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Thursday, May 10, 2007


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.

7 comments: said...

Tami ~
In my very humble opinion...and not being able to relate to this at all...but it seems to me that memories of your sister are with you every day, therefore if the anniversary of her death wasn't immediately in your was because another memory of her was present. I'm having trouble articulating what I mean ... but basically she is always with you...regardless if you didn't realize the date right off.

kerri said...

Hugs to you Tami!

Kristin said...

Everything you say and feel is just as it should be. I am sorry.
However, you just put tears in my eyes and I am about to go to a job interview, now with red eyes. Darn it.

Fluffycat said...

Best wishes to you and your family. I do think that everyone deals with grief and loss differently, but it sounds like you carry your sister in your heart, even if you don't remember the date immediately.

Joie said...

You know I'm here for you, right? Even 1200 miles away...

I know I can't fully relate to your loss, but you know my history with losing family members. I think it's ok to let go. Our loved ones don't want us to live in pain. They would want us to live in joyful celebration; both of our lives and of theirs. I don't think not marking the death date is forgetting. I think it may well be healing.

Lots of hugs your way!

Calamity Jen said...

I echo the wise words above. Allow yourself to heal without guilt.

It may be many years too late, but I am sorry for your loss.

Christyn said...

Just want to send lots of hugs your way!! As you know, Mother's Day (time) is always difficult for both you and me, as your sister passed away on that day, as well as my Grandfather. It is a holiday where we celebrate our mother's, but it is also a day where we are with our family and can reminisce about the good times we had with our loved ones that passed on that day (your sister, and my grandfather). ((((HUG))))

PS (This has nothing to do with your post, but I wanted to thank you for the nice baby shower at're the best...and thank you for not making those TP roll things for favors, and for not having it pirate themed!! LOL)