Just a couple weeks ago my sister, Kimberle Rae Gibson, died of an accidental overdose in her home, alone (and that still makes me cry every time I think of it). It has really been difficult to reconcile my emotions.
We had been close at times and distant at other times. I loved her all the same, in the good and in the bad; though I wish I had showed it more. Too late now! Dammit, that hurts big time! I can’t even begin to imagine how much my parents are hurting … I am trying to be there for them. It sucks.
Those that knew her knew she had her challenges, but beneath it all was a lost little girl with a heart of gold. I don’t say ‘lost’ in a spiritual sense, because she had a relationship with Christ no doubt, but she struggled in this life. As we all do.
I have never lost anyone so close, I mean I have lost great grandparents, a grandmother (Nonny,) but you expect that. I even lost my bio-logical father, Glen Hakanson, in my late teens, but I didn’t know him all that well, so it wasn’t so hard, at that time, for I had a great Dad in my life that had filled that role. He died at home, alone. As I have reflected on my bio-dad’s death what bothers me the most is that he didn’t get to spend time with me. I bet he really missed me.
This became real to me during my son’s Basketball Game last year. My son was running down the court with the ball, of course, and the joy I felt from getting to watch him play, and getting to watch him grow up is beyond words! Nothing greater! (Of course equal to watching my daughter do the same!)
And all of a sudden I had this thought, “My bio father didn’t get to do this with me.” And I lost it. I began to sob uncontrollably. I had to leave the gymnasium, face planted in my hands holding in my loud cries. It sucked! I was jacked up for the rest of the day.
I was completely overwhelmed with sadness, and the realization of how he must have felt, and how he would have longed to be with me. I know he did. He had called me at various times in my life crying letting me know he loved me and missed me. I didn’t get it at the time. I was emotionless. I didn’t feel his pain, or even mine. I do now. If I only knew then what I know now, it would be different, and I could let him know that I loved him too, I just didn’t have a relationship with him. And frankly, I wasn't encouraged to love him, if anything I was discouraged. And that sucks!
Good grief, grief hurts!
The good news is that I am still wrestling with all this stuff, even seeking counsel to walk through it all in a healthy life-giving way. Thank God for God! I don't know how people do life without Him.
If I have learned anything, at this point, it would be this:
First, as much as it depends on you, seek to have a healthy relationship with your family. If at all possible, if not possible, make sure to do what you can be proud of and feel good about, when they pass. Secondly, love deeply those who are true friends, and run from those who are not! During this time it has become increasingly clear who my real friends are, and who aren't. And lastly, if you have faced loss, grief is a process that you must walk through ... it takes time, and looks different for different people. There are no easy answers, and I am sorry for your loss, it sucks! But, it is a part of life and we'll make it through! Amen? Amen!
Me and my sister on Halloween!
Me, my bio-dad (Glen) and my mom.