On Step Forward, Two Steps Back

September 17, 2018

I got home from Georgia on the 12th. It was a much-needed getaway and quality time with my BFF.  It was hard to come home. But during the last hour of the plane ride home, something hit me, like a punch to the stomach, a slap in the face. I was overcome with sadness. This new normal of being without her is here, whether I am ready for it or not. I cried that whole last hour on the plane, thank God for sunglasses and my hoodie. The realization that Aily was not going to be there to greet me when I got back was more than I could take.

It was a big step for me to get on that plane and leave here for two weeks, and I don’t regret a second of it. It truly was the best thing I could have done for myself. I now know that I can be “social” again, be happy, smile, and laugh. I can meet amazing people, and genuinely enjoy life again. However, I felt like I took two steps back when I sat there crying on the plane, paralyzed with sadness and heartbreak. I know it takes a long time to grieve and heal, and honestly in ways I know I will never be the same. Ailish’s death has forever changed me, and I continue to struggle with referring to things as just “me” instead of “us”. I remember soon after Ailish passed, my Dad said, “I can no longer say my girls” and he got choked up and walked away. That broke my heart into a million pieces, as much as we hated it sometimes, I would give anything to be referred to as “the twins” again. I feel like I have spent my life trying to find my own personal identity aside from being a twin, and now that I am forced into this, I am struggling to move on and find my way.

When trying to move on, there are a lot of feelings of guilt, like you are leaving that person behind. I feel almost like I am disrespecting her memory when I am laughing and having a good time. It’s like telling her I didn’t love her enough, or I am forgetting her. I know these are crazy thoughts, because Ailish knew how much I loved her, how much I will always love her, and that I could never ever forget her. But sometimes in that moment, I do feel this way, and I am afraid to move forward with my life.

I know that I have to take things one day at a time, and I am, it’s just these past few days have been particularly difficult. I know there are better days ahead, and that it’s okay to have these shitty days. I just have to keep taking one step forward, no matter how many steps back these heartbroken days set me back.

 

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Aily at the airport in January 2017, on our way to MD Anderson for treatment

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Me on the way to the airport with Aily, January 2017, same trip to MD Anderson. I was wearing a mask cause my Dad was sick and I was determined not get his cold.

I miss us being silly like this all the time!!!

 

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