A Sister’s Soul Contract: Death, Healing, & Transformation

by Christina Ann Sullivan
From “Women Living Consciously Book II


I hear the panic in my mother’s voice on the other end of the phone.

“The paramedics were at Kathy’s house—they tried to resuscitate her and now she’s in an ambulance on the way to the hospital!”

“I’ll be right home,” I tell Mom calmly even though my heart’s in my throat. I don’t want her to hear any terror in my voice.

I hang up the phone and run to the bathroom as my heart sinks to my stomach. Fear rises to the surface and I let out a scream. These phone calls about my sister are not all that unfamiliar—she’s had many similar incidents in and out of the hospital over the years, but always manages to pull through. Somehow I always know she will. This time I feel differently, but desperately try to deny that I know this time is the final one.

The door to the bathroom flies open as my coworkers run in to see who’s screamed. On the floor in a heap shaking and crying, I’m almost unable to get myself together as they console me. I gather my belongings—completely distraught as all manner of fearful thoughts race through my mind.

My mom’s only just lost her own mother eight months prior and is still grieving. My coworker and friend Amber takes my keys to drive my car while another colleague follows, which allows me time to get myself together. I need to be strong for my mom.

“Everything’s going to be alright, it always is with your sister,” Amber tries to reassure me. She hugs me as she walks me to my door, which I dread opening because I know on the other side my mother is a wreck.

“If we hurry we can make Tampa in five hours!” Mom’s in a panic, packing frantically as my girlfriend—with whom I’ve been living for the past several years—is on the computer checking for flights in the hope of getting us there sooner. The phone rings and my heart almost stops.

“She’s gone—Kathy’s gone!” cries my brother. In that one sentence I feel like a thousand knives are plunged into my chest and someone has reached inside of me and ripped out my heart. I let out a scream that sounds like something from a horror movie—no surprise as this is my real life horror.

My sister is dead! I’ll never see her again and I didn’t even get to say good-bye! Upon hearing me scream my mother runs into the bedroom where I’m standing crying.

“No Christina, not my Kathy!” she wails and grabs her chest with her left hand as her right hand reaches out.

“Mommy, mommy, mommy!” she suddenly begins to repeat nonstop.

My heart races as I wonder if she’s seeing her own deceased mother, or possibly having a heart attack.

“Call nine-one-one!” I yell to my girlfriend, as I place my mother on a chair, and look directly into her glazed-over eyes. Unresponsive to my questions, she doesn’t seem coherent.

“God help my mother!” I say out loud in sheer panic.”I just lost my sister, please help!”

I begin to pray and in that moment—as I’m kneeling on the floor holding my mom—she begins to rock me gently. Then she speaks:

“Chris,” she says, “everything’s going to be alright.” What’s going on?  My mother never calls me Chris! “I’m always going to be with you both! Don’t be sad…”

Little do I realize in this moment that this is not good-bye at all for my sister Kathy and me. With all the fear I have around my mother’s health, it clouds my awareness to what’s actually occurring right before my eyes…Kathy is speaking through Mom!

The paramedics arrive, check my mother’s vitals, and tell us she’s completely fine—just in a state of shock, as are we all. Life as we know it will never be the same.

“Death Ends A Life, Not A Relationship.” ~ Robert Benchley

My three siblings all have the same father, the man to whom my mother was married for twenty years right out of high school. I am the product of an affair. Led to believe that my siblings’ father is the same as mine, as far back as I can remember I have an inner knowing that I’m somehow different.

Always I have the unsettled feeling that I do not belong in my family. None of my siblings make me feel this way, but because of the rather obvious differences in skin tone and features—they are full Irish and I’m half Sicilian—it creates conflict within me at a very early age.

Unhappy in her marriage, my mom separates from her husband and moves in with my biological father. I’m raised very differently from my siblings, as my father is violent and physically abuses my mom and me throughout my childhood.

Thank God for my sister Kathy who always comes to rescue me from the nightmare and bring me into a magical dream. I’m the youngest and she’s the eldest—there are eighteen years between us—and because our birthdays are a week apart we always celebrate them together. My mom tells me how Kathy used to stare at me in my bassinet for hours and say I’d be the most beautiful of all—the first sign of our unique connection and soul bond.

Extremely protective and motherly toward me, Kathy loves to have fun, possesses an infectious laugh, and is completely selfless. She loves to travel, and takes me many places, including amusement parks, plays, movies, and my very first rock concert!

When I become an adult, Kathy’s not only my sister but my confidante and best friend.  There isn’t anything I can’t confide to her and she’s always supportive of me whenever I need her. A juvenile diabetic, Kathy endures many health issues, and over the years suffers two strokes and a heart attack. A survivor, she overcomes every health crisis, which often leaves her doctors in a state of wonderment. Whenever she’s hospitalized I’m right by her bedside.

On many occasions the doctors think she may not survive. I pray so hard for her to stay with me—I don’t feel I can make it through life without her! No matter where I live or work, when Kathy’s in the hospital I’m there. I leave everything to be with her, and stay until I know she’s well.

“A Sister Is A Gift To The Heart, A Friend To The Spirit, A Golden Thread To The Meaning Of Life.” ~ Isadora James

When Kathy dies I switch to survival mode—my natural state during childhood.  I have to be strong for my mother, make all the funeral arrangements, and hold her and everyone up, when all I want to do is fall apart. I maintain my strength through the services and until I settle back into my life. Then my emotions come bearing down on me like a hailstorm during a hurricane.

My own destructive force most of my life, I used drugs and alcohol as ways to escape—especially when dealing with feelings of pain. Now in such pain and agony over the unbearable loss of Kathy, all I want to do is drown myself in a bottle.

Angry with myself for not making it to see Kathy in the hospital before she died makes this idea very tempting—what a great way to numb out and punish myself for being such a horrible sister! Somehow—as tempting as it is—I find a greater resolve within myself and refuse to give in to this destructive pattern. This becomes a major turning point.

God works in synchronistic ways. A few months before Kathy’s death I’m introduced to Reiki, truly a blessing in my life! I attribute my ability to endure my sister’s death and to overcome my self-destructive patterns and behaviors to these Reiki healing sessions. Not quite conscious of it at that time, I understand later that healing had begun on all levels—mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical.

Many challenges and adversarial forces confront me all at once soon after my sister’s death. Within weeks of my loss, I’m fired from my job and my girlfriend breaks up with me and moves out.

Working as a restaurant server/manager, I earned a great income and was very comfortable in my job. I’m angry with my boss for betraying me in this way—especially after just losing my sister—given all my dedicated years of service. However, getting fired enables me to collect unemployment and provides me the room I so desperately need to grieve.

As for my relationship, we weren’t on the greatest of terms anyway. I stayed, even though it was clearly no longer working. These betrayals by others only reflected how I was betraying myself.

Do all of these events occurring in my life serve my higher purpose? I wonder. I realize it’s a matter of my perception. I choose to view them both as blessings in disguise. If I hadn’t gotten fired I’d probably never have left. And the loss of my girlfriend pales in comparison to the loss of my sister—I’m still breathing, life goes on, and I’ll meet someone new, but I’ll never physically see my sister again.

During this time I know I have to allow myself room to feel my emotions. I choose to journal, and through this process my sister Kathy comes to me. I start receiving messages from her through automatic handwriting, and it’s then that it hits me—our relationship isn’t over, it’s simply changed form!

The skeptic in me finds this hard to believe and leads me on a journey to seek out psychics, healers, and spiritual advisors. Happily, I find confirmation and validation of what I’m experiencing, and come to learn about my own psychic gifts and healing abilities. My sister’s death is the catalyst to my great awakening!

I know that—with so many wounds to heal—the healing ultimately must begin with me. There’s so much conditioning and programming to undo within that I decide to work with the best of healers and coaches and engage in many different healing modalities.

In honor of myself and my sister—and with gratitude in my heart for my connection with Kathy—I embark on my path of healing. I learn to take responsibility for my own life, and realize that everything in my external world is merely a reflection of my inner one. I can’t change anyone—I can only change myself—and when I heal it inevitably affects everyone in my life.

I discover my purpose is to be of service to all those seeking transformation, and that the greatest gift I can ever give myself is my own healing transformation—the kind forged through death and a sister’s soul contract.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Christina Ann Sullivan, a Denise Linn Certified Soul Coach® & Past life regression facilitator, Certified Usui Shiki RYoho Reiki Master, Certified Akashic Record reader, and Advanced Certified Medicinal Aromatherapist, dedicates her career to helping people heal on all levels–spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. Passionate about being of service, Christina shares the ideas and practices that helped her most, including how to access one’s inner intuitive wisdom to awaken into soul consciousness and trust that all answers lie within. Inspired by her sister, Christina created Kathy’s Lifeflow to help clients heal, revitalize, and bring balance to mind, body, and spirit.

Christina Ann Sullivan

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