What a month hey?
I have a love/hate relationship with the eleventh month of the year.
Those of you who know me personally or who follow my blog know that November is a tough time for my family. On November 29th we will have the 9th anniversary of my sister's death.
Every year since, around mid-October, I tell myself that this year it will be different. That I won't develop a month of PMS style symptoms (you know the kind, tears at TV adverts, bizarre sleep patterns, irrational reactions to mundane situations). Every year I have been wrong though I do hold optimism that next year will be different. One year I will be right.
What astounds me is how I deal with my emotions in November. I post the odd Facebook status on my sister's birthday and on her anniversary, but generally I feel quite uncomfortable with with the entire thing. I try to keep myself busy, I try to write as much as possible and I try to speak about it as little as possible. I don't consider it bottling up my emotions. My emotions tumble out through my pen onto paper. I just don't see the point in upsetting myself. I feel that I have cried enough over the last decade to last me a lifetime. Why bother to shed any more tears?
I try to turn November into a month of remembering. I guess it is rather fitting that November 11th is Remembrance Day. I try to use November as a month of reconnecting with friends. A month of dealing with issues that I may not have dealt with properly during the year. A month where I decide that I have spent the last ten months well, and that I can file the year away as a good, successful year. This year I can definitely do that.
The positive of November is that it is a very harsh reminder about how short and uncertain life really is. It is like my annual post-it that reminds me to cherish and value what I have. It is also the month that makes me realise that I should ring my Granny more often. Aunties, tell that woman to answer her phone! They say in many cultures that death isn't an ending, it is a rebirth. I consider it a reminder. A lesson. And a good excuse to pull out those embarrassing photos.
To everyone who has reached out to me over the last eight Novembers I thank you all sincerely. This year, I ask not for sympathy but for stories and joy. Laughter and memories. I think at this stage it the game it is a far more fitting tribute to that beautiful girl who left us all those years ago.