In like a lion, out like a lamb.
"Used to describe the weather in March in the northern hemisphere, where it tends to be very harsh and unpleasant in the beginning but milder and more palatable at the end. A shortening of the full phrase, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”
Our March 2021 came in like a lion – a raging lion bent on destroying everything normal in our lives. It succeeded when my sister died March 4th. One minute sitting on the loveseat talking to Bob, then gone in the blink of an eye. To say she’s missed would be an understatement. She was my best friend from the day I was born. The void she left is immeasurable.
It’s been 363 days. Her Facebook friends say sweet things like “she’d want you to go on living” or “she’d want you to be happy” and it’s obvious that they knew only her Facebook persona. Truth is she was terrified of being forgotten, that her death would be like lifting your hand from a bucket of water, that there would be a lot of ripples at first but the water would eventually be calm again with no memory of the hand, her hand, the hand that held mine for so many years.
Karyn’s first “want” would be that we sit shiva for a full year. No, we’re not Jewish – neither was she – but she would be all about us staying at home sitting on our low stools, no parties or movies or laughter or anything remotely resembling a good time. She would want the mirrors covered, for us to dress in black, and would probably like the idea that we wear torn garments, tastefully torn, of course, nothing shabby. We could forgo burning a
candle for the year since she didn’t care for them. Or fireplaces. But that’s another story.
She laughingly told Bob that when she died she wanted to be cremated (she was) and that her urn should be shackled to his ankle so that wherever he went, she went, too. It’s not. I think she was kidding.
Karyn would want people to talk about her daily – we do. Some of these are loving recollections, some of them more upsetting, nothing we wouldn’t say to her. We’re human – we get to be angry. We act as if she’s a part of the conversation. I encourage my older granddaughter Goosey Lucy to remember her and we talk of things they did together. I’m afraid the little one won’t, so I tell her stories and show her pictures.
The house remains just as she left it, her clothes still in the closet, her jewelry still in her armoire. Her art studio is gone, turned in to a guest room, something she and Bob planned to do. It was just below my study and listening to Bob deconstruct was almost more than I could bear. My heart breaks each time I walk through those doors. I find myself drawn to the very spot where she died. I sit in the floor, put my head on the loveseat and hope that I’ll feel her there.
Karyn did come to me in my dreams for the first few months after she left us. She was always laughing, so happy, not a care in the world. Or Heaven. A cardinal hung around for a while, too, until neighborhood construction and the change of seasons sent him away.
It’s almost a year. We’re back to that season. I’ll watch for him.
Maybe he’ll come back.
Maybe I’ll feel her, too.