The Lessons In Death
My sister died when I was 23. When I found out, I immediately knew that it was a moment that would define my life. Not because I wanted it to, but because there are just moments that significant, that you can’t undo, you can’t unlive, you can’t deny. I knew that the Marji Sherman that began the day on July 10th, would not be the Marji Sherman that took the next breath after hearing the devastating news. I was right.
The thing I was wrong about, was how it would affect me. I thought I would crumble, fall, not be able to sustain my job, or relationships. I thought I would go into a trance, unable to cope with life because of the horrors of losing someone so close to suicide.
But something else happened. I felt my sister embrace me that night. I felt her arms around me, as I lay in the fetal position on an empty bed, crying and screaming, uncontrollably, as I felt more alone that I ever had in that city. She told me I would be okay, and not to be sad, because what she did, was exactly what she wanted.
So what happened? I gained another layer of life. I was suddenly able to have so much more compassion and empathy than I ever had before. I found a new reason to live. I found new purposes. I realized the brevity of life, and that I had to say what I had to say, and follow through on the dreams I wanted, no matter how unattainable I once thought they were. And the number one thing I learned? That the most awful, horrific thing in the world could happen to me, and I would still survive.