Every year, a few days before my birthday, I have deep and dark thoughts about missing my sister. Once the day actually comes, the anxiety dissipates, and I am able to find excitement in celebrating with the people who are still here. But those days leading up can be brutal. If you’re missing someone on your birthday every year, you’re not alone ❤️. Here’s where I was two days ago:
I wonder if a birthday will ever pass without thinking about my sister. Every year into my thirties, I think, “How could she die so young, when she felt so much older than me?”
I thought 33 would break me, finally being older than my older sister, but I had just had a baby. And Willow did what babies do: take all of the focus and attention, which in this instance, was exactly what I needed.
But as the sleep deprived nights come to an end, my clarity has come to the surface, and thoughts of my sister travel with it. What would she be doing now? Would she have children?
I had a complicated relationship with my sister, but it always mattered. It always tugged at me, molding me, shaping me, changing me. But her death was a transformation of my life, and every year on my birthday I wonder what role she would have in it.
It’s hard to move on when time has stopped for her. As I grow older, she is immortalized at 32. But with this weight comes a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for the influence she had on my life. I am a response to her choices. I’m not sure what decisions I would have made, if she had not made her own first. And as I venture into the future without her, she remains encapsulated in my memories. For good, for bad, forever.