"Yell into the belly of the Earth", she told me, "she will listen and ease your aching sorrows". I yelled until I was hoarse. I was twenty-one. Burdens fell from careworn shoulders and we were sisters ever more.
The other day a friend entrusted me with a Kabbalistic myth. In the telling, 144 souls were created at the dawn of time. Those 144 souls eventually splintered into the multitudinous fragments of sentient life on planet Earth. Now I look out upon the mosaic of life and believe that my kindred spirits are my clearest reflections of the original soul from which we sprang.
Now she travels the final steps along the sharp, stony terrain of cancer, I walk with her, my heart aching. I see ahead a field, beautiful and inviting, with tall grass, clear skies, shade trees and a small bubbling creek nearby. There are ample places to rest. She is tired. I say, softly, lean on me, we're nearly there.
This grief has settled in and it's not what I expected. It's not the sharp, growling grief of suffering, but a sweet, tender sadness held in generous arms of love. Of course, even in my sister's departure I am held.
I love you Michelle.