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Appointments an exploration in intentional grief

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Wandered through by a sister

Sitting beside me on the bench seat on the top of a ferris wheel, my younger smiled a big smile. Leigh-Ann enthusiastically asked, “How are your appointments coming along, Earla?” She was wearing my heavy blue winter jacket.
 Her ears were covered up with a head band. She was wearing stylish sunglasses with dark frames. 
 My sister was in my dream. Leigh-Ann appeared excited for me, to hear how I was doing.


My sister Leigh-Ann is dead. 
 She died 1 and 1/2 years ago.

!! ! i. ! ! ! !

Today I can look back at this zine initially written a few short months after my sister died and say, ‘this feels good by being in the grove of learning and sharing through writing’. 
 I haven’t always felt this way.

!In October of 2013 my sister came to my home to live out her days with a terminal illness. She died three months later. Suddenly. She was 51 and a 1/2 years old. 

My whole world changed. I didn’t know deep grief. In my own way I refer to ‘this’ period of my life as the time I took to heal from my sister’s sudden death. Even before 
 Leigh-Ann’s death, I recognized this as ‘the learning times’.

!I set upon the outcome of needing to be healthy and whole. My goal continues - to be 

able to speak about my sister with more joy and laughter than sadness and tears. To be able to talk about her out loud, and be able to retell our funny sisterly escapades is a mission of mine.

!I learned that writing helped. Compelled to put down in pen, I got out of my body what I

felt, saw and experienced during my grieving time. I learned I have a rare closeness with my sister which stems from our deep spiritual bond created though healing our own issues. For years we worked together in a trusted way and this spiritual connection is what continues to help me to be able to say:
 I come from a place of 'gratitude + learning = love’.

!! ii . !! !! !

In the spring of 2014, I wrote Appointments over a period of several months. For an accurate time frame, I’d have to go back into my journal to find out when I initially dreamed of Leigh-Ann asking me her question. By putting a date to when my friend Rosemary and I started walking together in the mornings would tell me the time frame I captured these commitments to my self.

!For those few months, I noted the things I felt helped me to heal/feel better in one little

book. I tried to be succinct, to fit one thought/one appointment into one paragraph or page up to a max of three. It was my way to keep track of what I intentionally did to help heal myself through my sister’s death and to answer my sister who really was asking me, “Earla, how are you doing with your grief?”

!When was I rereading the content early June of this year, I oscillated for a short time and thought, is this just one long verbose ‘I am sad - boo-hooh,’. Maybe. However I realize that I now can say out loud “I am sad. I have a right to cry. I experience grief in my own way.” Period.

!! iii . !! !

Spring 2014


Where do I start to explain all the work that I’ve been doing? Going to speak to Lucy, the hospice counsellor, has given me a concrete way to move through my grief. That’s the place to start because they know death, grief and everything in between.


I make an appointment about every week – Thursdays are best because Michel drives me to town; I’m not able to drive on the highway yet. Everyone is going so fast and I am way too distracted to be safe driving.

! 1. ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I’ve been doing lots of reading Bibliotherapy to get through my grief aka trying to understand, cope, live through this.


I collect quotes that resonate with how ‘this’ is. I create a resource list for myself of the books that have helped and I make notes on anything I have questions about.


I take notes to my time with Lucy and she helps me sort out t-h-i-n-g-s about life right now for me.

! 2. ! ! !

It’s because life is really weird right now I am trying to make my way in the world without a sister.

My sister Leigh-Ann died.

I have to write it out like that because I am still in d-i-s-b-e-l-i-e-f. She was my go-to person to put it very simply. We knew each other for 51 years. That’s a long time! An understatement. So, I’ve got appointments and then ‘work’ to do, to p-r-e-v-a-i-l . I learned about that word from Lucy and it is a very good word.

! 3. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Prevail is a great word because it is a positive action word and works way better for me than the word - survive. I did not imagine myself surviving my sister’s death so I actually lived through ‘it’ and now I have to carry on. That’s where prevail comes in.


And I do want to prevail because there have been very small moments when I knew deep down that others question “Why survive?” and I did too… … only once or twice.

! 4. ! ! ! !

My friend Tania actually said it out loud “why go on?” Our mutual friend Amerjit said, 
 which I believe to be true,
 “There is good here.” So yes it is good here and I want and need to stay. However, how do you stay here sanely or healthy is the real question? The other question is what do you do to stay sane, to stay healthy, to go on?

! You go to appointments. ! 5. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

So, back to hospice for a session, a check in, a tune up. Back to sorting out this new life I have W.S. - ‘without sister’ Back to trying to MAKE SENSE out of living when life doesn’t even look or feel the same way now.


So I email Lucy or call and make my appointment for Thursday at 11:00 a.m. And then I read and I write and I process and I cry and I maintain myself as best I can until Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

! 6. ! ! ! ! !

And did I mention their library - omg - it’s a good one. I love that room: cozy, couch and chair are comfy And a very easy library for navigating GRIEF.


Didn’t another Lucy say to her friend Charlie Brown, “Good Grief!” Well here at the hospice library, there is good grief to be experienced.


Good grief = quiet space, Kleenex box, couch to read or nap on and someone close by to bring you a cup of tea.

! 7. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I discovered the hospice library three years ago when my friend introduced me to the place. Instantly I felt at home there.


The old house where the hospice office is located is not scary and neither is the home where people go to live until they die. However it can all bring up fear: that is why I glommed onto the library - familiar!


The library shelves are one tall book case with about 6 sections - very easy to find your way through ‘this’ maze of deep feeling disbelief wtf to try and hold on / make sense / live.

! ! 8. ! ! !

Grief is a maze, some days it can be amazing believe it or not when you ‘get’ an insight, feel a feeling that is so overwhelming with love or a core energy surge you have never experienced. However most days it’s a maze of brain atrophy, clumsy saying “don’t mind me if I make no sense.” Foreign land mines are every where. To walk up steps, go through a screen then a wooden door onto soft carpet, past a volunteer to a comfy spot is ‘Good Grief’ in a physical form.

! 9. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

For me, anyway, others may not have a good connotation about libraries, yet this is one of the good ones: - not overwhelming amount of bodies each section has about 10 + titles to choose from - no middle man - you sign it out, you sign it back in No library police / fines / “shhh…!”


Okay, I won’t go on and on 
 (yet I could); suffice to say there are libraries / resources out there and I am glad I discovered one that has saved me.

! 10. ! ! ! !

I show up for other types of appointments too.. - appointment with my self. Every morning, well almost every morning. I go to my journal or I ‘connect’ on paper with how I am doing.


Some days are brutal. Some days are ‘good’. Some days I actually ‘get out’ how I am feeling and I do try to show up here.

! 11. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Normally I am a very distractible person as in “Oh look, something shiny” or I avoid the hard things by finding something else to do. However, I have been put on this…


an odyssey of total immersion into grief and literally feeling I can’t go ON. So, I make appointments with me; I make my mind up to write. I do the needful things to feel.

! 12. ! ! ! ! ! !

Right now I use an old black covered lined book to write: • dreams and my interpretation of them • notes then follow up observations 
 from books or discussions I’ve had • quotes and passages I find meaningful • ‘to dos’ in my grief work that I call ‘homework’ • things I’d like to say to others who 
 I feel don’t get it. I don’t say them out loud though,
 instead I ask myself ‘why am I triggered?’
 when others actions bug me • poems - mine or others • realizations • ‘conversations’ with my sister • new words that are more congruent

! 13. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Other than my old black book I also write and draw zines, small blank books that I use to process: • simple, ‘in the now’ feelings • raw emotions captured on paper • ‘stories’ where there is often a resolution in the end


These little books have saved my bacon. I’m not sure why that phrase is so popular with me: my sister is the one who’d love to know where a saying like that comes from yet it works for me. Being able to process on my own has been a life-saver.

! 14. ! ! !

So this type of appointment, showing up here works well. I saw my sister in her life, grow - change - process by asking herself “How am I feeling?” every single morning when she was processing her divorce. That appointment, that priority she made every day helped her heal, a lot. She kept at it , the work of showing up, for her self until she had an epiphany and moved to Spain to learn a new language.

! 15. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

So I can see the validity of appointments because I have seen progress by processing first hand. So… as hard as it is, it is a good thing for health reasons, wellness ways to live.

! ! !

! ! ! 16. !

Back to good grief and other types of appointments but first a word from our sponsor … G-r-a-t-i-t-u-d-e I am very grateful that I feel comfortable with pen and paper.

I have made intentional ‘body’ appointment with my self too.


My ‘go to’ thing for my body to t-o-t-a-l-l-y r-e-l-a-x have been to go to the local hot springs pool.


Omgosh, it is the best. 
 There really is no other place I feel • comfortable • rested • disturbed • free then when I am in water. To go there and float so I can’t hear anything, don’t have to think or make sense, that is heaven.

! 17. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I’m lucky as I have always loved the water and I can float well. Being in the water has been a place where I can release my old emotional baggage that held me down.


I can let go (and let God look after things, feelings, past issues that no longer serve me). Now to be honest, I don’t exactly think that. I don’t remind myself of that handy AA saying every time I am in the hot springs pool, yet I do let go easily. …and I float. My only one worry is that I hope I don’t bump* into others.

! 18. ! ! !


*Bump into others: - Float into someone because I just shut my eyes and drift - See other people I do not feel safe with, who I know though are not in my cocoon.


My cocoon is my safe circle; it’s a place or person,
 that I can feel safe to feel with, be real, be vulnerable with, without fear of being judged.


I am working on vulnerability lately so I am able to practice feeling this close to home at the pool.



! ! ! ! ! ! !

It is because right now, I need to feel safe and work on myself, slowly and intentionally in order to process my deep grief.


I still feel in shock about my sister dying. Yes, she died weeks ago yet a few days ago it felt like ‘it’ just happened! So RAW …


So every once in a while I venture out to an appointment to work on my fear (an easier emotion to process than sadness) And so the hot springs pool is one place, and reflexology or massage therapy appointments are another safe place.

! 20. ! ! !

Grateful moment • places that are close to home 
 no fast highway driving is involved • people whom I have known for
 a long time and trust • women specifically in my life that I consider 
 wise and wonderful; they know me and 
 I know them so the conversations are real and helpful


This grateful moment is one I appreciate especially because not only are these women good at their professions, they are intuitive, caring and ‘share’ what they ‘get’.

! 21. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I’m setting up these regular appointments, I am setting time aside to look after my body in the care /overseen by someone who KNOWS the body. I am not the most aware of my body so these sessions are very helpful in feeling physically well • Because I am not as active 
 as I usually am. I have more
 pain and kinks to work out through massage. • Because I have gone through trauma,
 parts of me are in pain on the inside too.
 The reflexology helps me to work at having 
 a good energy flow in my body.

! ! ! !

By reflecting here I see how instrumental my grieving has been in processing this trauma of losing: my sister travel companion extraordinaire my champion my cheerleader my friend my children’s Auntie and all the other labels that we put on people we love. My Leigh-Ann was everything to me. By making and keeping appointments I am tending to this “tender flower” my self. Right now this flower is half bent, in pain, very fragile and sad.

! 23. ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I understand now how the healing power of touch can do wonders. While receiving a massage this week I started to cry. It was a ‘release’ I needed to not hold back on. 
 The cry, the pain was like an internal emotional massage in a way: a deep pressure, constant over time and then a letting go of pain or sadness.


The whole appointment was therapeutic; 
 beautiful music - instrumental soothing - bliss and of course, Kleenex - the softest!

! 24. ! ! ! ! !

I have a couple ‘go to’ appointments that leave me feeling better in all ways. One is a phone call on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. Marian, a sister who volunteers for Cancer Connections, calls me and asks, “How’s your week been?” and I can usually tell her the truth… “not so good” or 
 “up and down.”


When my sister was told that her illness was terminal, I didn’t know that I would survive her death. Speaking with someone who knows has been thee best evening appointment during ‘this’.

! ! 25. ! ! ! ! ! ! !

In those weekly evening conversations I don’t remember what we talk about yet it is such a comfort to me. A sister who survived, 
 lived to actually talk about in depth what the experience was for her has been a vital part of my processing. 


Marian was the first person to articulate in a way I could hear how important a sister’s relationship is 
 and how it is different than any other kind of love you have lost.

! ! !

I wonder if Marian has silver white hair because I have always had these women come into my life, at the right time to ‘help’ me through an experience. I’ll ask her…

! 26. !

I usually ‘get ready’ for my appointments by reading through my journal or notes I’ve taken during the week and jot down questions or insights.


I’ll try to ask most of them yet I’m cognizant of Marian’s time as a volunteer so I don’t want to inundate her (but I could!)


So I ask the important ones but most of the time I just share and Marian does too. She said she likes to talk to me because then she gets to talk about her sister which brings me to why do I set up these appointments?

! ! 27. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I am processing my grief the best way I feel I can because I need to be able to talk about my sister without crying. We had such fun together, and enjoyed LIFE together as sisters that I still want to talk about her with joy.


I have felt joy since her death in small bits of time, and I have shared many stories about her that make my belly laugh. However, there is a pain-filled deep and raw wound I have right now, that leaves me aching, crying and on the verge of ? that I know needs healing in order for me to feel whole and well.

! 28. ! !

Lucy reminded me yesterday, “It’s early days,” and this pain does feel so fresh and bright red with an ache that goes to my core. 
 This loss is something I NEVER DREAMED I would experience so I could not prepare at all for my sister to not be alive with me on this earth.


What?! WHAT?! REALLY?!!! I want to scream, SCREAM at the top of my lungs 
 yet what is the point of that because in my head I know she is dead.


It is my heart and soul that have not come to the reality I have to now live with…

! 29. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

…for the rest of my days. 
 So dramatic yet accurate. So…I make my appointment, to make my way through this


For me, I can’t go around the grief. 
 I can’t avoid the pain of DISTRACTIONAL AVOIDANCE I see others do it, jump back into their life yet I can’t see myself physically or mentally doing that until I do this part.


And really, do I really know what I am processing? 
 Can I put this into order? No. 
 So, I think what the appointments are, are for me to ‘show up’ and then my being there is healing.

! 30. !

I guess one of the healing ways has been ‘me accepting me’; that I can need the appointments to process / to heal is me learning to not judge myself, instead to accept my self in the ways that I will heal / live with my sister’s death. My time off work has been a big issue for me. Realizing that I could not do my job and process my grief at the same time has been huge for me. Deep exhaustion, no concentration, the extreme indecision, the emotional and physical fragility are just some of my traits now. Deep rest and honouring my ‘state’ is my ‘job’ for now.

! 31. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Other less formal appointments yet equally important are my get together with friends. I feel lucky to have the friends I do who are truly there when I need them the most. Cliche but true!


My Margot texts “how r u?” often and I can always tell her the truth. She comes for tea after work sometimes and we cry and hug. She’s a sister too. Someday soon we’ll go for a walk together … just not yet. Margot bakes and does pottery with love.

! 32. ! ! ! !

Patsy and Margot came and put our Christmas things away for me. I couldn’t see to do all that so they came like angels and tucked away the tree decorations and lights. 
 It was hard to make that appointment to ask for help yet I am so glad I did.


Our Patsy is a good friend of my sister and was here to listen and share when I called. “Anytime!” and Patsy was here or on the end of the phone.
 Even hearing her voice was comforting. We made our 1st hot springs pool appointment with my niece soon ‘after’ and that public place is still the one spot I can let go and relax.

! 33. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Other appointments with friends have been all healing to me: - Paula brought her knitting over and that was pure wonderful - Anne and I went for a long walk around Hicks Lake.
 I talked and walked a lot that afternoon - Lori came for tea and we hugged hard and long because it had been long since I had seen her. We caught up. - Michelle… oh Michelle just across the road knowing she is there with the right words and even no words is good. She’s my running buddy though not lately, we’ve had supper the four of us together and have gone to a matinee… That was a very relaxing easy appointment. Popcorn for lunch is always good

! 34. !

- I have gone out to have tea at Darlene’s.

She been recovering from a head injury and 
 I feel as though we are going through the same thing. - We both look good on the outside, except
 for needing haircuts yet on the inside we are 
 basic wrecks that need time and rest to heal - We know eventually we can handle 
 an hour of conversation then that’s it. - We have our safe circle of people and are happy we include each other in them.

Darlene leads spiritual groups that I’ve attended for years. Currently, she’s not working so I am doing my work on my own… hence… my appointments.

! 35. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Darlene’s sister Deb organized a group at her house and we women came together to support ourselves as we have done in the past while Darlene’s been away. 
 They are great appointments, that help me to share by articulating out loud what I am feeling. 

We draw from packs of angel cards that facilitate either our thoughts or solidify how we feel - those are a resource. We do a meditation, share what we ‘got’, then go around the group and talk about where we are at.


This act, along with sharing any spiritual experiences such as poignant dreams, has been an important part of my sharing what I am going through.

! 36. ! ! ! ! ! !

One month there was ten of us, and two joined by Skype and one month there were three. Whoever are called to be there - it is all good. 
 We break bread together, eat, laugh together and often times we both belly laugh and cry.
 There is Kleenex. 
 We talk. We hug. We feel safe, supported, not judged for 
 ANYTHING WE SAY. Here, I have shared that my sister comes to me
 through writings by her and I know that because all the women present knew Leigh-Ann. She is really still part of the group. 
 Some feel she is now on the other side to help us from the inner. I feel that some days too.

! 37. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Some days this whole process can feel very lonely. 
 Like I am the only one in the whole world who has had a sister die and who I miss so deeply.


I am realizing that I am the only one who can set up my own appointments for myself. 
 I have to do this work on my own. However, I can surround myself intentionally and mostly on my own time frame with people I can share with and who are there for me, on this odyssey of helping my self to mend. I keep in mind that everyone is on their own path too, to live, die, grieve, even feel joy uniquely is all done in an individual way.

! 38. ! !

Part of ‘this’ has been literally a journey a road trip that was a type of appointment.
 On the radar for a while, it seemed like the right time to now get away. My nurse practitioner kept suggesting a get away. So Michel, his sister Lise and I travelled to the States. This was a good destination a good place to create new memories, contemplate nature, see new places and just ‘be’ in the moment. I feel like I took a break from dealing with my sister’s death 
 on one level yet of course, the act of making this appointment 
 and planning then taking a trip helped me to process this process further. 
 I wrote and knit and cried, all from the back seat of our car.

! ! 39. ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I can see how making appointments to get out of this house is good and important to go. I had to get ready and know in my heart, a trip was something I could do to help me. And, to have two great travellers with me was a real bonus. 
 The days are going to blur together so I am glad I captured some of the sights and feelings on paper in zines I wrote about: my nest in the back seat, a windy road, how yoga is good, a ‘to go’ list and lyrics that mean a lot. I knit a pair of shlocks (slipper socks). I cried when I thought no one was looking, or could hear me. Heaven on wheels.

! 40. ! ! !

I had made an appointment before I left 
 and it wasn’t until I got back home that I knew I could do it… drive to a Sibling Grief Workshop in Surrey. 
 Luckily Lise wanted to go along with me 
 as I’m not ready for the fast road on my own. 
 I told the workshop participants. It was literally hard to get here; I had taken a major wrong turn. 
 It was emotionally hard to commit to this type of appointment, yet I did it!


I learned lots this day - that I have come a ways 
 since I first started though, yes, it is still early days. 
 And it is so beneficial to do the hard needful things like appointments. 
 They aren’t as hard as they can look … but yes still hard.

! ! 41. ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I am not going to pretend that going to a sibling grief workshop organized by a funeral home is easy. Yet, what is comforting to realize that after the appointment, I did feel as though it was good for me to go and share. Of course, my worst fear - crying in public came up and I did my bit to lighten the room / or my feeling of overwhelm by saying out loud, 
 “I think you are going to need more Kleenex” 
 after the tears came while hearing the first story. 

The workshop was very beneficial - 
 just walking in and knowing all 14 of us have lost siblings, are here to learn how to live on. Despite the tears, it was the price to be there 
 to cathartically experience our time.

! 42. ! !

I took ten pages of notes in 3 and 1/2 hours, I learned lots, confirmed much, cried a bit. The four of us two girls, two boys (just like how it was growing up in my family) really shared well. When I couldn’t open my mouth, Robert said, “It’s okay…” and it was. Celine is someone I could hang out with, John wants to share his writing with me. It made me want to continue to write my story for me, my sister and for others and also to share… period. 

We were all courageous people to show up and I told the group I wish I could be as gently articulate as Yousuf, that it felt good to be at a table again with two girls and two boys and that we are doing our work intentionally.

! 43. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

My friend Theresa came to see me she drove 14 hours to be here! Oh man, I was so grateful that she made that trip - her hugs, strong hugs, reassuring words, the ability to have me belly laughing After I’ve cried a bucketful of tears is so appreciated. We had prearranged our appointment to see one another and also get our daughters together too.
 That one appointment did more for me than a spa day….not that I have ever had one, yet I can imagine.


Keeping appointments with friends has been good. They always say the right things.

! 44. ! ! !

Barb and I make appointments easily as she is off work, healing from a hernia. She is my quiet, beautiful long time friend from college who is my kindred spirit regarding books and movies. 
 Her and I Face Time actually, we’re Mac owners. She brings out the silliness in me because she laughs so easily and cracks me up too.


Ana and I try to Skype too and we connect in short spurts and as a dear friend puts up with my “I can’t talk today, Ana. Today isn’t good” email. 
 She gets it so I’ll put off our connecting yet we always say and know we’re in each other’s heart and will connect soon. And we do.

! 45. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I made an appointment to walk with Rosemary. Rain or shine! Sometimes we needed our rain gear 
 though it was great. We’re going to go three times a week at 6:30 a.m. This will be another good appointment because somedays, even walking in the house is hard.


Out in nature is one appointment that may just be my ticket to Wellness yet with my deep, deep exhaustion achy bones lack of sleep - getting away from my safe comfort zone is hard. So I make appointments to meet my yoga mat. I did this the morning my sister died. I felt if I did not go to the mat, I would go crazy and ?….

! 46. ! ! ! ! !

Who knows where I’d be without my deep relaxation and stretch if it weren’t for yoga. I can honestly say it has saved my life so I can still be me. This ‘one appointment’ though sporadic, has made me feel well and normal, even though I sometimes cry while yoga-ing or feel lazy for not showing up on the mat. I do.


I know now there are many ways to show up to heal. When I kayaked with Nikki, we inspired each other creatively. She travelled far to come see me, and was my reminder to make time for the fun in life with people you enjoy and who bring you joy.

! 47. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I am getting to the end of this story yet not at the end of ‘this’. I will always and in all ways miss my sister Yet, I know the deep pain will subside into a dull ache in my heart.


Seasons… life… nature… My standing appointment to go for a walk in nature with my friend continues today. Sometimes I go for a short little run with music too. I hear and feel lyrics that bring clarity. And sometimes I just run to feel the wind on my skin and hear the birds.


Making an appointment to be in nature is like physically saying I am grateful.

! 48. ! !

I’m grateful; to be alive, to have had a sister for over fifty years who was a kindred spirit.
 With a twinkle in her eye and pixie hair in the end. She brought such laughter and joy into my life and I shared mine with her.

! ! ! !

As I write, here comes Michel up the garden walk back from his appointment, his morning walk. Time for a hug!

! 49. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! !! !! Later today

I can step back and say “I am a grieving sibling today.I am experiencing a sister’s grief at the other end because of time and the work I did. Appointments is how I got to here.’

!I am still making appointments for myself and still on a trip with my sister. Some

moments in a day her death still feels terribly raw/unknown/surprising… yet… I give myself time in this part.

!My sister Leigh-Ann and I agreed that we’d travel together when we both retired from our working life. We still are! I will always be grateful for the visit I made to the Chilliwack Hospice nine days after Leigh-Ann died where I learned of the term Continuing Bonds. Stay tune for that zine.

! ! 50. ! ! !! !! !

I belong to a writer’s group and when I asked for insight my friend wrote 
 “From someone not grieving, it feels like rambling.” This reflection prompted me to acknowledge that working through my grief was my unique way to grieve. Was it a type of wandering with wonderment? I did ramble, my inner compass was learning to make my way in a new world. I will continue to ramble in a world without my sister in her physical form, beside me.

!I learned that I do maintain my relationship with my sister, in my own way. She always

would get to the point much quicker than I. She wasn’t one to ramble like I do. Yet she’d patiently listen. She still does.

!So it was so serendipity and appropriate today, that I experience a powerful dream the very morning the insight of rambling was shared. For my very first time through deep grief, I had no sister to commiserate with. I HAD to do this trip alone. No map. No landmarks. No guidebook. No guide.

!This morning I posted the dream and photo** on a private website I share with healing friends Leigh-Ann and I made through our spiritual group . The site, used to share experiences that are spiritual in nature, is a place I’ve used to share dreams that have brought me great comfort and clarity into my spiritual life. Today’s dream was one of those.

!! 51. ! ! !

I had a dream... that my sister and i were going on a trip together. Leigh-Ann unexpectedly showed up at the airport while I waited for my flight. She looked so good with her hair done up. She felt good… relaxed when I hugged her. 
 As I contemplated the dream and how good i felt during it, I figured out that we sisters really are still on a trip, or more accurately described- a journey together. We sisters always said we would travel together when we were older. Today I have to have faith that we really are doing that.
 This morning I happened to read the word 'faith' comes from the Latin word 'to trust'. Today, I'll work on trust - trust in my dream and in my journey with my sister.

We the sisters always did and in all ways will, 
 always travel together.


** While growing up we’d go on road trips to see ‘the relatives’, the only time our family of two boys and two girls ever holidayed. Mom still laments how her and Dad couldn’t afford to a big vacation. I reassure her and describe how we loved to go visit our relatives! Whether it was to the farming town of Central Butte, Sask. or the big city of Winnipeg, Man, we had fun exploring together. While perusing photos today to accompany my dream, i found this one of us pre-teen sisters taken at my Uncle Wilf and Aunt Jessie’s house in 1969.


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Appointments a rambling exploration through intentional grief
 Ask - 15 Leigh-Ann; 32 Patsy and Margot Bibliotherapy - 2, 7- 8, 10
 uses a person’s relationship to the written word as a way to heal Cancer Connections - 25 Marian Choices - 5 Tania and Amerjit FaceTime - 46 Barbara Gratitude - 16, 21 Group - 35 - 37 a gathering of like minded women working on issues Homework - 27 Hospice - 1, 6 - 8 Lucy
 a community organization that helps individuals 
 facilitate their own healing during grief Hot Springs Floating - 17 - 20 Patsy Journal Writing - 11 Kayak - 48 Nikki Knitting - 34 Paula; 41 Laughter - 45 Theresa Massage - 24 Michelle Music - 41, 49

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Nature - 40, 47, 49 Popcorn for lunch - 34 Rambling - 1 -50
 as defined an online dictionary: 1 (of writing or speech) lengthy and confused or inconsequential. 2 (of a plant) to put out long shoots and grow over walls or other plants; climbing 3 (of a building or path) to spread or wind irregularly in various directions 4 (of a person) traveling from place to place; wandering. Reflexology - 22 Katarina Road Trip - 40 - 41 Michel and Lise Sibling Grief Workshop - 42 - 45 Tea - 32 - Margot; 34 - Lori Skype - 37 Ana Walk - 34 Anne; 47 Rosemary Yoga - 47- 48 Zine - 14, 41

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For the rest of my daytimer…
 I will be grateful to

Leigh-Ann, for continuing to be a dear friend 
 Michel, my gentle husband whose love contributes to my inner garden


Patsy, my river friend for helping me to meander through all my true colours 

Pauline, Osa and Marion, diving deep partners who now paddle with me to the office


Lucy who is on a distractible odyssey who, when asked for feedback, Lucy said, “insert cartoon drawing you made of Leigh-Ann as an angel lying on a cloud eating a chocolate bar and you flailing on the floor in a sea of sodden tissue?”


 Written by Earla Dawn Legault June 26 2015 
 For more info or a copy of this zine: or Earla Legault Box 849 Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada V0M 1K0

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For information on sibling grief support resources 
 visit or phone 604-795-4660


Sistas at Harrison BeerFest Oct. 2013 Mrs. Wood and her sister at Wedding Reception Nov. 2013 
 Sisters laughing it up at Harrison Diner Sept. 2013



Appointments by Earla Dawn Legault  

We siblings who grieve forget that our relationships were a 'two way street' in that our siblings looked out for us too. So, it was 'telling...

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