She is still the same person, no doubt, only with a different person. That baleful preposition with: I keep tripping over it on my way to larger thoughts. I've tried writing to her--letters and e-mails, greeting cards, note cards and postcards, all covered with the same trudge of words; but then I remember she is with somebody, somebody uneerily right there beside her, although in the wan case of her and me, she had always been just merely near--in the next room, the spare room, say, talking down-voicedly on the phone to a person maybe in her family or once close to the family and now known only to her, or maybe to the person she now was with, forming a fate for herself, replotting her past, finding ways to untighten me from the stories she would ever tell of her unrosy and hairsplitting thirties.From Candas Jane Dorsey's novel, A Paradigm of Earth (2001):
So am I saying only that my life no longer featured even me?
By being that elder sister and not loving him as she could have, she had withheld something vital, some heart of love without which he grew into less than he could have. For a moment she saw how it could have been, her arm around the small body instead of holding him apart: the gifts she could have given him of protection, of song, of support, of acceptance: instead he had been blinded, blanded by his unimportance, had sought out insignificance and tried to live inside the lines. Perhaps even if she had tried he would have slipped away into mediocrity—but she didn't try.