Today is my daughter’s birthday. She and I had a discussion the other day about her birthday and her particular struggle with the fact that she is now only a year younger than her brother. She was born three and half years after he was.
I have a book on the loss of a sibling and I have not taken time to read it. I read a lot of books about grief and loss the first year after our son’s death. I thought I should read a book about her loss and I don’t know why I have not. I won’t make excuses here. I just haven’t been able to do it.
I haven’t been able to go to the house where she lives, this house that she shared with her brother and where they, as adults began to form a different bond and relationship. They were getting to know each other and love each other as adult siblings and then suddenly it was yanked out from under her.
But she has always known him well. Their relationship was a relationship. They related to each other and seemed even in the worst of times to retain a bond unlike anything I had with either one of them. Siblings.
She could see in her brother things I could not. I appreciate her insights into his behavior and attitudes. He provided the same concerning her, for me. He saw things and interpreted some things about her for me. It is part of being a family.
I really want her to have a good day. We gave her a camera for her birthday. She had been trying to choose a camera for quite a while because she is very particular and has to do all her research. I can’t wait to see what she will do with it.
I know I am smitten by my children. It is good that everyone thinks they have the best kids in the world, and I like everyone else am convinced that I truly do have the very best.
Birthdays have always been bitter sweet to me. I have shed tears every year on the eve before my children’s birth date. It has gotten worse now.
I read the following the other day:
A psychologist is having a talk about anxiety. She lifts a glass half with water and the audience wonder if she is going to ask if the glass is half full or half empty. She asks:
” What is the weight of the glass with the water?” The audience answered from 250g up to 1 kg.
Then she started talking…”The weight doesn’t matter…but what matter is how long you hold it in your hand. If you hold it for a few minutes there will be no difference, if you hold it for an hour your arm will get sore and pain a bit and if you hold it for a day…you will have sore shoulders, pain in your back, needles and pins in your arm and a lot more pain. The longer you hold on to this glass the more severe the pain and despair.
This is how anxiety touches our lives. If we think about it a few minutes and not give it much thought it will be OK. Thinking longer and more intense about it, it will have a effect on your life and when we dwell on it, thinking every minute about it, it will consume your day and life. It will consume us and it will eat us bit by bit. It will feel like we don’t know where to go and where to turn…
I know this relates to grief too and the anxiety that comes with it. Water however is necessary for life so why stand around holding the glass? My solution to the problem would be drink the blasted water- take it in and fill the glass again. But I understand that sometimes we just sit and hold it. So I am lifting my glass to my beautiful daughter. I am drinking down the day – with all the flavors it holds. It is life and it is love and it is the sorrow we share as people do that share love.
You my sweet girl are the dearest person to my heart. Happy Birthday – from me and from your dad – and to quote your brother “oh yeah! Is today your birthday?”