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My Sister Died

On Father’s Day in 1988, we were on Kauai, looking over the Kalalau Valley from a helicopter, dumping Dad’s ashes over the backpackers and exiles who may have been down below. Well, as much of the cremains landed on us as may have landed on the earth. Dad went out with a final laugh...he would have known the stupidity of throwing his ashes out of a helicopter. “Do that again, I missed it,” he would have said sardonically. I had envisioned it a bit more idealistically.

Dad died at 46, with a broken heart that he carried throughout his life. His first born child was taken from him in her first year of life, and though he tried to, he was never able to connect with her or have a meaningful, impactful relationship with her in their lives. Throughout my youth, he carried momentos of her in our home, but he never spoke of her. Kimberlie Dawn was not a topic I ever felt invited or welcome to ask about, even after I met her once 2 years before dad died.

Now Kim, who lived her life with a broken heart, has left her body. From what I know of her, she lived most of her life disconnected from those who needed her love, as she was starved of love herself. She sought to feed the emptiness with drugs and alcohol. At 58, she’s dead, leaving her 4 children to mourn her life and death, with questions that will be so hard to ever answer.

These are all the words I’m capable of today, so I chose to post this mourning in process, rather than losing it into the memory banks of my laptop.

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