It’s July 23rd…

It’s July 23rd…

Today is Mirah’s 26th birthday. If she were still here, I know she’d be hyped for the day and the night’s festivities. I’d call her at 11:59 p.m. to be one of the first to wish her a happy birthday and would text her “7/23 at 7:23” with a purple heart and cake emoji.Since her passing, I started going into a space whenever her birthday or the day she passed is near. Maybe its my subconscious picking up on the anxiety I’ll be feeling soon. Maybe its my conscious mind picking up on feelings I never addressed that are in my head daily. Whatever it is, I’m here. It’s Mirah’s birthday. And she’s gone.

A trip to San Francisco back in March brought healing… or at least initiated the process. For the first time since February 12, 2015, I was able to acknowledge, teary-eyed and all, that she’s no longer here. In that moment of acceptance, initiated by two of my aunts, I felt my shoulders get a little lighter. For the longest time, my focus was making sure everyone I knew that knew Mirah was alright. Or as alright as one could be considering her passing came as a shock to us all. That was my way of coping. If I focused on everyone else, then maybe I wouldn’t need to heal myself. I was wrong. While everyone else adjusted to life without her, or found ways to deal, I remained a prisoner to my own broken heart and refused to let her go.

Her passing left me vulnerable and exposed in a way I had never been before. Too many people had access to me, mostly people who didn’t earn my space. Thinking back, 3 years later, I tried filling that empty space that she left behind. It couldn’t be done, so I shut down. I suppressed my hurt and masked my pain until life forced it out of me. Until friends forced it out of me. Until Amirah forced it out of me. There I was, home alone nested on the bathroom floor bawling. In that moment I was broken and was forced to finally feel.

So here I am on 7/23 celebrating Mirah’s 26th birthday without her. For sure I’ll cry today, but these tears will wash away the hurt and hopefully bring joy. I’m glad to have had such a great friend + sister for as long as I had her. We shared some very private moments on our journey together, and I’ll carry every lesson, every laugh, every tear, with me as I continue on this road. Faveee, I love you forever and back. Happy Birthday Pretty Girl 💜🎂

Yolanda Danae’