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:
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.