This wasn’t the post I’d originally planned to release this week. I explain why below and will delay the one I had planned for this week. Trigger warning: cancer, loss, and other feelings triggered by bereavement. Feel free to click away or not read this, I’d understand. I just need to write about this.
This post is a hard one to write… it was the anniversary of my late sister’s passing last week and, although I’ve tried to make it a point to not remember the date (I prefer to remember her on her birthday), I’m invariably reminded. She died two years ago when her cancer (Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma) spread to her brain stem.
The day I realised it was the anniversary was on the day itself. I had been feeling oddly low and didn’t know why, I’d thought it was just random, but I think on some level I knew it was the anniversary.
As I’ve said before we didn’t have the closest relationship ever, but we had started trying to mend our relationship in the years before her diagnosis, at which point I genuinely didn’t know how to deal with it. My default setting is not being very communicative; partly nature, partly nurture, partly Aspergers (which I guess falls under nature too, but I meant it’s a family trait).
I never would have thought of myself having a blog back then, but it started as a way to try be more communicative and I think it’s helped me as well as, hopefully, being interesting for you as well; whether you’re a new reader, been here since the start, or joined along the way.
This year I’ve found myself really allowing and encouraging myself to follow in her footsteps; I’ve reached out to my brother-in-law to potentially take over her business since, despite our differences, there are a lot of interests that we share. Shared? I’m not sure of the tense to use.
On the same vein I’ve been doing some courses on graphic design, interior design, web design (since I always considered myself a developer rather than a designer), and data analytics. Data analytics aside these were all also things that Kim had done (she may have done data analytics too, I don’t know).
I’m told we were very close when we were kids, but I don’t really remember… mostly what I remember is sibling rivalry and political tension. I don’t have a vast amount of memories from childhood… not atypical of people with Aspergers or people who’ve suffered traumas, but I don’t want to dwell on that. I feel like my relationship with Kim was somehow stolen from me because of this.
She was my age when she passed two years ago and she’d done so much with her life: she was on her second successful career, was married, and had two children. It’s hard not to compare myself to her now and wonder why her. In a second I’d switch places. That isn’t me beating on myself, I’m just stating an objective fact that I’ve wished it was me so many times over the past two years… more while she was suffering.
I don’t think I’ve ever verbalised that before, and if I have, I’ve repressed it. That’s the thing about grief and trauma, you’re never sure if feelings and words that you feel and say the first time are actually the first time. The brain has an interesting way of coping with trauma; it deals with what it can, represses what it can’t, and being aware of that can be a double edged sword.
If I could speak to Kim just once more I’d say I love you, Kim, and I’m trying to do you proud, I often fall short, but I’ll never stop trying. I’ll be ok, and I will always wish I did better while you were alive.
I’m not going to include my normal sign off bits this week, it feels wrong, but if you made it this far, then thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you next week.