Monday, September 22, 2008

anniversaries good and bad

September is full of annivesaries. There's our wedding. There's the day we decided we'd live together: that I would leave my partner at the time; I would leave my family and friends; I would come to a strange continent with bad health, no money, no job, and practically zero hope of getting a visa. There's Kelley's birthday. There's my birthday. There's the death of my little sister, Helena.

Helena died twenty years ago today: September 22nd 1988. She was 24. I loved her. I didn't always like her because, well, she was crazy--borderline personality disorder--and was dependent on heroin and indulged in the full panoply of criminal behaviour that entails. But I always loved her. Her death was utterly expected (she'd been trying to kill herself, on some level, since she was 15) and a terrible shock. Here's a photo of us taken in Hull when I was 21 (before my nose got broken) and she was 18:

click to enlarge
photo by Heidi Griffiths (no, no relation--that would be very, very wrong)

It's exceedingly strange to find that she's been gone for twenty years. She never met Kelley and never will. She never read any of my novels and never will. I will never find out what kind of adult she might have been. I miss her.

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