It’s been eight months since my sister transitioned. It is hard to believe because I still cannot imagine life without “Nikki.” She is my older sister and has been with me my entire life. My first friend (and enemy) and most trusted confidant. We shared EVERYTHING even when we didn’t want to. We shared a room, clothing, toys, and the loss of our mother at 19 & 22. We were so similar yet vastly different at the same time. We were partners in business and even planned on raising a child together in case I never get married and have a husband. Kanika dying at age 40, was NOT part of the equation. Again life has tossed a grenade into my idealized future and I am left to make something beautiful out of the aftermath.
This time around was a lot different than losing my Mom. I was away at college when that happened, AND she had been sick for years. She was in a nursing home when she passed and while it was still a shock, it made a little more sense. With Kanika, I was there when it happened (in the room when her heart first stopped, it was like a scene from ER) and it all took me by surprise. I spent a few months in shock and denial one of the stages of grief, and to be honest many times, I still forget I can’t just pick up the phone and call Nikki to talk about how sad I am…because she died (crazy right?). What is also different this time is that I have a lot more tools at my disposal to process it. As opposed to walking about in a daze with hazy recollections, I am fully present to what happened and is happening to and around me.
Given that I choose to make my life about being a contribution to others, I’m working on a new “The Smart Sista” book. This one is about coping with the loss of loved one at an early age. I’m pulling from the loss of my mother at 19 and my older sister last year. I cannot control what happens in life, but I can control how I respond, so I am writing.
Like my first book “The SMART Sista’s Guide to College,” this will be conversational, anecdotal, and instructive. I’m not nor do I seek to be an expert on grief, but real stories from real people who are surviving and thriving after the loss of a loved one can make a difference for someone going through it AND/OR their loved ones who seek to understand what their friend, child, loved one is going through. I am sharing my experience candidly and if you have loss someone you loved unexpectedly and waaaay to soon, and are open to be interviewed/contribute to the book, let me know!