To the Editor,
Re: Not goodbye, just see you later sis, Saturday Reflection, Oct. 27.
I read Chris Hamlyn’s Saturday Reflection and could not believe the parallels to my own story.
My sister also died after a difficult battle with mutiple sclerosis at the age of 33.
I, too, was at her side when she died in the palliative care unit of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, just three days before Christmas of last year.
She was the baby of our family. When she was born I was six years old and I watched her little body breathing as she peacefully slept many times.
I was there to see her take her last breaths too, despite my willing her to live.
The disease took everything away from her including the ability to eat, speak and move only 10 years after her diagnosis.
She never complained. She was always smiling. I miss her so much.
Like Hamlyn’s description of his sister, mine too was the life of the party, always pushing her boundaries.
She was louder than life, with a child-like sweetness under her tough exterior.
Multiple sclerosis is a devastating disease – as any who have been touched by it are all too aware.
The experience of watching such great suffering and feeling such loss has changed me. I’m no longer the same person I was before; life just seems more serious now.
While I’m sorry to share such a story with Hamlyn, it’s always nice to hear we all share common hardships and experiences and I thank him for inspiring me to write some words which will hopefully start me on a path to healing.