Sad and shocking news.

November 28, 2011 family 12

This is a very odd thing to write, to share even. I’ve had a very detached relationship with my sister Bonita for most of my life. She’s 11 years my senior and she moved away when I was 9 or 10. She’s had a very hard life, yet most was her choice, or the result from what I believe was undiagnosed mental illness. She was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 14-15 I believe. The medications she’s needed were hard on her body. She was a long time smoker, did many drugs I’m sure in her days, and lived fast. In recent years she’s been suffering from COPD, and very aged body in just under 63 years. She got pregnant young, was practically forced into a bad marriage, and then gave her baby up for adoption. I was 8 or 9 and was told the baby died. She literally ran off to CA and was unheard of for months/or a year. She showed up a bit later with an infant daughter, and an empty suitcase. These times of having nothing were a repeated occurrence in her life. She married one more time, divorced too. Her daughter is over 40 I guess now, and has 2 of her own children, has been in prison for identity fraud and other things. We heard last week she was hospitalized again, there have been many times. Our family feels we never get answers to her health issues. She was unable to visit my parents in October, couldn’t travel. They usually fly her to visit them once a year. The reports from my niece went from COPD complications to lung cancer, metastasized to her brain, and those were just from Friday and Saturday.
Last night my sister Ouida called to tell me my sister Bonita had passed away. Just that fast. She had been moved from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility. They do not know cause of death. I’m sort of numb, I haven’t seen my sister in maybe 5+ years.
All this seems surreal. They are donating her body to science, and then she will be cremated. There will be no memorials, or anything. My parents are devastated, even though they too had a less than amicable relationship with her. No one expects to lose a child of any age. Thank you for letting me write all this here, somewhere. 
I feel so awful, for my parents, for my niece, and for the loss of my sister.  While we are never prepared to lose a family member I guess we all hope for one more conversation, one last time to say something about better times, and good memories.  For now I can put on some Elvis music, her very favorite and maybe grab a beer and toast to my sister, hoping that if there is an afterlife she is pain free and happy.  

12 Responses to “Sad and shocking news.”

  1. Mnmom

    Anita – sounds like your tribute to Bonita would be wonderful, and very healing. Like bermudaonion said, sometimes those unresolved issues can make your grief harder. Definitely for your parents. Take care of yourself.

  2. Terra

    Anita, I am so so sorry for this loss in your family. There are not words that can help what you are feeling, only time. Hang in there sweet friend and if you need a shoulder you know where to find me!

  3. Zibilee

    I am so sorry to hear this, my friend. Even if she was estranged from most of your family, that doesn’t mean losing her is any less upsetting or shocking. I know that this is very hard on you, and I am going to be adding you and your family to my prayers. Be good to yourself over there, and if you need anything, just give me a call. I wish for peace in your heart.

  4. Sandy Nawrot

    I agree with Ali, your words and memories are an excellent way to honor your sister. No matter what the past baggage or history between family members, it is always hard to lose someone. I’ll say a prayer for you and your family.

  5. Marybeth Whalen

    Saw the tweets and came right over to add my condolences. It’s hard to face a loss any time but the holidays are especially hard. I hope your hearts heal quickly and you find comfort in each other.

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