It was March 12, 2004 when my aunt, Frances Elizabeth Smith, died.
Her death came only a few months after two people I loved very deeply in very different ways had died within days of one another. I crashed and burned. Over and over. I learned some very hard lessons. Those three people had all tried – in very different ways – over and over – to make me listen to some of my truths. I finally did. I thought.
But then, recently, another death has pointed out to me that I have lived virtually my entire life in a death cult. I have lived as if martyrdom to the missing, to those who have died, somehow made you holy. As if endless mourning was what they would want.
Frances Elizabeth Smith (and WAY, and SAB, and MVSM, and JLS) would not want any of us to mourn and moan and weep and cry and freeze ourselves into inaction and paralyzing sorrow. They would want us to love twice as much, to make up for their absence. To live in joy and in freedom and express and explore and expand and embrace.
I’m not going to say that March 12 doesn’t make me a little weepy. It does. I miss her. A lot. But I am who I am, the best of what I am, because she loved me so, because she trusted always the Light and Love in me, and though not a week goes by that I don’t hear that voice in my head, “And then he killed himself” – I won’t, I don’t, I can’t give up – because she wouldn’t want me to.
And if someone as MARVELOUS as was she could love me the way she did (I was, after all, her favorite person of all time) then SURELY, there must be someone else out there who can feel that same way about me. Right? And even if there is NOT, I owe it to the way she loved me to try to love myself just a little.
So, Sissie, I miss you. And, I’m still trying.