I spent my first unemployed weeks at home, enjoying quality time with family, working on house projects, and thinking about the next phase of my life. Shortly after leaving my job, I was able to spend close to two weeks helping care for my newborn nephew. For the first time in a long time, I traded my work computer for my journal and a few books. That experience felt liberating.

 

A few weeks later, I had made plans to visit my sister overseas, where she was getting cancer treatment. I was looking forward to spending time with her and doing what I could to lift her spirit.

Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned. The night before my trip, my sister passed away. I got on a plane as scheduled, but instead of spending quality time with my sister, I was planning her funeral.

 Photo credit: Luis Dalvan

She passed on a month before Christmas, which made the holidays very difficult for our family. During that time, I could not get my mind to think about entrepreneurship or any of my projects. Getting out of bed was a challenge in itself.

It has been three months now. After a lot of tears, prayers, and soul searching, I’m starting to think about the future again. I thank God for my three kids and husband, who bring me so much joy every day despite the pain. I’m thankful for the family that I still have. I’m grateful for the time spent with my sister, and I’m so glad nothing was left unsaid before she passed. I don’t think that the wound will ever close completely because my sister was omnipresent in my life. However, every day I’m learning to live with the pain.

My sister’s battle with cancer inspired me. I will forever remember the grace and strength she displayed this past year. No matter how hard things got, she kept a smile on her face and lifted the people around her. I will carry that on with me forever.

As this new chapter of my life begins, I’m reminded that it is essential to live fully and appreciate the people in your life as tomorrow is never guaranteed.

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