I went to my grief group tonight and an interesting question was asked. How has my life has changed since my loved one died? Interesting. Not something that I felt I could do justice with the 10 minutes allowed to respond. I couldn't think of a single way to explain my way through, or feel my way out of all that happens in my heart as a result of my sister's death. Maybe I can get a good start on it here...
I'm different because...
I used to be the middle, and now the older book end on my siblingness is gone. I'm not the oldest, just the oldest living. There's a part of me that's not sure how my left cover is supposed to stay standing. The other book end, my little brother, is a little too far removed in my opinion. He's convinced that I'm not well for taking her death so hard. His opinion is that I should just remember the good times and move on. If she were here, she'd tell me he's just immature or something, or she'd try to play the devil's advocate to show me a new way to look at his perspective. That devil's advocate crap always pisses me off. Unfortunately, my little bro apparently got that gene too! It's his favorite little argument tool.
To me, the devil's advocate game seems more like arguing for the sake of arguing - not arguing to defend your point of view. Interestingly, I'm always right which makes the devil's advcocate game impossible! I need to win arguments. I need to be right! Because I am, don't you know? It's exhausting to go up against a devil's advocate person because I find that I'm just explaining my perspective in so many different ways until the silly argue-er sees it my way and realizes that I'm right! Okay, maybe that's another post all together.
I'm different because my constant life mirror is gone. The mirror from the beginning of my life...the one that was always there. We shared a bed for years. We shared crushes on boys. We shared secrets. Oh, the secrets! I'm different because I don't have her to share them with. I cry almost every time I realize that I've told a secret to someone that I can't tell to her. I'm angry that I can't tell her. I'm sad that I can't tell her. I miss her.
So, about the mirror - I want to say more about this, but I didn't see a place to put more into that last paragraph. Not only did we share every day of my life until she didn't anymore, I knew who I was because I knew who she was and I knew that she knew who I was. I didn't have to be fake with her, even when she was sick, and in my being real there was no explainations necessary. She knew where I came from and all that I'd ever done, and now she doesn't, and she can't, and she never will be that life mirror again. Even if I imagined that somehow she were still a reflective source from which I could draw opinions about who I am, the reality is that I'm different than the mirror I knew and it's not fair to ME to draw relation from something that is not changing alongside me.
It's at this point that I realize that the metafore of a mirror is not good. Because at no point is a mirror actually capable of changing in the way that a life does. The room that the mirror is in can be different, but the mirror is the same. Her life was dynamic and it feels a little like using a mirror diminishes her impact. The impact her life had on the whole world, whether or not she knew it before she got to lunch with God.
I cry so much since she died. I mean, most times I'm good. I'm functioning at a pretty high level. Most people who see me probably don't know what a mess it is inside my brain. I think I pull off life pretty well. But, when I think about how I feel because my sister died, I'm so sad. I feel broken when I think about all of this. I haven't been able to figure out whether or not that means I'm doing this grief right or not. Like, is it that when I'm living life and not sad or thinking about her that I'm in denial and that how I feel when I think about how I feel is really where I'm at in my grief journey ~ I don't know. It's a pretty shady place when I start thinking about thinking too much.
I prefer just living.