Thursday, March 16, 2017


Ellen would have been 25 years old today. That's her on the right, holding my Dad's arm. This was taken the year before she got sick. I'm going to follow my annual tradition and bake her a cake today. I feel comfortable with my grief, but it's good to give the emotions to some tangible action. I miss you, sis. I hope you like devil's food cupcakes with orange frosting.

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Weird, Grief-Related Thing That Happened

Yesterday was the anniversary of my sister Ellen's death in 2006. And... I didn't really think about it.

You may know from my blog that the first few weeks of March are usually a really hard time for me, because all I'm thinking about is my sister and how much I miss her and the trauma and grief of it. As the date looms, I become rather locked inside myself and consumed with grief. Some years it's easier, some years I have perspective, and some years are terrible.

And this year, the date came and went and I didn't even remember to post about it. In fact, I didn't even turn my computer on yesterday, which is highly unusual for me in itself. I wasn't avoiding anything, I was just watching movies with Becca and decided not to bother myself with all of the bad news on my information machine.

I don't expect it'll be like this every year, but this year the grief wasn't so overwhelming and all-consuming that I was emotionally crippled for weeks. I didn't get caught up in the sad unfairness of the universe. I just... had a day. A pretty good one.

And I don't feel guilty about it.

This is new territory for me. I don't want to say I finally processed it and now it's behind me, because I'll always miss Ellen. But the survivor's guilt wasn't there this time. It's strange. It's like... it's like I wear the same shirt every year, and this year I forgot to put it on, and I didn't notice it until the next day. Just a piece of my psyche that I slip on every year and now it feels unusual to have not done it. Not even unusual in a bad way. And not necessarily in a good way, either. It just is. No judgment, even.

It feels weird not to be judging myself.

I love Ellen. I wish she was here. I think I'm finally starting to accept that she isn't. And it doesn't feel as selfish as I always thought it would.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Song of the Week: "The Alien Song (For Those Who Listen)"

This is where my head was at in the mid-nineties. 1994, when Milla Jovovich's album The Divine Comedy was released, was the year I turned 18 and graduated from high school.