Barrow, Alaska, July 14, 2011~
Greetings from the Far North! This is your friend, Mattaq Eegeesiak, writing. Sorry I haven't written in such a long while; I just don't have the time or feel like doing it. Ever since my beautiful sister, Sikik, died on November 16, 2008, I just haven't really felt like doing much of anything, really. I just go to work and try to keep my mind busy, or else I might go mad with grief.
Sikik was only forty years old when she mercifully died. She died from multiple sclerosis; she had the swift kind that kills. From a vibrant, healthy woman, she was reduced to nothing and I ended up having her placed in a nursing home because the care involved got to be too much for me to handle. It was very bad.
There isn't a day where I don't think of her or wish that she was still alive. She and I were extremely close. She was more than my younger sister: she was my best firend. I could count on her for anything until she got sick and then worsened (and ultimately died).
Hard to believe it's been nearly three years since Sikik passed away. I don't know when I've cried so much; it seems that's all I've done until recently. Now I'm at least able to talk about it (or mentioning her name) without falling apart. I think my writing has helped me heal. Surely, but slowly, I am healing, but it's going to take a very long time.
I do have some good news. I am working again! I am working at a convenience store, helping with customers and doing stockwork. It doesn't pay much money, but at least it's better than having to eat out of cans or looking for food or worrying about the bills! I was harrassed by collection agencies but it soon stopped when I threatened them with every inch of their life. I did get most of the bills paid off, but it took several years (and lots of prayers from myself and from others).
I am starting to regain lost weight. I no longer look like a skeleton. I look more like myself. My appetite is returning and so is my life. I thank the spirits for this; I don't know what I would do if I didn't believe in something! I don't believe in God like you do; I have my own belief system. For us Natives, we look to the spirits around us to guide us through life.
The days are long here: daylight up to 17/18 hours a day; that is common here. In the winter, it is totally opposite: more darkness than light. Such as life here in the Arctic. It's no wonder we are known as The Land Of The Midnight Sun because in the summer, the sun doesn't go down until past midnight, and then it doesn't sink below the horizon; if it does, it's only for an hour or two, before it starts rising back up.
In the winter, we don't see the sun for nearly three months, with only the stars or the northern lights (or the streetlights or the winking lights in the windows of houses or other buildings) lighting our way.
I am currently thinking about writing a book about my sister, Sikik. She made such an impact on my life, and I would like to tell others about her life. I haven't really settled down to do it, but the thought is there, in my mind. Maybe I will start some pages tonight, just to see how it goes. If I think I can go further in my task, I shall continue, and then, hopefully in the near future, I will have a book with my name on the front cover.
Life is good for me, but it would be a lot better if Sikik were still alive and here with me. The only good thing about her death is that she's no longer suffering; she suffered terribly with her illness when she was alive. Just keep me in your prayers and pray to your God; I don't mind the prayers. I think that's what is keeping me going (as well as trusting in my spirit-gods). I will write in here again; I am at work as I write this, and I have to get back on the clock, as break time is nearly over. Take care and may the good spirits bless you and yours!