From Misty Rhinerson. Healing after losing her sister Jeana.
On April 27, 2008 my life as I knew it was changed forever. My old life was no more. I was jolted awake by my phone ringing. I picked up to hear nothing but sobbing and then my sister Rinda’s voice. “Jeana is dead. They say she jumped from her balcony!”
This can’t be right. Maybe I am still asleep and this is just a really horrible nightmare. It has to be. But it wasn’t. I sat there in bed unable to move, unable to breathe. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. There was no way my sister would have taken her own life. She was always so happy….so positive. When I was hurting she was the one I would call and she would spend hours on the phone with me telling me how great I was and how life would get better. “It always does,” she would say. She was my rock and now I didn’t know where to go,who to turn to. I had to call her. I needed to hear her voice. She would answer the phone and tell me she was okay…but she didn’t.
I spent the next few days on the phone talking with the LAPD. Come to find out she had been dead for two days. They hadn’t called us because, as the detective put it, they had wanted to “make sure” it was her before they called the family to notify us of her death. This made me even angrier. My sister had been dead for two whole days and we weren’t even aware of it.
I started going through everything I had done that weekend in my head. I was able to enjoy myself, even smile and laugh with friends all the while my sister was lying in a morgue. How could that have happened?
We still have a lot of unanswered questions. Questions that will never be answered to. She left no note. I had talked to her for two hours the night before she died. I have spent hours replaying our last conversation in my head. Did she give me any clues that she was hurting? Was there something I missed? She seemed so happy. She was making plans for the future and had even talked about me flying out to see her. I just don’t know what happened.
I struggled with those thoughts for a long time and then a few months after her death I was lying in bed one night and was ‘talking’ to her as I often do and I told her how I so badly needed to just give her one more hug and that night she came to me in a dream. No words were spoken, she just put her arms around me and gave me a huge hug. I could feel her and I put my face into her neck and I could smell her perfume. I inhaled deeply and took it all in as we embraced. I then begin to feel a warmth run through my whole body and then it felt as if the earth was shaking and then I woke up.
I could still feel the warmth running through my body and I just laid there taking it all in as tears streamed down my face. She did it! I had told her the night before that I just needed one more hug and she came through for me. It was at that moment that I felt an overwhelming sense of peace that I had not felt since her death. I knew it was going to be okay. My life would never be the same but it would go on as it should. I would find a new normal…and I have.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her, but now when I think of her it is not with sadness but with joy. How lucky was I to have had her in my life for 30 years? I now choose to focus on how she lived and not how she died. Because of Jeana, I have learned to focus on the positive things instead of the negative. She has made me a better person and for that I am forever grateful. There IS life after suicide.