A year ago, my sister died. It was a short, yet fierce battle with cancer. Fierce on it's behalf. Passive and peaceful on hers. Stupid, shitty disease. Beautiful, funny, naughty, loved and adored big sister.
When I was asked if I wanted to say anything at her funeral, I emphatically said no. The night before her funeral, I changed my mind. I put together a brief sketch of all she meant to me, though I would never have the words to capture all that she was.
I want to put her eulogy here so I don't lose it.
"Sarah was, and always will be, one of the greatest loves of my life. The roles she played - sister, friend, advisor, teacher, fierce protector, - she took very seriously.
Sarah taught me all the truly important things I needed to know to get me through life. At an early age, she taught me how to get what I wanted, and how to get away with everything else.
In primary school, she taught me elastics, marbles, hopscotch and all the best hairstyles for Barbie.
Before making the transition to high school, she taught me to smoke, how to fit in, and to look cool by wearing your leg warmers just so.
In high school, she taught me the exquisite joy of wagging. She showed me how to light fires, roast a potato in the coals and spend the day curled up with a good book.
She taught me about boys at a time when Michael Jackson and Boy George featured dubiously in her own life.
She taught me about music - the fact that Def Leppard have been, and will always be, better than Bon Jovi.
Later, she taught me to believe in myself, to grab life's opportunities with both hands, and to love passionately.
She is still teaching me now: that every day I am alive, I have a million things to be thankful for....."
As I sit here with my headphones blaring Def Leppard, I find myself smiling at all the memories these words evoke. Damn she was amazing. I am so ripped off for myself that she is no longer around to make me feel good. She did that so well.
Farewell Sarah. I have a "you-shaped hole" gaping at me wherever I go. I am learning to handle it better, but I don't think it will ever go away. I love you and miss you every day.
P.S. Did you catch that tattoo reference?? I know right. Not even in the grave a day, and I'm already staking my claim.