I lost my sister Susie in September of 2011. It wasn't totally unexpected, but it was shocking to me nonetheless.
It's one thing when someone older passes, like a grandma or something, but when you lose a sibling, mortality stares you right in the face.
Her last few years weren't easy, as she was mentally ill. It was hard on everyone, including her. She kind of lost the will to live after the death of her youngest daughter a few years before.
As you get older, so many go. I miss my grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, cousins, school friends and just people I know.
I think about them at different times of the year. Grandma, I miss most at Thanksgiving. Susie was born in November, so I think of her more then.
My latest loss is that of a friend last September. He was only 2 years older than I but bad diabetes coupled with alcoholism did him in.
Middle age is when the sins of one's youth can catch up with one. Drinking - bad eating - the body can only take so much.
I've had a good life and part of it was due to these people now gone. They are gone from the earth, but until the day I draw my last breath, they are in my memories and in my heart.