Dear Sugar: Eight Years

“Both within the family and without, our sisters hold up our mirrors: our images of who we are and of who we can dare to be.” ~ Elizabeth Fishel

Dear Sugar,

I thought many times how I was going to commemorate this day. Every time I sat down to write, nothing seemed right. Eight years isn’t one of those magical anniversaries that people seem to care about, except the people who were closest to you. People tend to shrug and move on, for us it is a reminder of too many years without your laugh, smile, or hugs.

A letter seemed right.

A letter, that despite believing you are in heaven, I can’t send to you. Despite poems, and songs, there are no addresses. This isn’t like the countless ones I would send to you when you were in school or living in Vermont. You won’t get the giddy satisfaction of ripping open the envelope and probably seeing some gaudy Lisa Frank stationary, and probably filled with confetti because I was that person. Nor will I get the satisfaction of receiving one from you. But I hope you do see this. Wherever you are.


It has been eight years. Wow where has the time gone? except that is a joke, because you are constantly on my mind. Eight years since I heard you call me Sprout. Eight years since I received a hug from you. (no one has yet to surpass your hugs, I doubt anyone ever will) And yet, I can still picture you as you were that last day. How full of life you were. The wisdom you gave, the cajoling as you tried to get me to go with you, and your laughter, because I had bought you Dunkin’s. FYI you are STILL the only person I have ever bought Dunkin’s for, and I think hell will freeze before I ever do again, so ya know you can send some good juju and a hot man my way…Just sayin’.

I use to worry I wouldn’t remember what you sounded like, or that your likeness would only be something I could scrounge from pictures. Fear isn’t always rationale, because I do remember. And despite having voicemails, that I haven’t listened to in eons, I can still hear you telling me to wake-up and come out and laughing manically because you knew full well I had to get up at four for work. I remember.

But your nephews and nieces don’t. Because they never had the opportunity to experience your smile, or have dance parties with you. Or to just be a complete and total idiot.

Eight years and time has continued to march on. It is such a bastard like that. To say we have moved on would be a complete and total misnomer, because to move on sounds like we have forgotten you and we haven’t.


We have lived though.

Holidays. Birthdays. Births. Marriages. Moves. Job changes. Illnesses. Relationships. Break-ups. graduations. Trips. New adventures and new beginnings. So so much more. All things you aren’t here for, but should be. And that fucking sucks.

I wonder constantly where you would be right now. Would you be married? Have kids close in age to John’s? Would you have ended up back in New Hampshire with a family or would you have spread your wings and been the wanderluster like I am. What would you be doing? What would you be thinking? SO much has changed since you were here. So much you never got to experience.

I always wonder what you would think or say. Part of me knows as I hear your voice in my head, the sassy smart aleck wisdom you always had. But it isn’t the same as late night phone calls, or sitting cross-legged in your room for hours on end talking. And somehow those talks always ended with a dance party and boy-band sing-along.


WHERE would you be? WHAT would you be doing?

Life has moved forward and WE have moved with it. But we haven’t moved on, we haven’t forgotten. People say that their are holes in their heart for those loved ones who are dead. But again that is a misnomer. It says that something is missing. You aren’t missing.

You are frozen.

You are frozen in time like pages from a history book. And that part people think is missing, it isn’t. It is frozen. Frozen with memories. Memories that can not be added too. A love that is always there, but can not be expanded on. Frozen because no more chapters will be written. Bu you are always there.

Eight years later, and you are still oh so present my beautiful big sister. You might be frozen in time, ageless and never old, but you are always, always so remembered and so, so loved.

I love you always and forever Sugar. I hope you are having one hell of a dance party up there. I’ll try not to cry to much of my mascara off today. I love you so flipping much <3


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9 thoughts on “Dear Sugar: Eight Years

  1. Absolutely wonderful Katie and sooo true. She is always with us, unfortunately not physically but you have once again spoken about feelings which are so difficult to express with accuracy and truth. Love you past all the numbers.❤️

  2. What a beautiful tribute you’ve written to your sister, Kate. In this big universe of ours, I hope there is a way for your words of love to reach her. ❤️

  3. Such beautiful words Katie. Every year matters when it’s a loved one, because they’re always on your mind. Your sister looked beautiful xx

  4. What a beautiful letter! I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, but it sounds like your sister was such a wonderful and impacting influence in your life that you were lucky to have her to begin with 🙂 I hope this time of year isn’t too difficult for you beautiful girl, sending you all my love <3 <3

  5. Thank you so much for sharing. As a stranger there is not much to say, but really, thank you for sharing a beautiful piece about you and your relationship with your sister.

  6. This is bittersweet but in a beautiful and heartful way. I don’t know if this will sound right, but as I read, I thought how wonderful that your big sister has and continues to leave such a strong impact on your life. Your bond is incredible. And again, I know we’ve not met, but I’m positive from reading this, she will be more than proud. I know if my little sisters had your spirit, I’d be more than happy. x

  7. Such a beautiful letter. I’m so sorry for your loss it’s never easy losing someone you love especially your sister. Even though she’s not here physically now, she will live on in the memories you have of her 😘 xx

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