Tomorrow is the third anniversary of my sister Jean’s death. She would have been 65 last July. I have thought about how I failed her in her pain, how I ran away from her need, because I could do nothing about it. She would call me when she was in such great pain and had taken a narcotic patch to ease the pain. Calling me would pass the time until the patch took effect. That made me so angry that she would use me in that way – I thought that she considered me entertainment. But even then I failed to see the bigger picture – she just needed a kind word and my time. Those would have been gifts of mercy, although I would not have thought of that then. Although I did speak with her during those difficult moments, I regret not giving her more time.
I can remember a time when she was suffering with clinical depression. Talking to her, listening to her problems and her pain began to immerse me in her problems and her pain. I had to escape, or I would be lost in the same depression that had claimed her.
What it all comes down to is selfishness – my own selfishness. Being unwilling to share my time with my own sister is deplorable. And then there is the fear that her problems would overwhelm me. And the pride that I was able to express myself well which ended up being a terrible hurt to her.