Theresa Jane Alteri
7/28/73 - 5/10/92
Beloved daughter, sister and friend
You are missed
Today is the anniversary of my sister's death. She would have turned 34 this year. For the first time in 14 years, I didn't actually realize what today was right off. It hit me when my Aunt emailed me telling me that she had a Mass said for Terri today (she does every May 10th) and was happy that the priest pronounced our last name correctly (and surprised at how many people attend 10:30am mass on a weekday!). I had to check the calendar, because I had lost track of the date. Then I felt sad and guilty that I had not realized it was the anniversary of her death. I don't know if that is a sign of progress on my part or not (though I accepted a long time ago that she was gone, even though I still feel she's always with us - my family). Of course, last year I was all too acutely aware of it, as it already felt like my world was crashing down on me, and I was focusing on the negative.
I think I felt like I was being disrespectful to Terri's memory by not being aware of it. I don't ever want to forget. I truly don't think that I will. But, I think that since I still think of her often and wonder what she'd be like today, or if we'd get along, or what she'd think about things, that I keep the memory alive. I don't know. Does that make any sense? I know I tend to hold onto things forever (mentally), so maybe I have finally managed to let go of some of the grief while keeping the memories?
And the grief will never be completely gone. I will continue to stand in the "sister" aisle of card stores and hold back a tear or two. I will still have that distinct feeling of discomfort every time I pass a wreck on the road - I always greive just a bit for the families of the victims and resent the rubberneckers. Maybe I am too sensitive, but I can't help remembering what it was like for my family.