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11 Years and It Still Hurts

11 Years and It Still Hurts

My brothers may kill me for this photo, but I had to put it up. Just so you know, in order from left to right are me, my sister Jessica, my brother Gabriel, and my brother Daniel.

Today marks 11 years since my sister died. For some reason I’m so torn up this year that I’m kind of scaring myself.

She would be turning 30 this year, come June.

We were supposed to celebrate in a HUGE way.

Now, all I have left to remember her is her memory, and at this moment, for me, that’s not enough.

Facebook doesn’t help much either, because I keep seeing those photos that say some variation of “Like if you have the best sister in the world,” and I would click, except my sister would never see it. She never knew about Facebook anyway. It wasn’t open to other folks outside of Harvard anyway.

I think about all of the things that I enjoy now, that she never knew about. A certain Mr. Bruno Mars. The Matrix movies, and any of the Iron Man/Avengers stuff. It sounds so silly, doesn’t it? To be waxing poetic about singers and movies that my sister wasn’t alive to see or hear.
She would have had the same reaction to Whitney Houston’s death as I did. Mostly because we spent HOURS singing songs from The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack and from The Bodyguard.

I keep thinking about how only the cellist got to be with her for any significant amount of time. She has six (soon to be seven), other nieces and nephews, to hug and kiss and spoil. She might have gotten married and given us some people to spoil as well. My children don’t have a maternal aunt. I can’t get over that. My brother’s kids both have an aunt and uncle, but not mine.

I feel cheated. Mostly because everyone else in my family has someone to pair up with. My mom and dad have each other, my brothers have each other, and then there’s me. Left to be weird and try to fill the time that I would initially be on the phone with my little sister with other things. No taking impromptu road trips with my sister. No telling secrets to someone who is bound to me by blood, and the kind of love that doesn’t care how many fights you’ve had, or if you had a big fight. I would have someone to call in the middle of the night and they would answer the phone.

I have friends and cousins who say that they would do this, but let’s be real, the only person who would have said this AND not hated me for calling at two in the morning to talk about my irrational fear of going to the circus with my children the next day because of the clowns is my sister.

There are lots of things that I did in reaction to the death of Jessica.

I joined the navy.

I started talking to Mr. Houseful civilly again. ( we were 21 years old – stop holding your breath)

I started doing things the way that I wanted to do them when I wanted to do them because I figured death is final.

Now, I’m here. Blogging away and loving it overall. I have four children, a fantastic husband, and a great life. We aren’t poor, we don’t go hungry, and we get to do awesome things.


The hole that is still in my heart never gets smaller. I find myself trying to hear her voice the way that I remember it in the car the night before she died. We were talking about her boyfriend and how she was going to miss him when she went to boot camp. She also asked me if I thought that I was going to marry Mr. Houseful. The cellist was happily cooing away in his car seat, and life was good.

I feel like I did the day that she died. Mad. Hurt. Confused. Lost. I haven’t attended church at all this month, and I’m not sure that I want to go back any time soon.

I realize that this post is literally a brain vomit, but I felt the need to get this out, otherwise…well.

So, if you all have time today, just say a small prayer for me, please? I’d appreciate it.

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Navigating Grief - Houseful Of Nicholes

Wednesday 25th of February 2015

[…] full 13 years out from the time my sister Jessica died. A lot has happened since my complete and total breakdown 2 years ago in my home office. A […]


Tuesday 7th of October 2014

A couple of weeks ago was the 8th year that my brother passed away. It doesn't seem that long ago and I still miss him. I understand your pain, and it hurts to lose someone. We are blessed to have them for as long as we did.

Chasing Joy

Tuesday 18th of June 2013

I will definitely say a prayer for you. I don't have a sister so I cant know how you feel, but I did lose my dad almost 4 years ago so I can relate to the pain that does not go away and resurfaces just as raw at times.

Hang in there. Go back to church when you feel ready. In the mean time pray for youself. (((Hugs)))


Tuesday 19th of March 2013

I don't have a full-blooded sister. I have a half-sister with whom I share a father and I am very close to her although she is 16 years younger than I am. I love her and admire her dearly.

But the hurt that you feel, I think, is akin to what I feel about the loss of my maternal aunt, who died when my daughter was 9 days old. My aunt never had a child herself but she adored my son whom she met only once and would have adored my daughter -- no questions asked. My aunt and daughter are two peas of the same pod -- two peas who talk too much, who can be outrageous and are always the center of attention. Some genes just get passed on, no matter how you try to suppress them!

I have a picture of my aunt above my kitchen sink so that when I am there -- far too often! -- I can share my life now with her even though I am without her. She is missed every day. Grief is so daunting and irrepressible. I wish this weren't the case.

Natasha Nicholes

Wednesday 20th of March 2013

The good and bad thing about grief is that it is not a respecter of person. A kid can know the sadness of grief just like someone older. Someone who's lost a parent, cousin, or aunt, can feel grief just as strongly as someone who has lost a grandparent, sibling or friend. I hate reading about so many instances of grief, but it also lets me know that I will be okay, because so many awesome people come through and let me know that THEY are okay, and that THEY are dealing with it the best way they know how. That there is nothing wrong with acknowledging and pressing on. Thank you so much for coming through!

Kimmah Shah

Tuesday 19th of March 2013

I wish I could say that I didn't know how you felt but I do. My sister didn't die. But my mother did. She died from Cancer, in 1999 a few days before my son turned one years old. While I did grieve "in my way" I never "grieved". Not until the last year. There was just so much going on in my life. I was FINALLY finishing college. I was anticipating getting engaged and I was scared because I was unsure. All this stuff going on and I wanted and needed my mom. I found myself waking up hysterical in tears one day. I thought I was going crazy. How could I miss her so much all of a sudden. I think, for me, there were so many changes in my life. And like you, no matter what people said or did they couldn't fill the void. I didn't want a mother substitute..I wanted my mom. The pain and grief have subsided. I find myself just talking to her now, unlike before when I just....I just didn't. Like you said, death is final. I thought crying can't bring her back so I didn't. But for me, I finally realized crying and giving into the emotion somehow did. I feel closer to her now than I did after she died. I'm sure you'll figure out your feelings. I sooooooo know what you feel, though I wish neither of us did. I'll just be praying for you (and your sister).

Natasha Nicholes

Wednesday 20th of March 2013

I am so sorry to read about your mother. And it does feel harder since I have children. I think that this is the first year that I have allowed myself to fully accept my grief. Other times, in my head it was always "Natasha, that was x amount of years should be over it!" Now, I stop, allow myself to have my moment or moments, and when I'm done, I move on. The moments are always going to come - that's something that I have had to come to terms with. And the thinking that I was going crazy part has happened here too. Thank you for coming through, and for your kind words on twitter. ((hugs))

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