In Memory of Sharron Saksa McLaughlin

II Corinthians 5:17
if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
the old has gone,
the new has come!


                                     Echoes of each other’s being.
                            Whose eyes are those that look like mine?
                               Whose smile reminds me of my own?
                      Whose thoughts come through with just a glance?
                                  Who knows me as no others do?
                          Who in the whole wide world is most like me
                                           Yet not like me at all?
                                                    My sibling.



So often the death of a sibling is dismissed, unrecognized or even ignored. The assumption is that perhaps it is not as devastating as a parent losing a child, a wife losing a husband, or even a child losing a parent. Yet, our siblings are one of the longest lasting relationships we will ever have.  Siblings define our past, are key in our “evolution” of our identity, and they know all of the intricacies of our families. Our siblings saw us in the best of times and in the worst. There is no other relationship like the sibling connection. In an instant your world changed when your brother or sister died. In an instant, your entire family changed forever.  You may also feel that nobody cares how you are dealing with your grief. When young people die, who gets all the sympathy? The parents! It may seem unfair, but that's usually what happens. Siblings are generally expected to support their parents, who are seen as doing most of the suffering.  The death of a brother or sister in later adulthood is frequently thought of as having virtually no effect on the siblings left behind. This is based on the assumption that the loss to the sibling's children or spouse outweighs the loss that a sibling feels.

I have never felt so alone as I have since the passing of my sister.  Even in a room with hundreds of people I felt I was there alone.  It makes it harder when you have parents who are divorced and something like this happens.  You feel torn in each direction and you don’t know where you belong.  You feel guilt when you leave ones side for the other and vice versa.  It also makes it hard when you are in public and you are constantly confronted with “How is your mom?” or “How is your dad?” at the risk of sounding selfish you want to scream “Do you even care how I am!?!” and this is normal I have found.  In my cause I went from being the “big sister”, minus the t’ shirt, to not knowing how to be an only child.  You feel like you are standing still as life goes on around you.  My sister and I were 2 1/2 years apart, "they" call this the perfect spacing and it is, you become best friends.  So not only do you lose your sibling but your friend.  The times I miss her most are when I hear some good gossip she would have loved and I have to stop myself from calling her or when I look at my children and think of all she is going to miss and how they will miss her.  Things that help are having "stuff", I wear something of hers every single day be it a piece of clothing or jewelry and I feel her close to me.