Grief Does Not Define Me
When my daughter told me that grief defined me, I felt like I had been punched in my gut. After years of presenting a happy persona, and not talking about my beloved sisters Margie and Jane, I learned that my acting skills would not win an Oscar. Her words forced me to switch the narrative from grief does not define me to grief is a part of me.
Losing my two sisters forty-two and thirty-three years ago forever changed my life. This is my life, my story, and embracing this truth has lifted a burden of aloneness. I have found that Margie and Jane’s friends wanted to talk about them.
I’m often asked: How many siblings do you have? Today I say, “I am Judy Lipson, the middle of three who sadly lost both her sisters.” This statement and mantra took me decades to speak. For decades I said, “It’s just me.” So I held back, unable to relay my truth because of my own uncertainty.
Grief Will Always be Part of Me
I have come to realize that the loss of Margie and Jane will always be part of me. For years I put up walls, unable to talk about Margie and Jane, horrified by the memories lost.
I miss three Lipson sisters, dressed in matching denim dresses singing, “Side by Side,” at a camp talent show. Margie, the oldest insisted being center and closest to the microphone. I relished the three of us taking up most of the carpool that drove us to camp. I loved the time we got dressed up on a Sunday (with our party dresses, lace ankle socks and Mary Janes) for an excursion into downtown Boston. We ate a special dinner and fed the birds in the Boston Common. Our distinct personalities were clear in our stance and in how we approach the birds.
Today, I cling to the memories, sharing stories, the brightest smiles of Margie and Jane. I envision the two giggling or teasing me, Judy, the shy middle sister, skating in ice shows she never dreamed possible.
Purchase Judy Lipson’s book at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1608082679/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
Read more from Judy Lipson on Open to Hope: https://www.opentohope.com/selecting-songs-…honor-loved-ones/