And she was the closest I had to a sister.
Her last weeks alive were hard on her, her immediate family, and all who loved her. I was one of these people; could not be by her side, could not attend the funeral (in my home town, Timisoara/Romania), but my life was not, and will never be the same without her. She passed on Jan 3, stage 4 breast cancer, at age 72.
The events took me away from this site, and still might for a while; I am trying to be supportive to her daughters, call or skype, or facetime them every day, and trying to find my own way to deal with the loss.
And even if her older daughter smokes a couple of cigarettes every time we speak, I am staying true to my quit; I am quit, and will stay quit; will deal with life's challenges by loving, sharing, giving, meditating, working.