Dear Big Sis,
It’s been a month already, but it’s been a lot longer since I last saw you. Wednesday July 3rd you left my flat early to go home as you weren’t feeling good, you were due to go on a short holiday on Saturday, but you ended up coming home early and the next day you were taken into hospital. I never got the opportunity to visit you, to spend any time with you, to have a conversation with you, we only had one brief interrupted crackly phone call.
Sitting here I am scanning for something of you to focus on, your black gillet often discarded to the kitchen chair, your wooden posh pen, anything tangible to state you were here but there isn’t anything. I see the numerous holiday gifts you brought with me in mind, I see the soft tigger you gave me one Christmas, I see the curtains and carpets you helped me choose when I moved here, tonight I’ll snuggle under the duvet set you bought for me, and so many more other things, but it’s not enough, it’s not you.
I flick through photograph after photograph, but there are so few of you, I have the one of you and me on your wedding day. That’s my earliest firm memory, aged five in the pretty pink dress, jumping out the front door as my cousins arrived, walking into church behind you, following you around the reception until we had that photo taken. Remember I told you, you could get married so long as you never left home. I remember staying at your house and the two cats deciding they would guard me all night by one sleeping between my knees and the other beside my head. I remember telling you a dirty joke, I was about twelve and as embarrassed as hell when you made me repeat it to your hubs. The Sundays we’d play cards, black jack, rummy, or Trivial Pursuit which turned into a mime game with help from ‘the audience’. More recently our trips out, to be holidaymakers instead of those working for holidaymakers. Our London trips, sitting in Westminster Abbey, walking around the Tower of London, being in awed during the Houses of Parliament Tour, being at the BBC Studios. Our world to rights conversations, watching programmes I’d recorded for us to enjoy, the evenings of dvd and take-away, reminiscing of our mutual work places and people. The planning and strategising around birthdays and Christmas. So very much, but still, it’s not you.
Your reflections funeral was beautiful. You’ll never know how many people were eager to travel so many miles to have paid respects to you. We did as you wanted, told them to spend a moment reflecting, smiling, remembering. It was tearful, emotional, especially when your boy stood and placed those two single white roses from the grands, one with T-bods best handwriting and the other a special drawing by mini-me, and the darling little pink elephant (that looked so much like the pink paraffin mascot) they won on their holiday. I knew you were so incredibly proud of your boy, his wife and family, how they are as a team instilling manners, love and boundaries with the grands, how they are trying their very best to keep things right.
I miss you so very much, I am forever changed, lost in many ways. I am empty.