RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
I'm Barb's big sister Susan - Virginia's daughter.
My immediate - and lasting - reaction to Barb's death as her big sister has been to be prepared to defend her against all comers; I can't tolerate anyone who criticizes her as weak or crazy - those are fighting words.
After I was told of her death, I wrote her a letter telling her that it's possible to survive that dark space which seems so lonely and unbearably painful. I wish she could have read it before.
After Bill's death, killed by a drunk driver a year and a half later, I entered a dark space myself, filled with the pain of the two losses. Surprisingly, I shared that pain with my brother John, found he was in the same space, and realized I needed to continue to live, or I would kill more family members.
My immediate coping mechanism was to spend a lot of time in bars, where I knew people, and could tak about the deaths. This is risky, as it can lead to an escape into alcohol, but I managed to avoid alcholism, and it helped me get a break from the pain. This is *not* recommended, but worked for me. Later, I joined a support group with Mom, and found the magic power of human words to heal broken hearts.Since then, over the years, though the urgent pain is faded, I continue to live with the loss of Bill and Barb, and found tears coming as I hear Mom speak. For myself, I've reconnected to my source of joy, and lead a happy life, filled with a good husband, a large extended family - made larger by marriage.
posted 4 years, 3 months ago
view in context