2 years ago now she was gone, the first few weeks after Emily died were the strangest weeks of my life. Weeks I’ll never forget, things that happened I look back and wonder how I did it? How I didn’t just cry continuously.
I didn’t take a single day off school. Yup I’m probably stupid. People ask “whyyyyyy would you do that??”. Please tell me what the hell am I going to do at home. Sit, cry. No I was not going to do that. If there was one thing Emily would have wanted was me to go get my A levels, granted I didn’t go to many lessons (definitely didn’t listen) me and the girls sat in the common room and played ‘heads up’ for hours. i laughed and cried but at least I was in school. looking back it was probably the worst thing for my friends, me going straight back to school was difficult for them to handle but it was what Emily would have wanted for me, well I think. But back then I never thought about that, how hard it might have been for anyone else, for my friends, they never even gave a hint of how how I was to deal with, they looked after me immensely well. Emily loved school and I hated it, the best attendance I’ve ever had were the months after my sister died.
To anyone who recently lost someone, don’t do anything for anyone else. If you want to go back to reality straight away (school/ uni/ work) DO IT!!! If you want to, don’t think you have to do want may be seem as the ‘right thing’. i didn’t!! Yes it may have been hard for others to deal with me, but at the end of the day, my 18 year old sister just died, no one can tell you have to react or grieve! I went to school wearing different items of Emily’s clothes, yeahhhh I probably seemed crazy to everyone else but it was my way of keeping her with me.
I definitely was not the easiest to be around, especially when everyone just didn’t know what to say to me, and definitely felt too awkward to talk about Emily so sometimes complimented me on my ‘new; my coat they’d never seen me wear before, well that coat happened to be Emily’s and my response was ‘yeah it’s Emilys’ they just made everyone feel more awkward, but luckily I had strong people around me who knew me and took my very hostile behaviour in their stride.
My Advice to anyone grieving: surround yourself with people - yes of course you often feel alone in big groups, but surround yourself with people who aren’t going through the same. Family cry, family make you think about the worst. Friends make you laugh even when you feel you shouldn’t or can’t. I felt so guilty laughing and being happy. I felt if I laughed I was being a bad sister. I felt like I needed to look sad and upset so other people knew I was grieving but we are human we have to laugh, we need tiny pieces of happiness to get us through the worst times. Honestly a lot of teenagers are mean, if I was seen being happy someone would have had something to say about it, my sister just died and yet I had to worry about gossiping school girls, yup, dealt with crap like that, not just after Emily's death but the whole time she had cancer.
Advice to friends of someone grieving: don’t try too hard, what I mean there Is the friends I found helped the most didn’t over power me, if I wanted to be left alone, I didn’t want to be patronised, in lessons if I wanted to stare out the window, thats what I wanted to do, I didn’t want to be questioned, bombarded or fussed. I totally get some people want to be there for you but do it how they want and need. Also to those who ignore you, those who never speak to you when you lose someone, crossing the other side of the road when you walk by them, avoid you at all costs. Don’t ever be one of those, sometimes a smile goes a long way.
Looking back now, thinking about how I was and ‘that’ time. Writing this to those who put up with me (you know who you are) those who dealt with my sadness, my crying, my blunt, crazy behaviour. I’m sure you all have memories of me on that day, week , and first few months. whether in my life now or not - I thank you, until recently, until I had to be there for someone else after losing someone I never realised how difficult of a task that was to be there for me.
So Thank You!