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National Siblings Day is hard to celebrate when you’ve lost one

I have always hated these manufactured holidays, and National Siblings Day is even harder for me to feign cheer about, because around a year ago, one of my sisters died.

My older sister died far too early. Far too unexpectedly. It was a blow to me and my family, and I’m still not over it yet, and April sucks and is stupid and is sad and depressing because it’s the month she died in. Which is when people are celebrating National Siblings Day.

I get wanting to celebrate the people you love. I have one sister, and she is amazing and hilarious and wonderful and my best friend. But celebrating her feels like a sham because I can no longer celebrate my other sister, the one no longer with me, the one who can’t be celebrated and who can only be remembered not only on stupid, made-up holidays, but every day. Every hour. Every minute.

It’s hard.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way, because every day someone loses someone, whether by tragedy or illness or just because life can be horrifically unfair and people die and you still can’t make sense of it. Not just on this day — this National Siblings Day — but on their birthdays, on holidays like Christmas and Easter, when you hear a song that reminds you of them or you are going about your day and you have something happen to you and you pick up your phone to call them and you realize you can’t call a dead person. When you would give anything just to hear them laugh again, and when you think about the other people they have left behind — a young daughter who will never have her mom there when she goes to prom or college or holds her first baby or… anything.

I don’t know what you do. You out there who have also lost a sibling. I don’t know what you do on days like these or any day for that matter. You just go on. And for those of you who do have a sister or brother still alive, call them. Or even better, f***ing go see them. Go see them, and sit on the porch with them, and listen to music, and have a beer, and take their hand and tell them. Tell them you love them. Tell them they matter. Tell them how much they mean to you. Because the alternative is just talking to the night sky, while you sit alone at night on your porch, wishing on stars and fireflies that they can still hear you in the ether.

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