The Aftermath

Some amount of time has now passed, and I understand that this nightmare dream of the past several weeks is my new version of permanent reality. My baby sister, Anita Punja (also known by many as Dallas), has passed from this world and is now one with the eternal energy of the Universe, resting next to my father in eternal peace. I feel her in my soul, and I believe that is what continues to fill me with an inner peace that allows the black hole to be bearable, but life goes on and so I go onwards with it. I will try my best to continue to take care of myself inside and out, relentlessly love all those around me, and work and play and live with the passion she has taught me, as I remember her beautiful spirit in every breath. Even though we are now apart, she promised me we would always be sisters at heart.

Although I miss her deeply, I am happy she is at peace. I am grateful this experience showed me even more than before just how crazy life can be and how strong I can be with it and how now, there is nothing to fear. I am thankful for seeing who truly cares for me and for how much closer it brought me to my husband. I am happy that my mom is moving with us to Houston and that I will have a second home anytime I want to visit. I am appreciative for everything she has done for me and the bond we created during our short time together, and how much I have learned from here. And I am eternally grateful for the changes this experience has brought in myself, reminding me again of my unique and carefree nature, and what’s most important to me while I am here.

I know I haven’t said it nearly enough, but I am filled with the most genuine and deepest gratitude to my sweet and supportive husband who has stayed by my side the entire time, my caring family and friends for taking the time to come over and help out as needed, the overwhelming support from members in our community who have gone out of their way to be there for us, and everyone else who has reached out to my family and I for your endless support and the kind words that truly mean so much. Anita will remain an angelic spirit in the hearts and memories of so many who loved her and were forever changed by her, and in this way she will never be forgotten.

theaftermath2

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, call the national suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org for a confidential safe space available 24/7. If you have lost a loved one to suicide, know you are not alone and there are many resources for grieving and bereavement that may provide some source of comfort and hope. And as always, if you are reading this, please know that I am here if anyone needs a listening ear and helping hand or suggestions for further online or local resources. There is no problem in this world greater than the light you have inside your soul.

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