Over 5 million!
That’s the amount of minutes since my sister died…the minutes and moments she has missed out on in these past years. That’s a lot of time….ten years worth to be exact.
Ten years ago yesterday my only sister Tarnia was killed in a car accident. It was the first clear day without rain, the last few days of the school holidays in Australia. My sister had decided since it had stopped raining she'd take her kids to the beach. That day, my sister's destiny was decided. I often wonder if it had of kept raining if she'd still be here. I will always wonder.............
Tarnia in the long black dress talking to Mom at my wedding. I wish I had more photos of us together
I’ve been watching the date creep up, knowing that it’d be a hard day. It was. One of the hardest of her anniversaries. It’s been 3650 days that she has failed to enjoy things that I’ve been lucky enough to have been part of.
Things like watching her twin daughters grow into some frilly dresses she’d put away in their closets, ones I had the pleasure of admiring with her on our last visit together. Their first teeth…and steps.
Fraser’s first day at pre-school……it was my Mom’s hand he clung to as he shyly walked through the pre-school gate instead of hers.
And of course her eldest son, Alexander, graduating from Elementary School.
I got to witness all those, not her. I feel so privileged as an Aunt to have been a bystander in the crowd…proud, however sad that Tarnia never got to enjoy these things.
And there will be plenty more firsts to come as the years roll on, birthdays and Christmas and weddings……yes, there will be a lot more bittersweet days ahead. And that’s the realization after someone you love dies. Death is final!
There are no more goodbyes…or hellos. No more hugs or hostilities to deal with. No more memories to create or photos to capture moments in the future. However still questions with no answers as to ‘why?’
I thought I’d be able to write this yesterday, but yesterday I was so down in the dumps, depressed and cried on and off all day. I couldn’t bring myself to string a few words together. I felt exhausted.
So today, instead of rambling about sadness and what I don’t have and more importantly, what Tone, Alexander, Fraser, Emerald and Charlotte don’t have either, I decided to write what “I’ve learned from her death”….I hope it helps someone, they are just my thoughts however………………
*Always validate your love for someone, tell them how you feel about them as you may never see that person again.
*Don’t let little arguments grow into big ones……please, please don’t hold grudges over silly stuff with family. You can’t go back and apologize once that person is gone….forever is forever!
*Create memories and soak in the times you are together with people you love
*Take photos, lots of them. My Mom would say “Diana, at the end of the day, all we have is our photos and memories.” That’s all I have now, some have the corners curled…or stains on them. But they are priceless.
*Don’t let money issues come between families and love, no money is worth a friendship or a family member. Money can only buy you materialistic ‘stuff’.
*Always, always wear a seat belt – Tarnia saved her children’s lives by strapping them in so carefully. I would whinge if I was waiting for her in the car, she always took so long. In hindsight, they are here today because of her careful, meticulous ways.
*Communicate….if there’s an issue with a family member. Tell them! And be honest. And then forgive them and move on.
*Spread happiness and love around. It costs nothing to be kind and has a way of coming back to you.
*Be there for the people who need you.
*Appreciate EVERYTHING you have or are gifted with.
*Don’t sweat the small stuff
*Never make promises you can’t keep. I still remember some people, even family, ‘promising’ to do this and that for Tone and my parents after Tarnia died. And I still remember they let my mom down when she was sick, so sick…….If you give your word, follow through with it!
*Be present and aware of all that you have, AND enjoy it!
*Slow down and simplify your life....take the time to smell the roses! :)
*Find your passion, or a passion. It will give you a purpose in life.
*Find your comfort things, or things that help you get through the tough days.
*Choose a to have a good attitude each day....before you even put a foot out of bed.
*Regret nothing, don’t look back, always forward.
*Sometimes life is not fair....."It is what it is"
*Live as if today is your last…it may be.
*Do things that make you feel alive….dance on that table at least once in your life! :)
These are just a few that I practice because of Tarnia’s death. I have a new guide in life now. One that’s come from experiencing the loss of loved ones.
The last time I saw my sister Tarnia she was laying in a white coffin, her beautiful dark hair fanned around her face. The image haunted me in my dreams for months. I never thought it would leave me.
The impression her death has had on me is forever….like death. And it’s through this lesson that I’ve learned to live! I am grateful to her for that. And will always miss what could have been……..