I have run the gamut of emotions while trying to live with my sister’s choices.
I have been angry at Sarah for breaking Momma and Daddy’s heart and leaving me to pick up the pieces. She robbed them of being grandparents. She robbed me of being a sister.
My sense of trust in everyone and everything was shattered. I felt abandoned and betrayed, both by Sarah and by God. Who knew you could just turn your back on your family? The “perfect” family I had was a sham anyway. I thought God was going to “fix” it. Instead, it got worse and worse. I felt vindicated for not loving Aziz back when God had told me to.
My sense of identity was offended. If Sarah didn’t need or want me, who was I? I wasn’t a sister or an aunt anymore. Not only did I lose Sarah---I lost her children, too.
My sense of responsibility was skewed. “If I’d only done that, then she wouldn’t have left.” “If I hadn’t said that, then she might have stayed.” I thought I should be able to rescue her. What hurt the most is that she didn’t want to be rescued.
My sense of justice was violated. While Sarah was having baby after baby after baby, my husband and I were weaving through the maze of infertility treatments. I was a virgin when I got married at age 29. I’d followed all of God’s rules. Yet Sarah was the one who was being blessed with children--children she didn’t even seem to want or love.
I want to say I hated Aziz. He murdered my nephew, but he murdered my sister, too. He abused her physically and emotionally, and isolated her from all of her family. He destroyed my family that I thought was godly and loving and normal. He turned my life into a real-life soap opera.
The truth? My heart has been dead about Aziz. I’ve had no real emotions about him in a very long time.
Okay. That’s the ashes pile.