So today, for the first time without crying, I told somebody that "my sister died".
It's been eight months, and up until now, I have choked on those words. I've started crying at just the thought, unable to get the words out - awkwardly keeping the other person waiting while I shuffle my feet, look any where but at them, and try to form an explanation as to why I cannot answer their simple "so what's been going on with you?"
I have been terrified of uttering any kind of statement that might remind me my sister no longer lives in my little world.
The other part my little achievement - trust me, it's a small, yet significant step - and probably the most surprising to me - is that I didn't, and still don't feel guilty for not crying today when I talked about Sarah.
During a period of grief, it's very normal to feel guilty - guilty for continuing to live and breathe, guilty for enjoying something, guilty of many, many things.
But today, I didn't.
Maybe, just maybe, I'm getting a bit better at this "living with grief" business.
Boy, it's been a long road. In fact, I think it will still be a long road, full of twists and turns. And just to continue the whole "road trip" metaphor - I think there will also be times along the road where I will come across great, big gaping pot holes. Pot holes (or sometimes even bottomless pits) big enough to swallow this little red wagon, or at least send a couple of its wheels flying off.
But I proved to myself today, that I can still chug along on just two wheels. Doors hanging off, mirrors all askew, bumper bar dragging along behind, the occasional spark flying.......