Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dear Christian,

I do not care to think about how old you would have been today. It has been too long and it is too hard. I am farther and farther away from being my favorite thing: a sister. This cannot be helped and I need all the help I can get.

Since the idea of creating a ritual around your birthday just never felt right, I'll simply tell you what I decided to do today:

1) I read selections from the collected Sugar columns by Cheryl Strayed on my subway ride home from work. These columns inspired me to write again with their "radical empathy," as Steve Almond called it, and the sheer love of life and words that jumped out at me when I clicked over every Thursday--a new ritual for a new life. I think "The Black Arc of It" helped B understand me better and I could never thank Strayed too much for that.

2) I began, and hope to finish, a review of Wit's End by Karen Joy Fowler. The book had a secret dead brother, who died at 19, just like you. The protagonist is incredibly angry, just like me. The handled this so well that it mitigated my sad shock at finding us on the page when I was just trying to read a good summer book.

3) When I finish my work I will play Skyrim and forget a bit.

4) You were so full of love that it inspires me to make more every day. So, today I will love B harder, even if he doesn't know it.

Sorry you got a list letter for your birthday, baby boy. I am all out of other ideas for today.

Miss you always,
Your sister


Weekday Worrier said...

You're right, I just re-read The Black Arc of It and it's even more obvious to me now that it really did help me wrap my head around all of this. I think before reading it, everything I knew about your brother and what losing him meant was very fragmented--I knew what you had told me, I knew what I had intuited, I knew what I had read about loss here and there, I knew what books and movies told me. But somehow that column brushed aside all the irrelevant stuff and brought the rest together into one powerful, thoroughly understandable whole. It just made so much sense.

So yes, love me harder today, baby--I will be there loving you harder right back.

S.E.C. said...

Sending you a big hug, chicky!