Author: Sheri Denkensohn-Trott
March will be six months since my sister passed away. In some ways it feels like just yesterday, but in others I do feel the passage of time. I still have grief as my companion, but it is much more tolerable. Most days I think about happy memories and laugh at funny stories that pop up. And because my sister’s birthday is in March, on the first day of spring, I always correlate daffodils with her birthday.
I’m not sure how I’m going to honor her birthday and I don’t have to decide today. I’ve learned that each day has its own emotions, and you take it for what it is. For me, that has become the best way to deal with my loss. It may sound crazy, but I talk to her in my head and the picture of the two of us sits on my desk right next to my computer, where I work each day. She watches me do my work and I know that she is my cheerleader from above when I am achieving a goal in my coursework with Cornell or giving a presentation. That is comforting.
Other days have triggers. Questions to answer regarding jewelry or clothing. Foods that remind me of her. The ritual planning of lunch on or around her birthday with our dear “sister” Rosemary. If I feel sad or overwhelmed, I now have the tools to deal with it. I’ll meditate to quiet my mind, watch TV, read a book, and sometimes go to bed. And wake up the next day with a new frame of mind.
A friend of mine sends me “Daily Affirmations” for grief. She has been sending these to me ever since my sister passed away. I find them to be wonderful and informative. She sent me one the other day called “The Beauty and Value of Your Memories.” It read as a reminder to not push away memories because they are painful. Because after a while the memories will not be painful, but precious gems that are valuable. And these memories don’t have to be on a birthday or other special occasion. They can be at any time.
I’m enjoying the thought of sunshine and daffodils and my sister this month. Happy and smiling. Warm and uplifting. Beautiful and springlike.
The Affirmation ended with a quote that I think is worth sharing.
“What is there to do when people die– people so dear and rare– but bring them back by remembering?” May Sarton