Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tragedy is not a big enough word...

My cousin Sherri, shown above here EXACTLY as she always was--HAPPY and FULL OF JOY and LAUGHING OUT LOUD--has died.
And I can't believe it. I can't get over it! I cannot understand it AT ALL!
When I tell people that she passed (through my two weeks of endless tears), they ask, "Was she sick?"
Nope. In fact, you've never seen a healthier person. Turbo kick boxer, avid walker, watched everything she ate so she could be slim and healthy!
Or they ask, "Was she in an accident?"
Nope. She was in her bathroom getting ready for work and told her husband she had a headache.
She collapsed a few minutes later.
And that was it.
Five brain aneurysms. Surgery didn't help.
She laid in the hospital for a week as people prayed and hoped and all solutions were exhausted.
She passed away a week ago today. December 16, 2014.
I was in New York City when I got the ultimate and inevitable news.
There I stood--in Central Park--staring at the Bethesda Fountain angel--sobbing.
Life all around me literally stood still.
With all the sadness of this past year--of my whole life, truly--this is perhaps the most devastated I have ever felt. I am having trouble thinking clearly. I forget what I am doing at work. I am overcome with sadness and QUESTIONS and I truly cannot figure this one out.
Sherri and I grew up down the street from each other. We went to St. Catherine's together. We liked boys together. We worked at Coco's together. We were closer than most sisters...
Sherri was a pilot and had her own plane. She was mother to Nathan, and in fact she and I were pregnant together with our sons. She was happily married to Mike--who is 25 years older than her and whose MOTHER just turned 100--for 25 years. They traveled and rode motorcycles and went to Nascar races and LOVED baseball! We went to DOZENS of baseball games together.
She had come to both of my mom's funeral events.
Sherri comforted ME as she sobbed for her Aunt Donas at the burial of my mom's ashes on November 29.
Who knew--WHO KNEW--that she would be GONE 10 days later?
I loved this woman and her kindness was a TRUE beacon of light for everyone who EVER met her.
Happy and loving and friendly and thoughtful and tender and OH so full of life.
The life is gone. And I cannot--ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT--figure this out.
No fair.
I guess the goal is to realize you will NEVER figure this out. Or get over it.
And, perhaps, it's a lesson for me--and you--
We're all terminal. Whether it's an illness or an accident or an aneurysm--we are all on our way out.
What we do between now and that final day is up to us.
I hope to be like Sherri--full of life and laughter every day between now and my final moment.
I am not sure I'll be laughing much today. I can't seem to stop crying.
Yes, I am sure it's a culmination of grief...
And confusion.
Why oh why...
I will miss you, Sweet Sherri.
I already do


Sweet Lu said...

I am so happy I was able to meet Sherri a few times in the last couple of years. It allows me to know EXACTLY what you are talking about when it comes to her larger than life personality, the smile she always had on her face and the kind words that came from her lips. I'm so sorry for your loss. So sorry for the unanswered questions. So sorry for the hole in your heart. XoXo

Kelly said...

What a beautiful tribute to an amazing lady. I'm so glad I got to know her in the last few years through you and Facebook. She reminded me so much of you .....always smiling, happy and loving life. I'm so very sorry for your loss Jewels. I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through. It makes me realize that we need to enjoy every single second of the lives that we have. Forget all the small stuff and spend every waking moment loving the people that matter most and living each day to the absolute fullest! I love you with all my heart (and I'll be reminding you of this each and every day for the rest of my life)! XO