What a fitting place to start writing this post. I am currently sitting at Lake Roesiger Park, looking out over the trees and the waves and the picnic benches. There’s a violet and dark blue tint to the clouds. This months theme is delving into grief and loss, and I love being surrounded by peace and quiet while I reflect.
I have the opportunity to share about my experience with my older sister, whose name was Anlya Folsom, born in 1994 and died in 2018, at age 24. She was an avid adventurer, a talented poet with a unique articulation of her imagination and it was fiery!! She loved to travel and take photographs, she had friends at high school who she moved in with and was starting a life in event planning, but she was unfortunately affected by depression and disassociation, most likely associated with the onset of bipolar disorder.
She was my best friend and my confidant, someone who I felt completely comfortable around and we would have dance parties together, and cook meals together, she encouraged me to register for voting. And stay engaged in local politics. She is there main reason why I stayed involved in hiking in the first place, she would take me out on trips to Bellingham, exploring Chuckanut drive and Teddy Bear Cove. Our family did go on hikes when we were younger, and we road tripped together. Being the children of a separated family that would transition homes often, we got very close and depended on each other for closeness in a difficult home environment.
When she passed, I was with my aunt and uncle after looking for her for hours with their house in Seattle as the base camp.I got the call from my dad that her body had been found. In that moment after hanging up, I began sobbing & I found the only way to react was to grieve with music, and I put on Fire and The Flood by Vance Joy. I realized that now that I wouldn’t be able to go on adventures with her, cook meals with her, dance with her, go on road trips with her, share my venting with her, I wouldn’t get to see new movies with her. And at such a young age to lose someone that involved in your upbringing, it’s a stark and heavy change to deal with. The way that I have coped with that sudden change is painting, writing, reading, friendship, travelling, self reflection, therapy and alternative medicines such as meditation and sound healing.
And poetry and painting because she’s the one who introduced me to the craft in the first place, when we were young we used to sit together and do art projects. I have found that keeping her alive in my daily habits like ranting to her in my car or pointing out beautiful clouds on a drive helps her feel close to my heart. I still struggle with accepting her life ending so soon, and I know she would have wanted a positive future for me so I try to honor her legacy through living fully and peacefully.