To Sheri


I’m having trouble finding words for today–words to honor you for the beautiful, faithful woman you were. I need words of love and admiration because you were strong and kind and selfless and I always looked up to you. I need words of thankfulness because enriched my life so much and your example continues to guide me on my journey.

But I also need words of heartbreak because you’re gone and I miss you so much. The grief of losing you, the pain that’s been part of me for eleven years now, it’s sharp today. I would give anything to see you walk through my front door. Maybe we would share a Faygo pop–half regular, half diet, just as you liked it. I would tell you what I’ve been up to.  We would talk about crafts and you would show me all the projects you had planned. I would tell you about my current students, and you’d have some great tutoring ideas for me. I would make you laugh with funny stories about Lucas (and Jaime, but those would be secret). You’d have some advice for me–words to encourage me in my current challenges, words of empathy because you knew my struggles like the back of your hand. 

I know it would have been hard for you to see me struggle, the protective big sister you always were, so perhaps it is a grace that most of my health issues occurred after you were gone. However, I wish I could tell you in person that I understand on a whole different level now what you went through and it has made me admire your strength and poise even more. I wish I could have supported you better, as someone in the know. 

We are not the same without you.  But I’m glad for the pain because it reminds me that our relationship was deep and full–one worth having. And so it hurts to live without you. There is a hole that will never close up–not until we meet again and all is made right. But that day is coming! I so look forward to seeing you again. For now it’s comforting to imagine you in heaven, still living fully, but also living free. 

I love you, always and forever.


Sheri Leigh VanBruggen ~ September 26, 1968 – September 4, 2004

One thought on “To Sheri

  1. Jayme Reichanadter

    I’m sorry it took me so long to read this post about your dear sister, but so glad I did this morning. Thanks, once again, for sharing your heart, even to the few who stop here and read. I related to so many of your longings as I have wished the same from my Grandma over the 24 years she has been gone–especially wishing I could have had a meaningful adult relationship with her. Heaven will be so sweet. Endless conversations, tears, embraces and no goodbyes! Love you Betsy.

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