Mirrored grief

I saw the two of them, brother and sister, older than I, leaving the store together, heads bowed, lost in talk, an intimacy I envied. There was a larger story there, but in my head.

It may have been my friend and his sister, or it may have been strangers that looked slightly like them, but in my head (in my head!) I knew that they had come to the store to buy Christmas decorations so that they could share the holiday together in spite of having lost their sister, a girl I went to school with.

A minute later I said to myself, well, there is a larger story there, isn’t there? I see two people who remind me of friends who lost their sister.

Who else lost their sister?

I think they are buying Christmas cheer to try and overcome their grief.

I just left the Christmas aisles myself.

And I envy that they can grieve this way, together. And I project all this on them, all of my sadness about my sister dying before the holidays last year and how they were dark and ruined.

So I made a mirror, but a mirror with a slightly different picture, of shared grief with a sibling, which I don’t have. The fact that it was a brother made it even better. I always wanted a brother, a protector. A sister is too much like me, too close. I guess it was easier to see my own grief reflected in these two people from the past, people I imagined had an easier time expressing, acknowledging, their loss. And for a minute, I could see mine.

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