I’m surprised that my post yesterday, in which my sister’s disdain for “Suicide is Painless” was the focus, didn’t jolt my memory a bit harder. That memory was, I suppose, a precursor to remembering that today, February 19, 2019, is the ninth anniversary of her death, February 19, 2010. And Facebook reinforced that memory, when it reminded me of what I wrote that day:
Mary Eleanor Swinburn, my sister and one of my best friends, died this morning. She taught me that material possessions are meaningless; she lived that lesson and was one of the most compassionate people I’ve ever known. This world was better that she was here and it’s a sad place without her. I am heartbroken that she’s gone, but I celebrate her life.
We (family and friends) called my sister “Melnor” or “Mimi.” And we watched her rage through bureaucracies as she helped people, who were unable to look out after themselves and were being pushed and shoved around by them, get what was due. She could curse a blue streak when injustice threatened to harm people, but she could be as gentle and comforting as anyone I’ve known when someone needed support.
Nine years. It’s amazing that so much time has passed yet losing her is still fresh and painful. That’s the way it is with people you love.