The Alex and Ronni Show – Posted 19 August 2019
Living While Dying


By Janet

[EDITORIAL NOTE: The backlog of stories is getting short. If you are inclined to submit one, check the note at the bottom of this story.

* * *

I won’t let go of you. I don’t want to, ever. What was I doing while you were breathing your last breath - while you, my little sister, were dying?

Drinking wine, reading a book, sending you a message you would never see, waiting for a reply that would never come.

How is it possible that things were so ORDINARY that day, and in the hours before the terrifying call that would change us all forever?

In my dream, I turn a corner into a sunny hallway. Suddenly there you are, standing there grinning at me as if to say: “I’ll bet I’m the LAST person you were expecting to see!” Your shirt is bright white. It’s pretty. You look happy. Dazzling, actually.

The pants you’re wearing catch my eye. They’re patterned in tiny blue flowers with yellow centers. There is purple, too - perhaps buds that have not yet bloomed. Such vivid detail in those flowers!

I reach out to touch you and say something, but I’m being patted on the shoulder and lightly nudged until I’m awake. I sit up in bed “What the hell?” I say out loud. (Is it possible you’re here?) I look around, but I’m alone and the house is quiet.

I cry myself back to sleep because I’m sad. We came close just now, but we didn’t get a chance to talk.

A few days later your dear, grieving husband sends pictures of some of your African violets in full bloom. The flowers remind me of the pants you wore in my dream, yet they are different. I remember thinking how poetic it would have been if they had been the same.

Sometimes I try to fall asleep by closing my eyes and conjuring up the dream again. It’s pleasant, as if you came back one more time. I see the sunny hallway, your smile, the colors, and the flowers. Suddenly I bolt upright.

The flowers! I know what those flowers are! They are forget-me-nots. Forget-me-nots! I search the internet for pictures and I find them. Sure enough, that’s what they are; forget-me-nots, beautiful and vibrant. Just like in my dream. Just like you.

I will not forget you. In my memory you smile every day. I watch you. Blue eyes, quick step - the ease with which you went happily about your life. Last time in your kitchen we laughed, joked, we raised our coffee cups and our spirits, solved a couple of the world’s problems, too.

I took it all for granted. I swear I didn’t know. How could I have known? But I loved you. I most certainly did love you. And I think you always knew that. I hope you always knew that.

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[EDITORIAL NOTE: Reader's stories are welcome. If you have not published here or not recently, please read submission instructions. Only one story per email.]


Lovely--it touches my heart.

Achingly poignant. Of course you won't forget her! And now, neither will we.

Love has no boundary. Thank you for this.

Thank you for this wonderful truth of being blessed with your dear sister's visitation. I'm glad for you that you have this now. Love is ceaseless.

This is so beautiful. I've always thought of those vivid dreams as visits. I hope this was one.

I believe what Salinda and Mary W is true, and I hope you believe it too. Take heart, and thank you for your story.

Thank you, from someone who has lost her husband 2 months ago. No, you will never forget.

That is a very beautiful, touching piece of writing Janet! You touched my soul, and my heart, with your words! How I wish I could write as well as you!

We have all lost someone we cared deeply about, and we all grieve in different ways. And usually, it is just too painful to write about.

You have honored your sister by writing this, and somehow I think she knows. Bless!

It is my belief that you will see her again. For me, that is comforting... and I hope for you. I wish you well!

Your love for your sister shines through your grief.

The bittersweet sadness is softened by the comforting dream and I know it will never leave you.

Your excellent prose brings me to tears. Thank you for sharing.

What a soft and warm relationship you shared with your sister.

I think losing a cherished sibling is especially difficult. All those family experiences and confidences no one or few knew about, comparing childhood remembrances and then there's the loss of your witnessing one another's childhood from a close-up angle.

How fortunate you are for all this, even the pain, because you loved that much. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Lovely, brought tears to my eyes ..

This is so beautiful, on every level. The quality of the writing, the vivid imagery, the love behind your words, washing over the pain.

And that incredible dream. As Salinda and Mary W expressed, a visit from your sister comforting you when you needed it most.

It's a classic visitation dream...the clarity and realness and aliveness of it, the added symbol of the forget-me-nots to hold through your grief, the feeling of "is she here?" when you awoke. Even being nudged to wakefulness, which I've always experienced with important dreams, as if someone is saying "wake up, you need to remember this".

Not that you would ever forget. And now neither will we. Thank you for sharing with us.

Thank you so much, everyone, for your kind and heartfelt comments.

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