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Tue Nov 6, 2012, 07:41 AM

My sister in law's death

Two weeks ago tonight, at 11 pm, my sister in law (husband's sister) was hit by a car. Her injuries were too severe, and after five hours of fighting to save, her doctors lost the battle and she passed at 4:10 am on Wednesday the 24th of October.

Obviously this was a shock and a horrible event. The wake occurred over the weekend, and the funeral mass on Monday, just as Hurricane Sandy was about to hit NYC. (We had to postpone the burial, which would involve driving out to Long Island, until Halloween. Which was fitting, because it has always been my sister in law's favorite holiday. So laying her to rest on that day, followed by a lunch with her family and friends, seemed fitting.)

Anyhow, my SIL and I weren't particularly close. She had substance abuse problems throughout her adult life, and her relationship with my husband, myself and our daughter was a relatively distant one. We saw her during important holidays, but didn't invite her into our home regularly because we were afraid of the discord.

Despite this, the mourning has been real for my husband. He's been mourning the innocence of her childhood, their lost relationship, the loss of life and the loss of a chance to get her life back in order. She was only 38.

I have been trying to hold it together for our family and take care of all the details that would allow my husband and his parents to mourn their loss without worry.

Having said all this, the most touching moment that brought tears to my eyes was the funeral mass. When we walked in, five priests were standing in front of the casket, waiting for us to come in. They braved the impending storm to be with us. Four were close family friends. 1 was the pastor of the church. Seeing them standing there for us and for my sister in law, despite her fall from the church years ago (they were aware of her problems) was the moment that brought tears to my eyes. For me it is about their humanity and friendship, not theology. The Mass brought comfort to my family for many different reasons. My father in law was happy that she had the final sanctity before the impending storm. My mother in law was happy to be in a familar church in which her family grew up and spent so much time. And the comfort of the ritual provided catharsis. My husband and I found comfort in being surrounded by priests who performed our wedding, the baptism of our daughter, and now our sister's funeral.

I'm sharing not to argue theology or religion or anything. I find peace in knowing that my SIL is finally at peace, whether in the kingdom of heaven or whether in darkness. She's not struggling with her demons anymore. It was a lifelong struggle for her. For those of you who pray, prayers for her are welcome. For those who don't, positive thoughts are very welcome, too.

Thanks for letting me share. There is beauty in life and in death.

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply My sister in law's death (Original post)
Dorian Gray Nov 2012 OP
Frustratedlady Nov 2012 #1
panAmerican Nov 2012 #2
BigSpirit Nov 2012 #3
niyad Nov 2012 #6
Dorian Gray Nov 2012 #7
sinkingfeeling Nov 2012 #4
niyad Nov 2012 #5
Dorian Gray Nov 2012 #8
LeftishBrit Nov 2012 #9
cbayer Nov 2012 #10

Response to Dorian Gray (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 07:47 AM

1. Beautifully written. May your sil find peace.

May you and your family find solace through the good memories and each other.

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Response to Dorian Gray (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 07:53 AM

2. Very touching

I do pray for your family especially your mother-in-law and husband to find some peace.

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Response to Dorian Gray (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 08:08 AM

3. SIL's Death

Dorian.....
When our loved one dies its as if the World just keeps turning without any recognition of them ever having been here. The world does keep turning and thankfully so because it keeps us in sync and propels us forward even when we want to stand still. Please know that I have taken just a minute to acknowledge your SIL's existence though I did not know her, we are all joined together by our humanity. I hope that your family, especially your husband will find Peace and can finally love his sister without worrying over her life. She is at Peace.

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Response to BigSpirit (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 09:27 AM

6. welcome to DU

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Response to BigSpirit (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 09:54 AM

7. This is very true. Thank you for your words

and welcome to DU.

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Response to Dorian Gray (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 08:55 AM

4. I'm sorry for your family's loss.

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Response to Dorian Gray (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 09:26 AM

5. thank you for sharing this with us.

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Response to Dorian Gray (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 09:55 AM

8. Thank you everyone

for your kind thoughts. I don't know what led me to writing this today. I finally had a moment to think about it all and wanted to share here.

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Response to Dorian Gray (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 10:27 AM

9. I am very sad to hear of your SIL's death

My very best thoughts for her and for all your family.

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Response to Dorian Gray (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2012, 10:30 AM

10. Thank you so much for sharing this and sharing it so eloquently.

Sometimes a church is not about a god at all, but just about humans.

Sorry for you and your family's loss. It is good to know that you can love and comfort each other at this time.

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