Tuesday, October 8, 2013

On Pain and Happiness

I'm not big on feelings.

Well, I should amend that... I'm not big on sad feelings.

I hate sad movies, pity parties make me nauseous, and I avoid dwelling on sad memories at all costs. I tend to acknowledge their existence then push those feelings towards the very back of my mind and pretend like they don't exist. I imagine a therapist would have a field day with it but it's how I like to do things.

I almost managed it yesterday. I almost made it without thinking *too hard* about what the day was or what it meant. But then my brother wrote this post and my other sister posted this picture and I decided it couldn't be pushed back any more.

Yesterday was my sister's birthday. This past summer marked the 7th anniversary of her death.

She crosses my mind briefly every July 10, October 7, Christmas, when I watch "The Family Stone", hear the song "Applebottom Jeans", visit my hometown mall, or any other momentous occasion. At first I slowed down on these days and really sat in my sadness. The theory was that if I worked through my feelings they would eventually lessen but it didn't work like that.

Loss is like a gaping hole in the middle of the path of life. At first you think you can build a bridge and eventually - at least partly - leave it behind. You think that the feelings of grief will lessen over time but it doesn't work like that, does it? The hole stays just as big and gaping and painful, you just learn to build happiness around it. But when you step into it, it sucks the breathe out of you just as hard as it did when you first heard the news.

I love my life. Because I love my life I wish that my sister could've met my husband, held Cali, and seen where I am today. I miss her still and when I stop to think about it - which I don't often do - I can still cry buckets over her. But I'm continuing to build my happiness around the gaping hole that is the loss of her life. I wish she could be here. But because she can't, I'll keep pushing the hurt backwards and grasping tightly to those that are still with me.

Happy late birthday, Rach.