Last week our sister Sissy went to heaven, and we will miss her so much. When you live in a dysfunctional family, you tend to bond even tighter with your siblings. Sissy and my sister Lindy and I were best friends. We discussed everything and laughed constantly.
After she died, her daughters found a letter Sissy wanted me to read at her funeral. Her daughter Raquel read it to me on the phone, and both of us were sobbing. Nevertheless, I decided that I should and could do it. Sissy’s other daughter Diana brought it to the church and I practiced several times before the service.
During the memorial service, Sissy’s friend told about one of her famous birthday parties. Sissy would hold her own party and invite her friends to help her celebrate. On one occasion. Sissy had everyone seated around the table and she said:
Let’s go around the table and each of you can tell one thing you like about me.
When they finished going around the table, Sissy said:
Okay, let’s do it again.
I loved hearing that story because it is so Sissy. She was funny, fun, and she loved her friends.
Her letter that I read was a thank you note to everyone she had ever met. It started with telling her daughters how marvelous they are. Next she mentioned my sister Lindy, my brother Kevin, and me and said we were the best family ever. Then she went through each friend saying what she liked about them. I loved what she said about the minister and his wife (who had also been her next door neighbor for a while). She wrote:
You showed me what a Christian was by the way you lived your life.
What a wonderful comment about leading a good life. It reminds me of what my stepmother Beatrice used to say whenever anyone told her they were a Christian. Without a hint of irony, she always replied:
I’ll be the judge of that.
And speaking of our stepmother Beatrice, guess who was the only family member not mentioned in Sissy’s letter ? That’s right: it was Beatrice.
Although funerals are solemn, sad occasions, they are also a time of joy as you re-connect with family and friends. We were blessed to have Maci’s mother with us. She and Sissy had been good friends and she wanted to be there to support her daughter. The funny thing was that although we had not seen her since my dad’s funeral, we all picked back up right where we left off and laughed and cried our way through the day.
The last song to play at Sissy’s funeral was “The Rainbow Connection” by the Muppets. I bet you have never heard that at a funeral you have attended. I left the church sobbing because that is a song we all loved, and it reminded me of how much Sissy loved her two year old granddaughter.
Sissy was a one of a kind as was her funeral.