Bite me.

And other words about the loss of my sister Barbara.

Sue Kearney
3 min readApr 12, 2022


The “Bite Me” apron.

I asked my sister’s kid Alex to take the photo of me in the Bite Me apron, a treasured item that Barbara had forever, the one I’d wear to carve her turkeys, flip her latkes, and then, in her honor, to make this huge matzo brei a couple days after she died.

(Huge: I used a full box of matzo and a dozen eggs. 😳 Actually it was a full box of last year’s matzo — stale! — and a dozen eggs. Pretty dry. I’ve never smeared a matzo brei with butter before, but this one needed it. And it soaked up a ton of syrup. Which made it triple delicious. 🙃)

I’m pretty sure the apron will go to Matt, my sister’s other kid. We used to fight over who’d get to wear it as we teamed up to flip the dozens and dozens of latkes we made. So I made sure to wear it one more time.

The most beautiful photo of my sister ever.

I don’t remember seeing this before. What you’re seeing here is my photo of the 4x6 print Alex hung for the shivas. I like it even better in this state (a photo of a print of a photo); it looks even softer and more evocative.

Lucky for me, Allen (her husband) takes great pictures; he captured the original image four or so decades ago, when her hair shone like a copper penny.

Barbara in a rowboat, from behind, on a beautiful lake.

I’m home now. Our time together with her as our primary focus has ended.

We bonded hard, Allen, Alex and their Rebecca, Matt and his Rebecca, and I.

Barbara died with all of our hands on her — a ten-armed octopus of love and grief.

And now, today, home, I’ve put away my overnight bag and my cooler and I’m planning to stay put for awhile.

But I’m still feeling the web we wove over these two months. I texted each of them today, sharing how it feels to unpin my conversations with Barbara from the #1 stop on my Messages (don’t tell my daughter; she’s got the top spot now).



Sue Kearney

I mentor and encourage for women who want more joy and freedom, less stress. More creative flow, less angst. At your age. In your body. In the world as it is.