I have been avoiding writing this post for a little while, because I knew it would be hard.
Then I came across a beautiful post that reminded me of why I need to write this. Love is not perfect. Love is hard. And despite the sometimes fractured relationships we have, the love within them will help us fight to keep them. And if we get the chance to say goodbye, then in that moment, we look beyond all the trouble of the past and we just bask in it, in our imperfect love.
“It was only in the last months of her life that we managed to strip everything else away and speak the same language. The only language that’s left when all else is taken – Love.”
— Siobhan Hewson
But why do we need to wait until goodbye?
I miss my sister. I miss my father. And I miss my mother.
And they’re all still here.
I miss them so much that sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself. I sit at home and stare outside, wishing I had something more. I have Matrix, I have friends, and I have G. What else could I need?
I have been grieving the loss of my family for so long, feeling hurt and angry, that I have missed three years of my sister’s life, and been selfishly focusing on my own. I thought that if I focused on myself, I could be happy that way. But I was wrong.
As a result, I have been harbouring guilt all this time for what has happened.
Over the weekend, I had what I guess was an emotional breakdown and I lost control of myself. I turned into a small lost child, desperately searching myself for the truth. G kept telling me with certainty that it’s not my fault, I couldn’t have stopped it, but it didn’t matter. I couldn’t believe him.
My father was on his own for a long time before he started joining my sister and my mother at this church. He was lonely. I know exactly what he felt, because now it’s how I feel. If I just hadn’t left them for university, if I had stayed with my family, maybe none of this would have happened. Maybe I could have stopped it, or at least my father. He wouldn’t have wanted to go to the church, because we would have had each other.
He needed me, and I left him all alone.
I didn’t know what else to do — I went far away, I started my own life. I was determined to get away from the misery that was home, and I did exactly that. I left my family behind, because I selfishly wanted to make myself happy and get away from their unhappiness.
So over and over, I kept telling G, my family needed me. My father needed me. I wasn’t there when I should have been, and now it’s too late.
It’s my fault.
I lost myself in grief, wishing.
I went to sleep, grieving.
And then I came across that post.
“I’m so grateful that we had those moments. Moments where we could look at each other and know that nothing about the past mattered except that we loved each other. Not perfect love, real love.”
— Siobhan Hewson
In reading those lines I was reminded of my childhood with my sister. Even growing up into teenagers, nothing else mattered. We would fight and of course we didn’t always get along, but there was nothing in the way of us connecting with each other. It was easy to forgive, and easy to look at each other and know that everything was going to be fine. We would always have each other.
And now, there’s a big rift between us, which both of us are trying to fix, but I created in the first place. Not only did I fail to be there when I was needed most, but I let us grow apart.
I know that I need to reach through the madness and find the real love again, because it’s there, underneath all the hurt and sorrow that I’ve felt and all the fighting and mistakes we’ve made together these past few years.
I’ve started trying. And it hurts. It looks like it’s going to be a tough process.
But from now on, I’m going to try to look past the hardships and the hurt, and just love my family. I know they are doing the same.