Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sylvia Ladeau-Bring 1917-2007

My half-sister, Sylvia, passed away last night. "Passed away..." Those two words always give me pause. Sylvia is so much a part of the reason that I survived my childhood.

We're sitting there--anywhere, the dining table, the sofa--and Brian says, "Why did you sigh?" and I shrug.

I lie along the top of the sofa (it's wide, it's sturdy) like the cats do and stare. A bit numb. Missing Sylvia. Not feeling like doing anything.

Sylvia was older than my mother when I was born, my father's second daughter with his first family, the family that his marriage to my mother broke up. She was half sister, half mother to me. The most upbeat person I know. Or is that knew? When someone dies, does knowing them pass into "knew them?"

Oh, the minutia of it all.

I do know this: Sylvia will leave an unfillable hole in my life. As it should be.


Anonymous said...

She was 90. God bless her. Celebrate her long life. Revel in the memories you have of her. You will always know her. After one of us leaves--after we all leave--we live on in those we touched, with whom we were intimate, with whom we shared life. The residue of her influence will always live on.

IRENE said...

I've watched a Greek movie today. It was about a young man who is very jealous of his fiancee, and he (nearly, as it turns out) dies chasing her in the motorway.
Two elderly angels announce him that he has been given 5 minutes which he may use as he pleases. Those five minutes, that second chance will determine, as he finds later on, wether he'll go to heaven or in hell.
During this mid-time he can see and hear, but he cannot be seen and he cannot speak to or touch anyone or anything unless he decides to turn on the ticking clock by clapping his hands.
What comes out of this experience, the disappointment, the revelations, the rejection is that we only exist through others. We form an identity in relation to everyone else around us. We exist because everyone else exists. And we should honor them for this precious existence. Hell is to be absent from the living people's memories.

deirdre said...

I'm so sorry. Losing a sister brings a kind of grief that truly is an unfillable hole. I wish I could offer some comfort, but I haven't found my way there yet for my own loss. My heart is with you.