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The first three months of the year

I sit up past midnight for the third night in a row, hours past when I am normally sound asleep. I rack my brains for what the difference is but I can’t think what it is. I’ve been waking at 5am like normal when my alarm goes off, exercising each day, maintaining my (very small) caffeine intake, journalling before bedtime to get the day’s thoughts and events out of my head. There’s no reason for my sleeplessness.

But it’s a new year. January with my birthday, March with the anniversary of Red Twin’s death. The first three months are heavy. And so, I stop sleeping well.

This will be my third birthday which is ‘mine’ not ‘ours’. It’s almost like the count stopped and re-started, like it is a nonsense to say I’ll be 38. I think of it more like 35 + 3. Before and after.

I still don’t know what grammar tense to use when talking about being a twin. Because I still talk about her even though it makes people uncomfortable. I still want to talk about her.

I still look down at my side with a sense of puzzlement. There is a conversation I should be having, advice I should be receiving, jokes we should be re-sharing but she is not there so none of that happens. I am still reaching for something – someone – who is gone.

I am still a puddle every time I hear ‘King of Kings‘ by Hillsong because of the line:

For the love of Jesus Christ
Who has resurrected me

For all that she and I no longer share, the idea that there is something we do share and participate in – the resurrection – is a comfort.

This year there’s been a lot of talk about survival. We got through 2020! But what does it mean to survive? What does it mean to get through? I see ahead my birthday and the anniversary of Red Twin’s death, coming in quick succession less than two months apart and neither feel like an achievement. It just feels like the sun went down and came up again and again, and I kept going to sleep (or not) and waking up because it didn’t know how to do anything else and it happened enough times that now we’re here.

I don’t even have anything much to say about that. What is there to say? You just go on, one foot in front of the other, sleeping or not sleeping and after March 22 my body will work something out, release something, and things will settle down for a bit. It’s not a problem to fix, it’s a tunnel to walk through. The first three months of the year.

Categories: Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

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