Sisters are doing it for themselves

This morning started as they usually do. I was woken by Daughter Number Two who I brought in to snuggle in my bed until she was ready to order her breakfast. She has been known to announce ‘Well, I am ready for my milk bottle and ready for my toast please Mummy! There is an in between time, from when she gets into my lovely, huge bed, to when she hops out during which her eyes travel across the room and light on pictures of people I love. She talks about who she can see, how much they love her.

She looked across at photo’s of Daughter Number One this morning. She is often in our morning round-up. Daughter Number Two said ‘I  can see my Sister!’ (although she called her by name) and then turned sadly to me and said ‘I can’t find my Sister.’ We talk about Daughter Number One all the time and there are photo’s of her everywhere. Daughter Number Two knows the battered, brittle books, read  to within an inch of their lives, that she likes to take off the bookshelf and look at are her sister’s books. She has worn her baby clothes and played with her toys but she will never know the strength of her hugs.

As I sat in my bed this morning I was silenced by loss and anger. When I found my voice I reassured Daughter Number Two that her Sister loves her very much and is always watching her from Heaven. It was the best I could do but it is so not enough and it is just so wrong.

For her whole life Daughter Number Two will have to find her big Sister in pictures and videos, in other people’s recollections, in items she once held dear.  While I am sure the story of Daughter Number One’s life and death will become woven into the fabric of her life it will be in a different pattern, made of a different thread than the usual sibling relationship. It isn’t fair.

I’ve been trying for hours to think of a way to end this post and I’ve come up empty. It seems like everyday there is a new way to miss her. There is nothing that can fill the space that she has left and sometimes the enormity of it still takes me by surprise. Of course I am grateful to have known her at all but it wasn’t enough. It just wasn’t enough.