I had spoken with my sister around three in the afternoon on Sunday, November 12. She and her husband had just moved into a beautiful apartment following a four month stay in my home. She was with her three daughters, their significant others, her beautiful two year old grandson. Although we had tentative plans to get together and see the new apartment, my husband and I decided we were too tired to head out late that afternoon and promised we would see everyone the following weekend. They understood and told us not to worry about it, after all, they had just left our home 9 days ago. The phone rang around 12:30 a.m. and my stomach fell to the floor. It had to be bad news. My husband sounded like he was speaking to someone who was very confused, he could not get any information and my screaming what, who, where, etc. was not helping. He hung up the phone and without turning to me, he called my son and told him to get over to the hospital (across the street from him) and be with his cousins and try to find out what had happened. By the time he got across the street, we had found out my sister was gone. There was nothing they could do. She died in her sleep and could not be revived despite 45 minutes of trying. My husband could not calm me down. I felt this way before - my father passed 10 years ago and my mom, 3. The official cause of death was heart attack. However, no one knew how sick my 58 year old sister must have been. They told us she also had a brain bleed and her stomach was full of blood due to the rupture of her esophagus. She and her husband lived down the hall from me for four months and although I knew she was stressed, she never let on that she was experiencing severe pain, nausea, vomiting and headaches. She had gotten a clean bill of health 10 years ago after the removal of a benign brain tumor and experiencing a stroke. She was due for an mri and was trying to schedule her every three year appointment but couldn't get in for another few weeks. She was too busy taking care of her grandson, looking for an apartment, recovering from the passing of her 16 year old dog and watching over everyone else. I was the one who was supposed to be taking care of her. My father told me that as the older sister, I was supposed to take care of her. Why was I always letting her take care of me? As my mother lay dying she made us promise we would always look after each other and I failed her miserably. How could I be the last one? How could I not have seen any signs? I lost my best friend, my nieces lost their mother, Nolen lost his nanny. I knew I had to be the strong one now. I held my nieces, my son, my husband, her husband. I said everything will be alright. I will never leave them. I will never try to take her place, but I will be there for everyone. I am a joke. I knew my intentions were good and I also knew that within a short time I would fall apart. I eulogized her, made it through the funeral and the shiva and even the following week. I have spoken with my nieces everyday. Offered help, offered to listen, to do anything I can to take some of the pain away. I cannot take away any of their pain. I cannot look at them and Nolen without tearing up at the thought of what we will all miss and what she will miss. I cannot look at the helpless face of her husband, even after knowing him for 40 years. I cannot let out my own pain to my son, his wife and especially not to my 15 month old grandson. The strongest man I know, my husband, cannot look at me. I keep saying what do I do now? Who do I talk to? Who do I share my memories with? My sister was loving, caring, devoted to her family, devoted to her friends, resourceful, a second mother to my son - the hole in my heart is so big. I don't know how I will get through life without her. I don't know how any of us will. After years of hard work and a lot of struggle, she had 9 days of happiness in her new apartment, starting a new phase of her life. My lucky number has always been 9. The pain I feel is different from the pain I felt when my parents passed away. It is not like there is any more or less pain, just different. We had so many plans. We had a future together, to talk about the past and the present. I am so afraid, I feel so alone. I keep saying it should have been me and not her. If anyone can offer some help - for me to somehow get through this horrible time, It would be greatly appreciated.