The Beginning of the End...
Writing this blog post has been difficult, recalling the days before Emily’s death is something I can rarely bring myself to do. I can talk about Emily all the time but it’s a rare occasion I talk about her actual death or never about the days leading up to it. But this week marks 2 years since. 2 years since the beginning of the end.
2 years ago it all began, the strangest week of my life. The week that changed my life forever. As far as I can remember I started that Monday clueless, just a normal week, never did I think the following Monday my sister would have died. I went to school as normal, I went for a meal for my friend’s birthday. But the week didn’t end as normal as it began. I guess the change was the Thursday before, I don’t know how it changed or how I knew something bad was beginning I suppose I blocked it out my memory perhaps. I just knew it was the beginning of something I would never forget, and not in the good way.
Thursday 10th March 2016.
I remember crying in the toilets into the arms of my friends, “I’m going to say goodbye to my sister today” saying that then wasn’t real, even though I said it I never actually thought it was going to happen, especially only 2 days later. I don’t even know why I said it?? I never remember being told it would be goodbye, well even though I never thought it would be goodbye, little did I know it actually happened to be the last proper time I saw my Emily.
On that Thursday, I don’t know why I thought it would be the last time. I don’t remember how I knew. I just remember I was told there was nothing much doctors could do anymore but I don’t know when or how I was told that. Even thinking the words ‘Emily is going to die’ never seemed real.
From December 2013 to march 2016, not once did we talk about death, never. It just was never going to happen. For months after I was so confused how it happened because we never expected her to die, especially over 400 days after transplant. I never thought she would die. None of us did. Not when she first got cancer, not the second time she was diagnosed, or with all the complications with the transplant. NEVER. She’s fought it all and she’s keep fighting, that is what she told us, that is what we expected and thought. we need talked about death… ever. Even when we were told ‘there was nothing more they could do’ they kept giving her meds and she kept going, and she would keep going … or so we thought. “There’s nothing more we can do” hmmmm what did that mean to me 2 years ago, that meant “my sister was a G and she was going to keep defying the odds and survive, Emily won’t die???? Nothing more they can do??? Well someone’s being dramatic”. Those were my thoughts…. Well
I don’t remember being told Emily would die, not specifically anyway. I remember being told they didn’t know what to do next, but id heard that before, never did I think that meant she’d die though.
There is nothing that can prepare you for going to say goodbye to someone forever…. FOREVER??? Even now the ACTUAL thought of never seeing her again is impossible to comprehend, I can’t think about, I can’t let myself imagine that…. NOOO WAYYY. that’s how I keep going, somehow thinking you’ll see them again. Like she’ll come back or something. Crazy??? Yeah I probably am.
FOREVER??? That’s a long ass time.
In hindsight I wish I did more, prepared better. Got everything I needed, but then what do you need to prepare yourself for never seeing someone again. It’s not like moving away, that place is still there if you decide to go back, it’s not like saying ‘goodbye’ it’s so much worse than that.
That Thursday, the last time I really spent time with my Emily.
I sat with her, we laughed and chatted…. About food (standard for us too) and about media and film School (ironically exactly where I am now).
I look back and think should I have said more, should I have asked her something your big sister’s going to die, what do you say, more probably, more than what I had for tea in gourmet burger kitchen the night before, more than her helping me look at things for me to do at uni. Too late now, can’t go back, but that was us. I never would have talked about what flowers she wanted at her funeral or what I should do with her belongings at home or if it was ok if I wore her clothes when she had died. That wasn’t us. We were teenagers, still are, you talk about absolute crap. For us it was way more important to talk about food.
Regret, that ain’t a strong enough word. Days and weeks after her death I wish I had done a cliche thing like get her to write me a letter or video something, but I didn’t, I never expected she would actually die. She was a super hero to me. She got through everything, well obviously she would get through this, right??? Apparently not.
Even if mum said she didn’t have long, she was looking at holidays and I trusted Emilys opinion more than anyones, it was her, and she was sciencey she would have known if she was going to die, right? I guess she did know, for how long? I have no idea, but looking at holiday’s I guess was her way of ‘cracking on’ and ‘being Emy’, and not scaring us perhaps. I kind of wish she didn’t play it down so much, I don’t know, maybe she didn’t. Maybe she didn’t know she would die. I wish she made me visit more, I wish she made me take more photos , I wish she wrote me that cliché letter I could keep forever.
Did I ever imagine the last ever conversation with my sister would be when we were 17 and 18… ummm no, in a hospital about meals and uni. You imagine it’s going to be when you’re old and grey with an amazing life to look back on, wait?, what am I saying. No one imagines their last conversation with someone. I wish I did, I wish I’d thought about it more carefully.
I suppose one thing I did was the ‘the movie cliché’ thing to do. On the last day I spoke to her she encouraged me to look into media and film schools, and go down that career path. And well I’m now studying exactly that. Yes I did it for me, but I know it’s something she wanted too and I know she’s sat here with me.
There are so many things, and decisions I’ve made without her and that I’ve needed her for. i battle with myself, and make myself upset because I feel I SHOULD know what she would do or say to me and because I’m her sister I should know what she’d say!!! But the one decision that I know exactly what she would tell me to do, Is going to uni and studying something I love.
We all take it for granted, need to ask someone a question? We pick up the phone or text them for advice…. How do you ring heaven?
In honour of this snowy week we've had, this is a typical photo of us dressed the same when we were young, playing in the snow in 2006