I've been experiencing low-grade depression most (all?) of the month but wasn't able to identify it as such. Which is silly, because of course I've been depressed during September. It reminds me of death and loss and fills me with dread. I will never be a fan of September.
This year was the 12th anniversary of Melissa's death.
When the grief was fresher, I assumed it would eventually fade into the background. Filed away into the Terrible Things That Happened in Valette's Past folder and tucked into a cabinet that is only opened when needing a really good ugly cry.
But now that I have twelve years of experience with this specific grief, it has become familiar and I've stopped expecting it to completely go away like I assumed it eventually would. There are times I anticipate it (see: the end of every September), and times it comes on unexpected but I know I will get through it.
My brother-in-law has described grief as filling a container that is neatly placed on a shelf. Most of the time it sits there out in the open, present but not an active part of daily life. Once in a while, however, something happens and it gets knocked over and grief spills everywhere.
Grief is a bitch to clean up.
I've spent the month not doing a very good job cleaning up some (completely expected) grief spillage. Which is okay. It's okay to continue to experience grief for my sister, even twelve years later. It's not fun, it's pretty terrible actually, but it's not wrong to feel lost and lonely and empty.
I made it through September, and to it I say good riddance.