I was with her this morning, holding her hand when she joined me, lucid for a few moments.

She started crying.

I have so much pain, she said.

I’ll call the nurse, and she’ll give you something to take the pain away.

I am so afraid, she said.

It’s okay, sweetheart. Give your fears to me. I’m happy to carry them for you.

I love everyone so much, she said.

And we all love you. You are blessed by having a wonderful family, and amazing friends. Everyone loves you so much. You are so lucky.

But I don’t have any faith, she said.

I don’t know, maybe you do. And the people who love you have more than enough faith. They’re happy to share.

So why don’t you come with me, sweetheart. Let’s go to a place that makes you happy.

I think you’re sitting on a beach with Brian, in Adirondack chairs. It’s the early evening, so the beach is deserted, and that beautiful golden light is shining. The waves rush, and crash on the shore. I think that you’re drinking a glass of red wine, and Brian has a beer. You’re holding hands. No need to talk. Zack might even be there, fetching a ball, or diving in the surf. Is that a place that would make you happy?

She didn’t answer, but rewarded me with a wisp of a smile, so gentle and sweet.

I kissed her forehead and left.

Outside the room, I wept, for my little sister will be taken from me soon. It is the greatest injustice I can imagine.

I have no words left. But I’m grateful for the grace that touched me when I needed it most.

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18 Responses to Grace

  1. Thoughts of peace and strength for your sister, you, and your family.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My thoughts and prayers to you and your family. I know that you are doing and have done all you can. I know there are no words that comfort. I feel pain for you and ask why this has to be.

    I will continue to pray.

  3. Kim says:

    It’s just not fair. None of it.

  4. Stacy says:

    I am so sorry, Richard. My thoughts are with you.

  5. Nancy Bond says:

    My heart aches for you, Richard. Your sister will be set free of the bonds of pain…I wish you peace, my friend. ♥

  6. Ramona Keeping says:

    The enormous heart of a family in crisis is an amazing bridge to peace Richard. I will pray both for her comfort, and for the strength of loved ones, tenderly caring for her.

  7. Suzanne Kauffman says:

    I wish I were better with words than I am. I do have faith that the battle has been won and ultimately, maybe not today or tomorrow, but ultimately, everything will be O.K. You are in my prayers and I am most thankful that I have a brother as good as you are.

  8. Jaynee B-R says:

    We are praying for comfort and peace for Marylou. Our prayerful support goes out to Brian, you and Kristina as well as the rest of your close knit family.
    Having noticed that She was wearing a cross necklace at the family picnic on July 1st, I feel Marylou’s faith has grown although few of us feel we have enough faith in God . As so many people remain praying for you all, it is my belief that the Comforter will gather her in His arms and her pain will diminish then disappear.
    Your family’s pain will remain but Marylou will be free of the horror that has invaded her body these months.
    I understand the heartbreak and helplessness you feel as I remember oh so clearly being with my brother during his struggle, final days of his battle with cancer, and last breath.
    The book written by a Jewish rabbi maybe a comfort as the title suggests BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE. Life is not fair. We all wish to help lighten your burden. Peace and grace to your spirits.

  9. Melanie says:

    Richard, I am so very sorry.

  10. Kate Inglis says:

    Sometimes, all we can do is weep. I’m so sorry, Richard. It’s all so damned backwards and upending and sad. She’s lucky to have you with her now. xo

  11. Patti says:

    I come by way of Ellen (Ello) and am compelled to tell you that your own piercing grace surely strengthened your sister on her journey.

    May you have peace in this time of loss.


  12. Mary Tinney says:

    You & yours will be in my prayers! God bless you all & stay strong!

  13. Denise Carrigan says:

    David and I, our children and all of our family continue our prayers for Marilou. She is a wonderful part of our lives and it brings great sadness to know she is on this journey now. We are sending out all of our love to your family and Brian, along with my brother Dana and all of her close friends who care so very deeply for her.

    Love and prayers,


  14. Rick Gallant says:

    I too have wondered all too often why people are taken from us and our families at such a young age and prime of their life…..we are honoured to have been a part of Marilou’s life and we will miss her very much

  15. Chris Agaiby says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Marilou and Family.

  16. Susie Collet says:

    Thinking of you all.

  17. Sarah Hina says:

    Still thinking of both of you.

  18. Peter Dudley says:

    I am so sorry for all the pain, Richard. It’s just terrible, and I am thinking of you and sending you and your family my thoughts and prayers.

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