Coming To Terms With Death

Hilary with her mother and sister
The last time I saw my mom…

Coming to terms with death…

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to come to terms with my sister, Lori’s death. It was sudden. It was unexpected and it was horrific. If I could turn around time, I would in a heart beat. If I could tell her once again how much she meant to me and how much I loved her, I would jump at the opportunity.

But, there’s no going back.

So, I’ve been on a long and painful road to accept what happened.

On the bike…

The other day, I was riding a relatively long ride on my bike. I had a two hour ride and then a run off the bike, which is called a brick. As I was riding along, I saw a beautiful butterfly and I thought of my sister.

Then, I started to think about my mother, who died six years ago. Both my sister and my mother were fighters. If they could have lived they would have. They loved life.

Feeling Lucky…

I had my mother for 50 years. How lucky was I to have a mother for 50 years? Many of my friends lost their mother early but I had the opportunity to get to know my mother and share experiences with her. I started to think about my sister. I’m really lucky to have had her in my life for 56 years. When my mother died, Lori was my rock and my confidant. We shared so many secrets that I never told anyone else and I’m sure she never told anyone else the secrets she told me.

Whenever the song, FANTASY by Earth, Wind, and Fire comes on my iTunes, I would cry thinking about her. Now, I envision her dancing and twirling in her room, while FANTASY blasts on the stereo. I envision myself dancing with her and now, and, instead of crying, I smile.

I’m grateful to have had a wonderful mother and an amazing sister in my life and although they are gone, I will always think of both of them with a smile on my face.


  1. Sandra Helsel Vohs

    Thank you.
    My Mom died August 4th this year. This year has been beyond difficult. ( like everyone else that loses such unconditional love ). Im okay. Then I am not. Out of no where. Just not. I lost one of my best friends late May, horrifically to evil cancer. My uncle, one of my Mom’s younger brothers, and more like my brother as we grew up together, died September 22. Im trying climb up and accept the broken heart changes. . It seems to get and be so much harder than I ever thought. The Butterflies. The Dragonflies. I have a Dragonfly, the same Dragonfly that comes to me, lands on the small outside table next to, and stays until I go back in the my house, every morning and afternoon. May sound crazy, not to me. My Angel. Its comforting to me. But once it flys away. I ache. You mention Fantasy by earth Wind and Fire. I listen to that song every single day, many times. Earth Wind and Fire has been my all time favorite since the 70’s. Ive seen them in concert many times, in 3 states. Fantasy is comforting. I felt compelled to comment. I really dont have a direction or destination at this moment. I did not realize you had a blog for some reason. We went to school together.

    1. Hilary Topper

      Thanks for your comment Sandra. Yes, it’s unbelievably difficult but I’m trying really hard to focus on the positives – having them in my life for as long as I did. I’m lucky. There are people who have had either parents or siblings for much less time. That’s why I truly believe that we should appreciate the moment and never take advantage that people will be around forever. My hugs go out to you! xoxo

  2. Sue

    Hillary, I’m sorry for your losses. I was lucky to have had my mom for 51 years when she passed in 2016. She suffered for a few years with Alzheimer’s which really was a death in itself. She lived a wonderful life and I am lucky to still have my dad who is mentally fit at the age of 92. But with Parkinsons disease.
    It’s the deaths of my niece and nephew a year apart that I struggle to come to terms. 29 and 27 years old respectively. It’s less than one month since we lost my niece. They both unfortunately succumbed to their struggles with addiction. Today, it’s like Russian roulette with every relapse. They were loving and had hearts of gold. I’ll never make sense of it…the only thing I know is they are no longer suffering from themselves and now living at peace. They have eachother and are safe in their grandmother’s arms…the thought of what could have been a long, sober life filled with unconditional love from family really makes me sad. Some days I smile thinking of all the good times we shared but I yearn to hug them.

    1. Hilary Topper

      That’s so sad! Addiction is an epidemic on Long Island. I don’t know any family who has been left unscathed. I’m sorry for your loss!

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