What I am writing is very personal and my way of processing this anniversary of Natalie's death. If this is going to bother you, please move on and don't comment.
The date on her death certificate and on the headstone says June 12, 2014. That is the legal day my sister died. However, it is not the actual day.
Since no one was with her, we don't know for sure. See, my dad was in the house. Probably in the living room. It was customary for her to be isolated in her locked bedroom. Not unusual at all.
But it was the 12th when he called me, saying he hadn't seen her for a while - at least two days - and her car was in the carport. So, she was found on the 12th and so that's what was put on the death certificate.
You may wonder how I know? The police and coroner were called and acknowledged her death occurred several days before. Other evidence made it undeniable. I listened to two days worth of voice mail messages from my father begging her to open her door. Looking for clues, I logged into her facebook account and read messages, comments, likes, activity logs - anything that may help me narrow down the why and the when. Some of what I read hurt me to the core.
One thing I know for sure: it was an accident. The other things I know for sure: it was not before 3:22 pm on the 9th. It was after that when her activity on facebook stopped. In my head and heart, I know it was when her heart stopped. So I have the when. And I probably have the how if my theory of sudden heart failure is correct. We didn't ask for an autopsy but it makes the most sense.
If you knew my sister, then you can suspect the why. The why part of the question is so complex and multifaceted we may never get it answered. It is kind of disturbing how much I ponder these things. Maybe it isn't. Maybe it's natural for me. The why doesn't really deal with her death. More with her life and how she lived it.
So here I am - almost a year later and no more answers than I had before. The questions swirl in my head and my heart like an unending hurricane. Sometimes I am in the eye and it is calm. Sometimes I feel like the worst part is about to pass over me and sometimes I just want to see that rainbow. I know there will be more storms in my life and peace usually follows. But this storm is different and it keeps raging around me and somehow it is confining my unexpressed rage. Maybe that surprises you - that I have rage. Today has been the first day I've expressed my feelings as rage, but I guess that's what it is.
I am praying for the peace and I know it isn't within me. I know it isn't within my own strength and power to summon up. I know only God can give me that peace which passes all understanding and I know, without a doubt, it is there waiting on me. So what am I waiting on?