“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and unspeakable love.” Rumi


This is not a post I want to write. Not now.

But I find myself at this frustratingly familiar crossroads again. The crossroads of love and loss. I find myself with the bittersweet taste of memories churning around in my confused mind and my broken heart mourning another loss of someone far too great to say goodbye to so quickly.

My sister, Johanna, passed away on April 25th. Just 2 short weeks ago. It seems like an eternity right now. She was memorable – to say the least. Her soul was as colorful as the rainbow and as sparkly as a sequined dance costume. She was gentle and strong at the same time. And fiercely passionate about the things she loved most.

Johanna shaped the joyful memories of my youth. She took me on some of the greatest and most simple adventures of my life. Carnivals, circuses, fairs and bazaars were an annual occurrence. Trips to the lake with cookouts and sunburned faces became a right of passage with her each summer. We never missed a trip to our local cider mill or pumpkin farm in the crisp, cool New York state fall. Our annual holiday shopping trips to White Plains every December were the highlight of my season as I grew older. Plays. Musicals. Operas. Concerts. Being around her was like being at the Greatest Show on Earth every day.

My sister was like a second mother to me. She was as fun as a friend, but fiercely protective of my heart. She watched me like a hawk – sometimes disciplining me more than the mother we shared. She cried with me when we lost our own mother and laughed with me through my many comedies of errors. She knew more secrets about me than most of my closest friends. She taught me how to laugh at myself and take care of myself. She taught me how to embrace my flaws and let the rest of it melt away by being perfectly imperfect in all my ways. She showed me that life is meant for living and embracing in every way possible.

The bond you share with a sister is indescribable – no matter the age difference. There were 25 years between Johanna and myself. Over the years, many people have asked asked me if I was close to her despite all the years. I always smiled and said “Of course I am…she is my sister.”  We shared a bond that is timeless and ageless…limitless. She knew me so well that words were never needed. There was never a doubt in my mind that she loved me. Not for a second. I can only hope she knew the same now. I can only hope I told her enough.

I never wanted these days to come…mourning the loss of her sweet smile, her hearty laugh, her long stories. I will miss everything about her her with all my heart and soul.  I will miss our conversations and our connection. I will miss her joy and her verve. I will miss her fierce, protective nature and her kind, gentle ways.

Wherever she lays and rests her weary soul now, I hope she is free and light. I hope she knows only love and joy. Mostly, I hope she knows what a difference she made for every person she touched. I hope she knows the immense difference she made in my little world.

Be free and joyous now, my sister. And shine on you crazy diamond!


Love you…




show hide 4 comments

sheila - Such a beautiful tribute to your sister Libby. I am so sorry for your loss.

Cathy McCormick - Miss Libby — I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute you have written to her and what beautiful memories you will keep alive. Sending your prayers for peace and grace as you navigate the fare-thee-welling and the grief. Hugs to you, sweet friend.

photogirl - Thanks for your love Cathy. We all need to exhale a little through the grief, don’t we? It’s so nice to have friends and support!

photogirl - Thanks Sheila. Just knowing people care makes all the difference through the process. Much love.

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