There we are. The four of us. Me, my mom, my dad and my brother Mike. I made this photo collage because lately when I look in the mirror I see all of them. At different times I see different things. For many, many years I have looked in the mirror and seen so many traces of Mike. Growing up I always thought we looked alike but after he died I saw it even more. When my dad died I started noticing how much my mouth looked like his and how I was getting dark circles and bags under my eyes like him. Now that my mom is gone I see her too. I have always been fascinated by genetics. Maybe it was because my dad was an identical twin and being raised by someone that had another person that looked and really sounded just like him was kind of weird. Cool but weird. Maybe it was because the Sabella family in general all kind of resemble each other a lot and I have kind of always thought that was cool too.
I didn't just want to write about family resemblances today. I also wanted to write about loss. I know that I have several readers who come here because they are comforted by the fact that I have been through what they are going through, they know that I understand where they are coming from. My brother has been gone for 21 years, my dad for 18 and my mom for just 8 months. I miss them all. Every single day. Some days hit me way harder than others and some days I just think of them and smile or I will be with my kids or Chris and tell them a funny story about them and we will laugh. Grieving is a long process. It is a difficult, painful process but we have to go through it. I know some people who never truly grieve. They simply get back to life as normal and keep functioning as if nothing even happened. They might seem like everything is OK, but their grief will manifest itself somewhere else, they might say they are upset about something else, but really it's their grief. It's the uncontrollable pain of losing someone you love so much. I have been there, I have done that. When Mike died and when my dad died I was an awful griever. I didn't know what to do, I was young and felt responsible to be strong for my parents. Losing my mom has been different. I have grieved hard. I have missed her and cried openly about it. I talk about it to my husband and my kids. I have written about it on here. I call her friends. I do what I need to do. I don't know that it has made me stronger, It's just the way I am doing it this time. I am older. I no longer have to be strong for my parents. I don't have to hide my sadness.
I am so lucky that I loved them. I am so fortunate that they loved me. I thank God all the time that I had the time with them that I did. I became an orphan at 41, some people are born that way. I had a great childhood. I had two parents that loved me and loved each other. I had a big brother that hung the moon. What more could a girl ask for?
For all of you that still have your parents, that still have your siblings, hug them today. Tell them you love them. If there is family rift, fix it. Do what you have to do. Life is so short. If there would have been tension/strife/bad feelings with any of my loved ones I don't know what I would have done. Never take for granted the people you love.