Nan Reinhardt, Author

Grown-up love stories, because we're never too old for a little sexy romance…

It’s Real…

May11

So many times since December 19, I’ve thought, okay, now it’s real. Kate is dead. Seeing her just moments after she passed—my precious sister so peaceful and beautiful—was one of those moments obviously. Talking to my brother that same day and feeling the pain of his grief over losing our sister—that surely made it real. Not spending Christmas Eve with her was another. Her memorial service was a real big one—yeah, that was “it’s real” time, absolutely.

But in between those kinds of moments are the ones where I can pretend that none of this ever happened. Kate never got sick, cancer didn’t destroy her. She’s at work, keeping Dr. Matt in line, and I can text her or fly by her office for a quick hug and hello when I go up to see Dr. Abby on Thursday. PJ and I can meet her for lunch at Bravo’s next week, where Kate and I will order that wonderful Riesling they have and eat too much bread. She’ll get the chicken and pasta she loves and I’ll have a chopped salad and probably some more bread. She’ll call me on her way home from work and bitch about the traffic and we’ll share news while she goes five miles per hour on the highway.

Then yesterday, there was this. kathisgrave1It showed up on Facebook  as I was cruising through my news feed on the drive home from the lake. I must have gasped or something because Husband asked, “What?” and for a couple of minutes, I couldn’t even breathe. The words, “Kate’s gravestone is set” stuck in my throat and a heavy weight settled onto my heart.

kathisgrave2Holy shit–my sister’s got a gravestone… in a cemetery. And here’s the weirdest part, that grave is right next to my father’s grave. Now, somewhere in the back of my mind, I had that knowledge tucked away—that Kate and Ev had purchased plots in the same cemetery where our dad was buried. But, it was very… I don’t know, disconcerting? To see them side-by-side because Dad’s dead and has been for over fifteen years. Kate’s not in the same category in my brain. Does that even make sense?

We haven’t had the committal ceremony yet where we bury Kate’s ashes next to our dad’s and say our final and forever goodbyes. We were waiting on the marker and on warmer spring weather. Well, the marker’s here and so is spring, so I guess we have that service coming along soon. There were other pictures in my niece’s Facebook album—Kate’s kids and grandkids and Ev all surrounding the new grave site, the sun shining, the grass lush and verdant, the yellow flowers that were just what Kate would love. Under no circumstances am I disrespecting my niece for putting the pictures up—they’re beautiful and they record the day for her and her kids and grandkids, who were all there to see their Nana’s final resting place. She had no way of knowing that seeing the pictures would blindside me, and I would never have expected her to know. She’s precious and is working through her grief in her own way, as I am in mine. I pray for her peace every single day.

KathiBut here’s the thing… and then I’ll stop, I promise (well, at least for this post); I’m not ready for that to be the picture in my head of Kate because this is still the picture in my head when I think of my sister. Right now, I can’t make both of them fit in my brain… in my heart. I don’t want to…

6 Comments to

“It’s Real…”

  1. Avatar May 11th, 2015 at 4:09 pm Liz Flaherty Says:

    There’s no hurry…


  2. Avatar May 12th, 2015 at 1:05 am Nan Says:

    I mostly know that… Bises, baby!


  3. Avatar May 11th, 2015 at 11:06 pm Bonnie Hogston Says:

    This is the way you should always remember her.


  4. Avatar May 12th, 2015 at 1:06 am Nan Says:

    You’re right, of course, Bonnie. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!


  5. Avatar May 13th, 2015 at 10:00 pm Renee Habibi Says:

    So well-told, Nancy…it takes a long time to feel real. Even then, there are odd moments when you could swear they’re still right there as usual. Maybe that’s because they are, and always will be, in our hearts and minds. What we shared with another will always remain a part of ourselves. Thank Goodness for that! Thanks for bringing this train of thought to mind for me. It brings back wonderful memories of loved ones.


  6. Avatar May 14th, 2015 at 12:15 am Nan Says:

    Renee! How lovely that you stopped by! Thank you. And yes, they are always with us, aren’t they? And yes, thank goodness that they always will be in our hearts and minds. I hope you’re remembering your sweet mother with special fondness tonight. She was precious.


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