Excerpt 1 - The Useless Guilt
Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Differently. That’s all anyone has spoken about all day. About all the things they could have done differently, had they known. Firstly, what a stupid fucking sentiment to even express. Of course we would have done things differently, had we known. We wouldn’t have led her to her death knowingly now, would we have? Have we?
But what bothers me more about that sentiment is that it is a bold-faced lie. Because chances are we wouldn’t have done things differently in the past, otherwise our respective relationships with Tanya would not have been what they were till her last moments.
If the three siblings didn’t hide each other’s favourite snacks and the TV remote and the Nintendos around the house only for it to end up with someone's chipped tooth, another howling child, and the slamming of doors - then we wouldn’t have been very brotherly-sisterly.
If it wasn’t for her own sick, inappropriate sense of humor, she would never have met her band of obnoxious, loud, equally inappropriate girls that never got Mama’s approval really but gave Tanya her very own family.
If she hadn’t been caught drinking when she was fourteen and all hell had not been raised, then the drink she shared with my parents on her graduation would not have meant much.
If she hadn’t used Michael as a part of a lie to ward off another guy who was hitting on her, she never would have fallen in love.
We can’t just take all of this back now because she died. Or because she killed herself. In every insult ever hurled, in every pinch and bite exchanged, in every “I hate you!”, in every lecture – it’s within all of Tanya’s flawed interactions with us that our love for each other lies. It is those flawed interactions that we curse today, that actually defined our relationship. It could be so ugly because we loved so deeply. I would not take back a single thing I did. I would not change anything I had done.
I just wish I did more.