47 Days

So here is the post I never wanted to write. It is 47 days since my amazing, kind, funny, vivacious big sister died. I can’t even begin to tell you how this makes me feel. I had been watching her fade for a long time but the final week was exceptionally difficult for everyone. I do feel very lucky to have had those final days with her and to have been able to say some important things – but when it gets to the point where you are counting how many seconds it is since your loved one last breathed things become a little oppressive.

Let’s be honest – in a way it is a bit of a relief to come to this end point. For Jo as much as anyone – she has gone through so much with such good grace. You know when people talk about those suffering from a disease being inspirational. Well my sisters attitude to life has always been inspirational. She was a fabulous person before she had cancer and never lost that. It wore her down though and now I look back at photo’s I realise how long it had been since I saw her real smile. So much stress and pain. So sad. So sad for my brother-in-law and their two children too. I wish they still had their mummy but I am happy they do not have to watch her suffer any more.

The funeral was a very difficult day but I salute my brother-in-law for the choice of songs. Jo entered to ‘Eye of the Tiger’ which sums her up perfectly. There were beautiful tributes from my brother-in-law and sisters oldest and best friend – and I did a poetry reading. I’m glad I managed to participate in a small way. In lieu of flowers we asked people to donate to CLIC as this would have been Jo’s charity of choice – and amazingly it is up the £8000. So proud of my big sister. If you would like to read the tributes or make a donation the link is below:

https://www.justgiving.com/JoannaPatrick/

I don’t really know what else to say other than I could not be more proud of my brother-in-law and niece and nephew for how they are dealing with everything. I will end with the poem I read for my Jo-Jo. I love you sis, miss you so much…

Feel no guilt in laughter, she’d know how much you care.
Feel no sorrow in a smile that she is not here to share.
You cannot grieve forever; she would not want you to.
She’d hope that you could carry on the way you always do.
So, talk about the good times and the way you showed you cared,
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared.
Let memories surround you, a word someone may say
Will suddenly re-capture a time, an hour a day,
That brings her back so clearly as though she were still here,
And fills you with the feeling that she is always near.
For if you keep those moments, you will never be apart
And she will live forever locked safely in your heart.

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