Chapter 2

I had the summer off blogging to fully focus on myself, and well I worked full time between two jobs all summer so I really didn’t have much time to blog.

But also I know Emily would want me to keep busy and have a memorable summer. She wouldn’t want me sat on my laptop, typing my feelings all the time, but to go out and live my life.

But now i'm back in Birmingham and I have way more time on my hands so here I am. Chapter 2 i'm calling it!

A hella lot happened this summer, some good days and some bad, including Emily’s 21st birthday. It’s hard to believe the last time I saw her she was 18. It's hard looking back at photos of us then and how different Evan, Libby and I look now and Emily hasn't got to see us. It’s difficult to picture what she would look like at 21 now- so much time has gone by, so much has changed. So much of life has got in the way, I think the most difficult thing is I don’t know how my life would be with her in it now. How different my uni experience would be if I had her to help me. Decisions I’ve made, people that have come in and out my life since she’s been here.

the toughest thing about summer is Emily's birthday. 22nd August, she turned 21, well she should have. It’s almost impossible to imagine not making it to your next birthday. We all take that shit for granted, I do, even now. I’m planning what I’ll do for my 20th, but what if I never make it there? Emily didn’t, and yet we never think it’ll happen to us. It’s so surreal looking at photos of my big sister but i’m now older than the last photo of her, to me I still feel and look younger than her. On 'that' day, her birthday, we did nothing. I went to work. i booked the day off because I felt like that’s what you do then it’s your sister’s birthday, but waking up that morning I realised it’s just a day I would sit and cry about, soooooo work was the answer, a distraction, a perfect distraction. I think ever since Emily died keeping myself distracted is the best way, I couldn’t even take a day off school 2 days after her death to deal with my emotions so I throw myself into anything and everything I can to stop myself from being sad. It was a hard day. I think what made it worse was for the first time in 21 years that day was ‘normal’. It just became any other day. It doesn’t feel right celebrating a day when the person isn’t here and yet it also isn’t right not celebrating. We all have dates in the year that are special to us individually for separate reasons. Imagine its Christmas one year, then the next it just doesn’t exist anymore, that’s the only way I can explain it.

After 2 and a half years you think you've done all 'the firsts', all the first milestones without her, but

One day last week I took a day to myself, saw no one, didn’t get out of bed and for the first time used the excuse that it was grief and I missed Emily and that's why I was doing nothing and being sad. I’ve never felt that it was a reason good enough to be lazy, never missed school, never missed uni, work or made that excuse to not see anyone or do anything in over 2 and a half years. I’m proud of myself for that, I always find a reason to get out of bed, I have to. Even if I have a lazy day I never see it as needing a day to miss Emily, it’s just me wanting to chill out. So if one day in that long was the first time I decided to cry and be sad, I guess I’m doing ok, despite how I feel about my life sometimes. I think once people only see you happy it’s hard for them to understand that you get sad, how can you be ok with your sisters death one day and not ok the next? I think that’s partly a reason I always keep going, always seem happy, never let anyone see me sad or cry, because I feel it’s an excuse if I do! Once you’re happy it’s like you have no excuse to be sad…. Or maybe I’m just crazy and overthink, I don’t know.

Ive released over time, especially this summer. Being alone and having nothing to do is the worst. Distractions whether working, going out with your friends or simply driving around is the best thing I can do to stop grief taking over. If i throw yourself into anything else I have no time to let sadness take over. Maybe it’s not healthy to not address your feelings but if it means I can keep going then thats what I gotta do, sometimes grief is too much to even think about.

This picture was taken at Emily's 18th birthday party.

The last birthday we had with her.

Keep Smiling,

Hol x

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