The second anniversary of my sister’s death is approaching, and I always told myself it would get better. It hasn’t. At least… Not like I thought.

Last month I was driving to the grocery store and listening to some Usher, cuz duh. A song of his came on called, “My Boo.” This song reminds me of my sister. Now, that may sound weird because it’s a romantic song BUT it reminds me of her because she loved Alicia Keys with all her heart and soul and would sing this song at the top of her lungs on repeat when she would drive with me in her car. Well, when it came on… I started crying, like a lot. And then I started BAWLING in the frozen food section trying my hardest to find some Halo Top low calorie ice cream. Then I cried all the way home. And then I went home and prayed.

This happens, little things will set off a trigger which will either make me cry like the above situation, or I will be in a bad mood and everyone will think I’m mad. One time I even cried on a date, with her friend also in the car. Sooooooo that was embarrassing. And she DEF does not talk to me anymore. In fact. if we ever saw each other in public we would probs avoid eye contact at all costs.

The thing is, it’s almost been two years, but I still feel this pain as vividly and intensely as the day it happened, and that sucks. It sucks because I want to be happy for people. I will either make my date mad for not being in a perfect mood, or other people around me will think something is wrong with me and I should be in a better mood. But what do I tell them? “Sorry, my sister died two years ago and I am kinda super upset right now. Nothing against you though.” Like, really? Two years ago? Get over it kid.

It also sucks because I find myself avoiding dating because I hate talking about family. “How many siblings do you have? Brothers? Sisters?” Well, I usually just say I have 3 brothers and that’s it, in fear of them digging deeper. And I hate that. And don’t even get me started about the dad question. “Oh you don’t really know where he’s at? Oh you don’t talk to him? Oh okay well you sound unstable so you will never see me again.” I wish I could talk about myself the way I want to. I wish I could tell them that I don’t really feel great today because my sister died and somehow it’s still relevant. But you can’t do that and, well, THAT SUCKS.

Trust me, I act hard. But all I want in this entire world is for someone to look at me and say, “I see something special in you, and I’m not going anywhere.” It will probably happen one day. But it won’t work out that way until the one time it does. It’s sad, but people don’t want to hear your problems. They don’t want to hear about the REAL side of you. They want to know about how adventurous you are, your car, your great job, your talents, and how you have it all figured out. And… I… Just… Don’t. Those things don’t really give the whole picture.

I find myself subconsciously trying to forget about the past and trying to stay in the present. I do that because the past brings me to my knees no matter how much I think I’ve grown. I still cry just as hard. I keep a picture of her by my bed and talk to her every night. But… She doesn’t answer back. In fact, the memory of her voice… Her smile… Has faded over time and I am terrified that I am going to completely forget.

I don’t consider myself very good at my religion. In fact, I am probably pretty bad at it compared to most. I’ve been around people that asked me why I still believe in the church, and the answer is kinda simple. I may be pretty bad at being a good Mormon, but I know that one day I am seeing my sister again and my family will be together forever, and that’s why I stay. That’s why I believe. That’s why I keep trying. I certainly have my doubts, because who can really KNOW something you won’t even experience until after you die, let’s be real. But, I hold onto that one shred of hope that I will. That one day I will be in heaven and my sister will greet me and say, “J-Row wit da big fro! Why did you take so long!?”

It’s not getting better. And I think I am okay with that, because IT MATTERED. Suppressing the past isn’t going to do anything but make other people feel more comfortable around me. So I’m sorry if I am not a solid emotional rock of a man, but DANG IT I AM SAD. It hurts so bad because it mattered. It’s real.

So, if you have felt this kind of pain… I’m sorry.. But.. I don’t think it’s ever going to stop. But that’s kind of special isn’t it? You feel that pain because you experienced a beautiful kind of love in your life, and no one can take that a way. So… That pain is kind of beautiful, and it should be celebrated.

So, everytime you cry, after you dried your tears, remember all the smiles you had along the way too.

If you thought of someone who has experienced something similar, be sure to share this with them. And give them a hug. Even if they are like me (and hate hugs) they will still probably appreciate it.