It’s been 3 years that my brother passed away, 6 years for my grandma and only grandparent. Each year I want to do something meaningful for their birthday, something that reminds me of them and good memories with them but… every year I fail. The days before I’m ready for it, and then the day itself I always feel more overwhelmed than I expected. So, I let myself cry as I need through the day. I don’t expect too much of myself. I try to take it easy. I make sure to think about them here and there, which makes me feel full of life and with a reassuring joy, even if it hurts too. I’m now able to look at photos too, which I couldn’t at the beginning, so sometimes I do that too. It brings good memories and it helps me to deal with the fear of forgetting. I’m also used to read a message my brother sent me before he passed away, in which he said he was proud of me. For my grandma, I read a kind of “journal” she left me, in which there are many stories and memories of hers.
Overall, I just try to be open to any feeling I might have during these days. I try to be gentle with myself, just because they’d want me to take care of myself, no matter what. Though I don’t give up and still have hope that, one day, I’ll be able to watch these movies that my brother recommended me again and again when he was still alive, while eating his favorite icecream. Just everything at its own time. One way or another, they’re still with us.