I watched my 46 year old sister in law pass away today.  It was the second hardest death I have ever endured.  She fought cancer for 18 months and the damn cancer won.  She was in a ton of pain in the end and riddled with tumors so this passing is definitely a blessing but damn it was hard to watch.

She was getting morphine every hour and it was keeping her comfortable and comatose.  She was breathing very hard and snoring very loudly but her tongue was swollen and her throat was twice the size that it normally is.  She was struggling to breath and it was hard to watch.  Then, as happened with my mom 21 years ago, the breathing got very shallow and not normal and that is what I knew it was the end.  She passed away with her 2 best friends, her husband, both of her parents and myself surrounding her and she is no longer in pain and at peace.

What a whirlwind of emotions we have been on and loss is something that is hard to explain and harder to experience. My brother and sister in law have a daughter who is going to be 18 years old in September but who has diminished mental capacity.  She understands that mommy is sick and says, “do you know my mom is going to die tonight?”  She may not understand everything that is happening but she sure knew her mom was going to die.  To be fair, she has watched her mom get sicker and sicker and has watched her deteriorate into someone that no one recognized.  It has been a hellish 18 months and now my beautiful, smart, kind, loving sister in law is at peace.

Loss is hard.  Loss is painful.  Loss is stressful.  Loss is part of life and sometimes just plain sucks. Watching my brother in pain is hell.  Watching him lose the love of his life, who has been in our family for 32 years is horrible.

Loss sucks. Loss is REAL. Loss makes you remember what you have and that everything can be taken away in the blink of an eye.

Don’t blink. Say the things. Do the things. Love people. Eat the cake. Drink the wine. Go on the trip. Make the memory. Always find joy in the little things.

Love without boundaries. Rest In Peace Alicia. You are loved.