Yesterday would have been my sister's 73 birthday. She left us all too soon 61 years ago at the age of eleven. Most January firsts I think of her birthday and that it is remembered but not celebrated.
Most people remember the birthday of family members they have lost. It's another time when we take one more tiny step in coming to terms with the loss.
Since my sister's birthday was January first, I do not remember any birthday celebrations as you would have for kids. I don't remember birthday cakes. Our New Years Day was marked with a major dinner and was like a second Christmas day. I wonder what happened to her birthday celebrations?
My sister's death brought about major changes in the family. She was the only daughter so in her own right she was a favored child. For my parents this was a loss that was extremely hard to come to terms with. I think my Mom came to a place where she could carry on with her life. It was much more difficult for my Dad to come to terms with the loss.
Many things occurred as a result of this loss and I sometimes wonder what would have happened without the loss. Parenting certainly would have been different or parenting would have taken place. My brother and I were in our sixties before we ever talked to each other about the loss. Kids were not considered to grieve in those days so they were left on their own.
So now when there are fewer and fewer who actually knew my sister, I wonder how long her memory will be kept? For this day and others she will be remembered.