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.



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


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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