Some things that happened after my sister died

Here are some memories that have floated around my mind for the last 25 years.

I don’t think I’ve shared many of them with anyone. They have felt too small, insignificant, or embarrassing to say out loud.

I hope that by sharing them, they might dislodge slightly from my mind and lose some of the shame and awkwardness that has become attached to them.

By writing them down I can also see them for how awful – and in some cases faintly, blackly, comic – they are. I’m not surprised that they are hard to forget.

    Listening to a boy in her class tell me that he was happy she’d died as he had always hated her.
    Being told by a girl in my class that ‘all the mummies thought it was very strange’ that I hadn’t cried when everyone in my class was told that she had died. ‘Don’t you care?’
    Being in the classroom when everyone was told that she had died, after having said to my teacher that I’d rather not be there. And the wave of horror when I realised what was about to be said.
    Having to listen to our next door neighbour sing a chart-topping song with my sisters name in the title on karaoke. Repeatedly.
    Being told that my parents will be feeling really sad, so I should be on my best behaviour.
    Shaking the vicars hand after the funeral and thanking him for a job well done. Seemed like the right thing to do, but it still makes me cringe. I was ten.

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