We owe it to each other to tell stories - Neil Gaiman

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Show Must Go On

When I started this blog almost 3 years ago, I started it because I was turning to books to help me to fight against the depression that had taken me away from who I used to be. I sought the comfort of books to help me see  that no matter how bad things may seem, they can get better. I looked to books to take me away from myself and my sadness, and the lack of control I felt. I turned to books to help save me. And it worked. It helped. I overcame depression.  I learnt a lot, I experienced so much, I became a stronger person. I saw that it was okay to get lost, so long as you never stopped looking for how to get back home again.

my beautiful sister
3 weeks ago my sister lost her battle against cancer. A battle that she had waged so valiantly, so bravely, so strongly for 8 years. Cancer invaded her body and our lives when she was 14, and after quite a fight from my sister, it beat her at the tender age of 22.

We knew it was coming, this time it had spread too far, chemo and radiation could do nothing to help her this time, and yet she stayed brave. I thought that knowing that her death was coming, and that it would be better because she wouldn't suffer anymore would make it easier to deal with, but it hasn't. It still hit me hard. It unsettled me. It took me back to where I was 3 years ago, lost and searching for answers.

Death is not an easy thing. It is an uncomfortable topic. No one knows what to say. Nothing anyone says can make it better. Living seems frivolous in the face of all of our impending deaths. This is not something that anyone can prepare you for. They don't teach it to you at school. It shakes you to your core, and that is what this has done to me. I have been very sad, and I have been quite angry. It is just not fair that my sister only got to see 22 years of life. It is not fair that such a beautiful and spirited person's life has to be cut so short, and yet there are disturbing people who cause nothing but destruction that go on to see more than 60, 70 years. Why? What is the point? This I have been pondering a lot lately.

I was furious at her funeral, granted I have not been to very many funerals, but I was under the impression that the funeral was about the dearly departed, and not about the people of zion and how they covered themselves in ashes. I wanted to punch the person preaching - what the hell does zion have to do with my sister? And  then at the burial, everyone was so sombre and sad, which is what we should all be at a funeral, especially a funeral for someone like my sister, who was not only taken too soon, but was also a wonderful person. Flash forward to half an hour later at the cake and tea afterwards and everyone is just all so happy and noisy, and honestly I was furious. How flippant can you be? I know that life goes on, but do you have to be ready to move on so soon? The world, my world has stopped in many ways since my sister has died, I am looking for reasons, and for answers, and I am trying to see what the point is. But the world goes on, no one is going to stop the world until I am ready for it to start moving again, but why could the world not stop for those people there that day?

In preparing myself for my sister's inevitable death, I ordered Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, which I will be reviewing soon. It was supposed to arrive at the end of July, but through some wonderous way the universe delivered it to me the day after my sister died.

I once again turn to books to show me how to go back to where I used to be, but a new normal - a world that goes on without my sister. In this way, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair has been a godsend. And though I am turning to books again, I don't know how well I am going to do with the kind of reading I have done before. I am just questioning so many things that I am not even sure that I want to continue blogging. But I feel I must, so that I can have something that grounds me so that I cannot blow away as easily as a balloon, but hopefully find myself again, and regain my view on the world and the wonders within it, and sing like Freddie Mercury, because the Show Must Go On...

Does anybody know what we are looking for?
Does anybody want to take it anymore?

The Show must go on
The Show must go on

Inside my heart is breaking
My makeup may be flaking
But my smile still stays on

Another heartache

Does anybody know what we are living for?

I'll face it with a grin
I'm never giving in

On with the show

I have to find the will to carry on with the show

The show must go on


  1. I'm sorry to hear of your loss and I hope that writing about it helped in some small way. When I lost my granddad last year I couldn't comprehend doing normal everyday things for a while as everything seemed irrelevant compared to death - what was the point in doing mindless things? With time, things improved for me. Be kind to yourself whilst you are grieving.

    1. Thank you Sam. Everything does seem sort of irrelevant, I just wish there was a known time line so I can know when things will be 'normal again'

  2. Oh, Terri_maree, I just popped by your site from the Classics Club, but your post stopped me in my tracks.
    You spoke of your sister with so much love and eloquence - I was deeply moved. I admire your courage in sharing your feelings and thoughts.

    Reaching out to others, sharing and talking will help you out of your grief, although it sounds like you've also found another way that helps you -reading.
    I read this quote recently - "Books are great solace when you need a break from your own story."

    The first year is the hardest. You never forget, but you do learn to live with such a loss.

    Life is always changing, we are always changing and we all have to reinvent 'normal' every few years or so - you are on the brink of a new normal. Scary, exciting and full of possibility.

    Good luck and best wishes

    1. Thank you so much Brona, your words have offered me great comfort, and I love that quote! I definitely need a break from my own story, and what better than books to offer that break? Thank you for following my blog :)


What did you think? I would love to read your comments.