A Note to My Sister

My sister Cindy passed away a few weeks ago. She was younger than me. Only 55.
Cindy had been living in a nursing home for the past 3 years. Slowly, she seemed to fade away. We were told that it all came down to clinical depression and PTSD from the childhood sexual abuse we both had suffered.
Cindy lost well over 100 pounds during those 3 years. She was unable to talk or walk. Unable to use the phone or computer. She had to be fed and bathed. She had bedsores.
55 years old.
I lived over 1600 miles away from Cindy and could not visit. Every week for the past couple of years, I mailed her a little note. I didn’t want to forget to send them so I put a weekly reminder on my phone. I just wanted Cindy to know that I was thinking of her and praying for her. I wanted her to know that I loved her.
I was finally able to visit my sister in September. I had flown up to see her and to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday. On the day I went to see Cindy, she had taken a sudden turn for the worse. The nursing home staff called a family conference. We put her in hospice care.
I could hardly believe the timing. Did she wait to see me before she let go of her life?
The day before I flew back home, I saw Cindy for the last time. She was more alert and tried to tell me something but no one could understand her. I looked into her eyes and kissed her and I told her I loved her.
Two weeks later she died.
And two days later, the reminder to write her a note appeared on my phone. It is still there. I cannot bear to remove it yet. The last day I saw Cindy, one of her nurses showed me some of the notes I had sent her. They were in her drawer by her bed, tied together in a bundle. She had wanted to keep them.
So I write this last note to my sister. I know she is finally happy now. Free of pain, free of fear, finally at rest. After a lifetime of suffering, she is healed.
God has wiped away every tear from her eyes.

12 Responses »

  1. I think once the heart experiences deep, intense grief, we can feel another’s pain. I’m praying your dearest Cindy is enjoying the true and eternal love she deserves with our God. Bless you

  2. God bless you and Cindy and your mother. God knows the true depths of hell you all lived in due to your father. He has left you here to continue His work and He has taken her to Himself so she now has peace in a place where no one can hurt her – a place of peace and safety. Prayers for all of you.

  3. Love you and miss you, Colleen. Our prayers are with you.

  4. Dear Colleen, so very sorry to hear of the loss of your sister, Cindy. The bond of sisterhood remains forever…in our hearts and in our minds! Thank you for sharing this beautiful note that has stirred up memories of my own sister. May your dear sister, Cindy , rest in the loving arms of our Lord, Jesus! (…and my sister too). With love an prayers.

  5. My heart goes out to you and your family, Colleen. The suffering your sister bore (and you as well) is beyond comprehension. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord. May perpetual light shine upon her and may she rest in peace. Amen

  6. I know you know that she is very near you now, just feel her presence.
    Perhaps she will be able to lessen some of the pain you may still be carrying.
    Also want to tell you I listen often to your audio lectio divina. Your voice has a powerful effect on me still.
    With love,
    Nancy M

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