It’s all still fresh in my head.

For three months I have been suffering. I have been suffering a lot during these first 19 days of December. Heartbreaking memories come to mind here and there.

The disturbing news over the phone, the collapse, the crying. A surreal scenario or a real nightmare, whatever… I suffer from the loss of my younger sister, Tayana, which occurred three months ago. On September 1st, 2019.

Anger comes out at times, like the steam escaping furiously from the lid of a boiling pan. My sister’s memories haunt me at random times: during my drive to work or home, during my shower, at night.

Yes, I am suffering from the loss of my little sister, Tany, and I’m still angry. I don’t remember the last time I told her I loved her.

Oh, I have so much sorrow.

I was told that it lasts a while and that acceptance naturally follows. If that’s true, I urge it to hurry. I write these distressing words, these words which burst out of my heart—my heart which I see drawn on a lacerated canvas—looking at times, hanging on my wall, the photo of my smiling sister, with boyish hair, short and cottony,  on a bronze background. I see her, placed aside, head raised, teasing look, lips curled up with her two rabbit teeth displayed. She loved showing her teeth in photos. Pretending to be like a little girl.

Now I see her in my mind, in a little flared dress, twirling with her skirt raised by her thin fingers, like little girls do when they wear a pretty dress. She loved to feel like a princess.

In recent days, I have forced myself to finish writing my last posts about my summer trip [part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4], the last two parts of which stayed sitting on a shelf this whole time. I will honestly admit that I struggled to do it. Fortunately, three-quarters were already written.

Keeping a blog. There are many more important things than that, I know, but for me, writing is therapeutic. Besides, I was told that writing about her would do me good.

So, I’m following this advice. Yes, no doubt, it would do me good.

Laughs that resonate so hard they make the walls shake.

This is how I described my sister when I announced her tragic death in writing to those around me. Thunderous laughter, mocking laughter, hysterical laughter. Her laughter was the essence of her personality. Speaking loud too. She was full of energy, frisky, fiery. She had a bold, perceptive, brilliant mind.

Brilliant, she was. Despite the fact that she hadn’t finished high-school and therefore logically not gone to college, Tany had managed to carve out a promising place for herself in a large video game company. She was self-taught. She had learned to draw, to paint and to code from a very young age. Like me, she loved music. She became a DJ and started playing the guitar. She was truly multi-talented.

She was very passionate about everything she did and did whatever she loved. Intrepid. Where people saw limits, she saw only endless horizons. Ah yes, she followed her own mind. But, that’s what also brought her down.

On September 1st, as she went to celebrate Labor Day in the wild with her friends, she went to relax on a lake, alone, on a floating island in the late afternoon. She tried to persuade friends to go, but no one accepted. It seems that not a soul saw her go away.

And then, a few hours later, she was falling asleep and dreaming so deeply that her soul detached itself from her body and left us forever. Extreme fatigue, loss of consciousness, malaise? No one knows what happened.

One thing is certain, Tany loved life too much—well, I am sure of it—so that dying of discomfort, or suffocation caused by intense and unending vomiting, was the thing that caused her anxiety attacks. So much so that when this happened to her, she went to the emergency room to be calmed. Ironically, I suspect that her worst nightmare, the onset of discomfort, has materialized.

It was only the next day, a Monday morning, that she was found, asleep at the bottom of the lake. December 19th strongly woke up her memory. My family got together to celebrate her. It was her birthday. She would have been 36 years old.

Tany loved good food. At family brunches, my specialty was fruit salads, hers were crêpes Suzette. She was always excited while she worked the dough. Without measuring anything, she whipped everything in a large plastic yogurt container and spread the pancake batter in the pan with a ladle, while bouncing and joking around. Her pancakes were always perfectly cooked.

But I never got the recipe from my little Tany who illuminated the room with her stunning energy and radiance. I hadn’t had a chance to spend some quality time with her in oh so long.

And that, I regret enormously.

The beginning of September came like a whip with Fall making its entry by shortening daylight hours and by imposing, until its lowest point—winter solstice—the darkness of the night.

But the end of December ends with the onset of winter, which is turning the tide. Quietly, after these three days of darkness at its lowest point following the solstice—therefore, Christmas Day—clarity will prevail by bringing a glow, a brightening, a burst of peace.

Tany, wherever you are, even if I was sometimes the hard and severe big sister, even if I was sometimes moralistic and serious, even if I was sometimes rigid and hurtful by my frankness, know that I really loved you. I really loved you.

If I happened to be like that, it’s because I just loved you too much. Really.

And I wanted the best for you.

I miss you. I’ll really miss you.

Your big sister.