet you to the ground.  Today, I must say, I smacked face first into the dirt.

Aren’t you glad you stopped by to read? I’m sorry.  But I just have to be authentic, and today I felt a need for truth about this crappy journey.

Like I said, maybe next year I’ll be ready to celebrate my sister’s life.  But for today, blowing out the birthday candles would be way too painful.

Oh yeah… and next month I get to celebrate a ‘nines’ birthday of my own.   I’m preparing myself.  I’ll be getting out my boots with the straps on ’em…

Happy Birthday, Dear Sister.

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20 Responses to
“Sometimes It Hurts To Blow Out The Candles”

  • OSS says: October 22nd, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Oh Patti I wish you could feel the virtual hugs I am sending your way. Like you so honestly admit, even though we know we treasure the time we had with our loved ones that have passed on, and we know how fortunate we were to have them for even a short time — that still doesn’t change the fact that we just plain miss them in our lives and mourn the fact they aren’t experiencing all the joys of this life that we are …. you have a right to give in to your pain and loss …. but then tomorrow morning when you open your eyes, it will be a new day and you will live it as you know your sister wants you to. I love you so,

  • Patti says: October 22nd, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you my Dear OSS. I’m feeling the hugs. You are indeed So Sweet. 🙂

  • Lisa Winkler says: October 22nd, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Sorry for your loss. I don’t think families ever truly recover from this sort of loss. You wrote about it beautifully.

  • Patti says: October 22nd, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Thank you, Lisa. Some days are better than others. And the bad days just surprise me sometimes. Thank you for your thoughts and your compliment. I sure appreciate you!

  • Gabi Coatsworth says: October 22nd, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I get it.

  • Patti says: October 22nd, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you, Gabi. I guard myself partly because I can hear the voices saying “Oh, get over it.” But, ‘it’ never goes away. Just some days are better than others, that’s all. Thank you for sharing your feelings with me, Gabi.

  • Lisa Marie Mary says: October 22nd, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I love you, sweet Patty, and my heart just aches for you. I can’t imagine. I miss my grandmother that way – and sometimes it’s groovy and sometimes it physically hurts so much. I’m sure, though, it must be that much more intense with a sibling, especially a sister. You’re most definitely in my prayers and my thoughts today!
    Lisa Marie Mary recently posted..Peace-Loving Hippies Just Don’t Belong at Football GamesMy Profile

  • Patti says: October 22nd, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Thank you, Lisa Marie Mary my dear. I appreciate your kind words. Strange how these feelings hit after so many years. It’s nothing you can control – it just takes over. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have a chuckle or two at the memories, but today, I’m just… not. Thank you again for your kind words and for sharing your own pain with me. I appreciate you very much.

  • Victoria says: October 23rd, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Patti, don’t listen to the voices of others…”it” isn’t something you get over…nor am I particularly sure we would want to. The very first pair of humans were perfect and originally destined to live forever, so I don’t think death or dealing with it is hard wired into our system…that’s why it’s so hard to deal with and why we do get smacked to the dirt with it…we were never meant to HAVE to deal with it. Just know that you are loved, dear friend, surrounded by a myriad of hugs, and that you aren’t alone…we all understand, have been there, ARE there. Please add one more set of hugging arms to your list…

  • Patti says: October 23rd, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you so much, Victoria, for reading and sharing your thoughts… and hugs. Death, especially the death of a young person, is just not right. When a death is unfathomable, how can we cope? How can we accept something that is simply beyond our grasp? We’re supposed to have these people in our life forever and ever until we all get old and die. THAT I can understand. You’re right – that’s why the grief keeps coming back. Something happens (like a 49th birthday) and we’re reminded how horrid this whole thing is. And yeah, smack.

    Thank you for your hugs and for reminding me how many warm and wonderful people I have who understand. Your kind words have helped to make the grief lift already. HUGS!

  • sylvia says: October 23rd, 2012 at 8:27 am

    My brother was killed when he was 22, 18 years ago. For some reason, October is the hardest time for me, I am not sure why. 2 weeks ago, I spent the weekend in tears, wishing for him, missing him, just feeling rotten.
    I wrote a brief text to my sister, just expressing how I felt. I never meant to send it; I really just felt the need to get it out. Instead of delete, I hit send and while I made her sad too, she was also missing him.
    Go ahead and grieve for the missed birthday candles for your sister. You are right — grief is not linear. I am not even sure that it is ever finished.
    Blessings to you as you walk through this day.

  • Patti says: October 23rd, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Sylvia. I’m so sorry for your loss. That grief does just seem to hit us at the oddest times, doesn’t it. Serendipity is a funny thing – sending the text instead of deleting it was probably the best thing that could have happened for you and your sister. It’s good to share your grief.

    Your kind words mean a lot to me. And, I agree… grief is never finished. Thank you again for reading and for sharing your feelings and your thoughts with me.

  • Chris says: October 23rd, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Feelings are the most difficult things to write about, but you did it truthfully and graciously. My brother died this year, you feel it in your bones.
    Chris recently posted..Are We Happy Yet?My Profile

  • Patti says: October 23rd, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Chris. Yes, we do feel it in our bones. Truthfully, the pain you feel now with the recent loss of your brother does lessen as time goes by. It took awhile before we could talk about our sister and laugh through the tears. But it happened. However… as you can see, the grief can come back and pull you down. You’ll have more good days than bad, in time. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    Thank you also for the nice compliment. Like I said, I really don’t talk too much about losing my sister, at least not in public. I guess the pain just bubbled up and had to get out. I appreciate your kind words. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your pain and your thoughts with me.

  • Dianne Hughes says: October 23rd, 2012 at 11:07 am

    It is quite sad for me to be able to day that I know what you mean,….though it is my son that makes me feel this way. We lost him, quite suddenly, when he was 35 years old. He would have been 39 this August. We had two sons…our oldest will be 41 tomorrow…and though I rejoice with bounty that I have his day to celebrate, it is still wicked bad to miss out on the younger one’s. The date that gets to me is the first. The first of every month is a reminder that November first was the day he passed….way up in Colorado….alone. I have such hope that we will be reunited someday….but the firsts’ are truly hard. God bless us all who have those “numbers” that put us in a deep funk….thank God that this too only comes to pass and not stay forever.

  • Patti says: October 23rd, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Thank you, Dianne, for sharing your loss with us. It helps to share, a bit I think. I’m so sorry for your loss and for those reminders – the ‘firsts.’ My Mom died six years after my sister. When my Mom died, we know she saw my sister and went to be with her. I don’t know how a person ‘knows’ these things… we just do. Just as surely, I know you will be with your son again. Until then, we get through, day-by-day, some days better than others. Thank you again for sharing, Dianne.

  • Retha says: October 23rd, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Patti, my husband and daughter and 2 sons and I have lost someone we love dearly too. My second oldest daughter. She left behind a little boy and a husband. I know the feeling of loss, but also feel the love that she has left behind. Our hearts have a wound, but slowly as each December comes and goes, that wound is healed just a bit more. We celebrate her birthday and we rejoice when we see a rainbow. It’s a promise that one day we will see her again. My prayers are with you and I will think of you and your loss as I think of ours. Blessings.

  • Patti says: October 23rd, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I am sorry for your loss, Retha. My heart goes out to you and your family. I agree… sometimes we celebrate, other times we cry. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme nor reason about why or when it happens. The best thing my siblings and I do to get through the pain is to share the stories. We laugh and cry and feel better. It’s all we can do.

    Thank you again, Retha, for sharing your painful loss. It’s all we can do. In my family, we rejoice when we see a red cardinal. We know our loved ones are coming to give us hope and joy. Hugs and blessings to you and your family.

  • Peggy says: November 9th, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Oh Patti, I am so sorry for your loss. I have a sister, I know how much she means to me. Sitting here it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about losing her. I can’t imagine the depth of your pain. May The Lord comfort you and give you a peace that passes all understanding.

  • Patti says: November 9th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Oh, Peggy, you are so sweet. Thank you so much for your kind words. Time does heal, to be sure, but darn there are days that the pain just bubbles up and gets a hold again. Thankfully, our family is close and we share the stories and memories that now bring as many smiles as tears. Thank you again, Peggy.

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