It’s been almost a year since my sister passed away. And while I don’t feel that sad today, I thought I should write just for that reason – today’s not a sad day. Not all days are, but I tend to write when I’m in some sort of negative emotional state…not really when I’m okay. Mainly because being positive is, well, difficult…but I was online browsing grief pages and group FB pages and everyone is so damn negative that I thought I needed to snap myself out of this a bit. All of these posts about how no one understands what it’s like or how difficult the holidays are…it’s just so weird. On the one hand, yeah – this blows. On the other, shouldn’t those of us on this horrible boat try to feel okay? Instead of spouting words of how lonely this is or how we’ll never get over this, shouldn’t we be finding ways to…I don’t know…BE HAPPY? And, I’m completely completely completely guilty of this, too. My blog is 100% this sucks monkey balls and tomorrow it may be that again….and that is okay. As long as I start writing about the good days, too. Even if it’s happy through tears – just a tiny ray of sunshine through the clouds.
What kicked my butt a bit, before the online browsing, was a conversation with a friend. I think I may have mentioned him before…his older brother married our other friend’s older sister and then the brother died in a horrible car crash. So, I text these two friends every once in a while and I sent one a text when I realized that Thanksgiving was going to fall on the exact 10-month anniversary of my sister’s death…
Me: Thanksgiving actually falls on her 10 month dead-versary. FML.
Him: It is never a dead-versary. I know it is hard, the holidays always are. Try to focus on the good times you had. It is not fair that people we loved were taken out of our everyday lives but the memories we have are always there. A part of THEM (who they were and how they lived their lives) is always there. I still learn lessons from a man who died over six years ago. They leave remembrances way past their shortened lives. Their physical being may be lost but their presences is always here. Dead is a dark word and does not apply to such bright people like my brother and your sister. They have no dead-versaries…FML does not apply. We are some of the unfortunate few that have had shitty things happen….
This continued for a bit…and then I asked how he could be so positive…
Him: Because at one point, all I thought was negative. So much so that I literally did not want to face it…I came to a crossroads and had to make a decision…I made a new plan, one that takes a lot of work (still ongoing). A plan to feel life (good and bad), focus more on the small positives, feel love again, recognize pain/loss, appropriately deal with anger, and learn to forgive myself for feeling like life was not fair, it isn’t fair. I had to forgive my angers in blaming things and people who I thought took something from me. I had to get over being scared of living because I thought it was too easy to lose. I looked to the past and planned for the future. I wanted to honor, not only my brother, but also myself as being a better person. I have the choice everyday to look for the positive. The ones we lost do not. I still have bad days. It comes with the territory. The really bad days, I go for a run listening to music that reminds me of my brother. I look around when hiking and am humbled by the beauty and think how lucky I am to experience that. These things keep me positive.
This conversation made me reevaluate a bit (and really – it’s just nice to read a message from someone who’s been there, part of the reason I’m sharing it with you)…and so when I went online and saw all of these negative posts, I realized my sister would HATE if I didn’t enjoy the holidays because she wasn’t here. She would tell me I was being dumb or stupid – probably with way more profane words than that.
Christmas was the last time I saw her before she went into the hospital for the last time. As hard as it’s going to be, I’m going to try to do what my friend said – to choose to be positive, to choose to be happy….to recognize that this is going to be rough, but in the end, to be thankful for every day that I had this little brat in my life.