It was April when Shelly's sister contacted me. It had been more than 9 years since we had heard from her. More than 7 years since Shelly had passed.
After I had told her what had happened, we cried for awhile. She asked me for the things of Shelly's that I had left. Something to remember her sister by.
It had been so long. I had mourned for her. I had moved on with my life. My thoughts of Shelly were limited to the best of times. No sense remembering the bad. It had ended long ago. She was dead and I had nothing more than my memories.
I was resentful that her sister had the nerve to ask me for Shelly's things. Where had she been all these years?
I have been thinking about it for almost six months now. Trying to put myself in her sisters place. I have had almost seven years to grieve, mourn and heal. For Shelly's sister, this all just happened. She just learned of Shelly's fate. To her Shelly has just passed.
There is no way I can imagine what her family has been through or is going through now. I have never lost a sibling. I have never been estranged from my sister.
For the last few months I have had a box of Shelly's things ready to ship. Going through what remained was much more difficult than I had imagined it would be. The past has a way of playing tricks on your memory. Emotions I had long forgotten were suddenly fresh in my mind.
I have finally put Shelly's things in a box. Her ashes were among those things. There has been many days that I have talked to those ashes. The way I should have spoken to her when she was here. I had a difficult time then. It has been difficult this time too.
I think the time has come for me to say goodbye. Maybe I can mend a few of the wounds from when she was alive. Maybe I can help her family heal. Their grieving has just begun.
The box is addressed to Shelly's sister. Most everything that still remains of her life. What remains of her. I'm sending her ashes.
Shelly will always be a part of me. She will always be a part of my life. I hope that Shelly's family can get past what ever problems they had. It's too late to do anything else.