I woke up this morning wondering if the Sun missed you as the planets passed by this year,
wondering if its rays searched for you in unfamiliar faces like I do in crowded places,
if it’s beams noticed when it had started retracing it’s steps this morning and hadn’t come across you, as it usually did, at least once a year.
I haven’t written here in a long time, but, that’s how it’s had to be since I started this.
Of course, it certainly isn’t because I spend any less time thinking of you, my heart just needed a break from pouring itself dry.
You know, I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping you at an arms distance. It’s brutal, I know, and I love you so much (with all my damn heart), but I got so tired from missing you.
I figured out a way to walk through most days quietly enough that grief doesn’t knock on my door.
(I’m convinced that’s what they mean when they say the only thing that helps is time)
I figured out a way to numb the tidal waves of grief to tide pool sadness that can coexist with the smaller things like house renovations and masters degrees.
Today I woke up feeling like a hurricane that could stretch the metal chains of any storm catch on any door. I woke up feeling like the ice on the pond in front of our favourite place, not quite strong enough to hold it together, even on the surface.
Do you remember the winter with all the snow? The ice came next and we abandoned our slides in favour of creating a built-into-the-snow, butt-shaped tunnel that ran from our front door to the edge of the street.
Do you remember the winter I never got home? The one where I stayed far away to protect my fragile heart and you sat on the end of the phone (one of your least favourite things to do). We took turns comforting each other for hours as your night turned to morning and my evening turned to night.
The phone always felt like dynamite pressed to my ear, the awareness it might be the last time I heard my favourite words (“love ya sis”) screaming into my free ear the way the wind strangles any phone call when you’re pushing against it.
Today I’ll cry 10 times before 2pm. I’ll cry when I feel the wind on my face, when I see that today would’ve actually been a birthday of yours that wasn’t cancelled due to a storm, and when I hug the people who have held me together since you left.
I’ll also cry for the joy. The joy I’ve found having the pain to compare it to. The way the sun hits that picture of you in my office. I’ll cry about the sheer luck of getting to be the only person on this planet that knows what it is like to be your sister.
And I’ll sing. And we’ll eat cake. And we’ll light up the sky.
We’ll do these things because our hearts miss you so intensely,
and also because (I think) there is a part of all of us that knows that you aren’t anywhere today,
You’re the whole freakin’ sun.
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, sweet brother
Happy Birthday to you.