As of a few days ago, I began to realize that March is almost here. This means a few things. It is the beginning of spring, the days are finally getting consistently warmer and we can go outside and play. Warm weather and all that it brings with it are certainly seductive. It is also still early enough in the year that I have not lost of hope of being reasonably attractive in a swimming suit, so there’s that. But March is also my little sister’s birthday. And as she passed away from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma over five years ago, this is the most painful and emotionally conflicted holiday of the year for me.

Having a deceased sister is difficult because it is just so awkward. I have been reading an excellent book for my bookclub, My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I was floored by part that I read today where the younger sister of a terminally ill cancer patient asks “If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?” It conveys a certain aspect of this whole situation that has been frustrating and painful for some time. I feel like I have a heaping basket of emotions and really, there isn’t anyone I can talk to about it. My Mom and my big sister have different different definitions of Koryn. We have such different perspectives on our memories that it really isn’t easy to talk about what the absence of Koryn means to us personally because it isn’t shared and none of us wants to step on the other’s toes. My husband is caring and tries to help, but will admit that he doesn’t really understand. And it is just so painfully uncomfortable for other people. Everything from the casual mention of “Do you have brothers and sisters?” and the “I’m so sorry.” that inevitably follows when you try to navigate just how much information is called for in response; to the more personal declarations to close friends while they try to figure out how they should respond.

I just want to talk about her, but I don’t want the discomfort for others attached to that. I want to be able to say “My sister loved cats when she was a kid. We thought she was going to be a crazy cat lady; but she grew out of it.” Without the awkward silence of …and then she died trailing behind. Koryn was a huge part of my life growing up. My Mom had to work hard (as most single moms do) to take care of us and there was a special quality that comes from “being Mutt and Jeff” (as she put it) after school together. I guess I am just gearing up for March and don’t have anywhere better than here to spew out my feelings about Koryn. Frankly, it is liberating just to say her name as many times as I have to myself while writing this. Maybe I will make March my official Koryn blogging month–just allow myself to say it here. To admit that I still feel a sharp and aching pain as well as annoyance and acceptance at her loss. Maybe I am just need some chocolate.