The Day My Sister Died

February 11, 2013
It’s the kind of day that,
if my life was a movie,
it’d be raining.

Whenever there are funerals
in movies, the sky is gray
and there’s always a
soft downpour or a heavy drizzle
(your call, depending on your disposition in life).

But on the day my sister died,
it was the first week that felt like spring.
It was sunny with a light breeze,
somewhere in the seventy degree range
But it couldn’t have been real because my sister had just died.

When I walked outside after the nurses advised I “get some fresh air”,
there was a man smoking a cigarette.
How could he just be going about his routine, knowing my sister had just died.
I stood watching him when his cell phone rang. He answered and spoke of a grocery list and what time he’d be getting home tonight.

How could one just go to a grocery store and run errands on a day like this? He was just going to pick up a chicken for dinner and go home to his family? On the day my sister died?

Later, when I got in the car, the vehicles around us just kept driving like a normal day. Where could they possibly be going? Didn’t they realize that the seat next to me, where my sister usually sat, was empty? Didn’t they care?

Pulling in the driveway, I noticed the neighbors were mowing their lawn. Some kids were yelling and riding bicycles and I could hear an ice cream truck. How were all these people going about celebrating their lives when my sister had just lost hers?

And when I put on my black dress, I thought of my sister’s favorite color purple. I wore my purple high heeled shoes but she didn’t compliment them because she wasn’t there. And she’d never be here again. Yet people around me were still alive and acting as if nothing had happened.

Because nothing had happened to them. Today was just a regular day. I realized that today would begin and end with nothing unusual happening to them. They’d go to bed just like any other night and tomorrow would be another day. And as I watched the city roll by, with people just being ordinary people, I shed a tear, not only for the loss of my sister, but for the realization that today was just a Wednesday to everyone else, and not the day my sister died.

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