As I grow older, I learn that there will always be more dates to remember. I am good with dates, but these are the dark kind. The ones I wish did not exist. I know that one day there will be so many that I cannot remember them all, and that many people will be collectively memorialised on Christmas and New Years’ days.
But some dates will never be added to the collective. Some dates will always stick out as especially sad, especially dark.
Spring Day. 1 September. It is the day we dress up in florals if the weather permits. But it is also the day that changed our family. That winded us, collectively. It is a trial that binds us, but still haunts us.
She was my aunt. Not my mother, daughter, or sister. But in a family as closely knit as mine, she might as well have been.
I cannot forget the guttural cries of protest, the slumped shoulders. I cannot forget the pain that sliced us on that day.
And we cannot forget that she was taken prematurely. That somebody took her life into his cold hands, and snuffed it out. And, in that same moment, took a part of our trust in our fellow man, in the justice system. Took a part of our security.
She loved lavender. She protected her children like a lioness. She was a petite lady with grace and poise. She was an artist.
She reminds me to be gentle with mourning families in hospital.
I cannot forget. And I do not wish to.