Sometimes, when I am idle and different thoughts are streaming in my head, I remember the first few seconds when I saw my brother for the first time after he jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. He was alone in the Columbarium hall, lying quietly in his casket with yellow roses sprayed over the top. The casket was half open so you could see him waist up. His glasses were on, and he wore the suit my parents picked out along with a shiny purple tie. It was a surreal experience to see him for the first time in four months, not breathing and completely embalmed..all of our shared blood drained out of him. Chris was at my side holding me as we walked up to him, probably that close in case I fainted and someone needed to catch me. Even though I knew he was dead, seeing him with my own eyes was such an excruciating shock. It was like cold electric sparks seeping through my blood stream and causing my breaths to shorten. And where those electric shocks were not being felt on my body, every other part was numb. The only words to come out of my mouth were, “Oh my god” over and over again.
That was the second worst moment of my life, with the first being when I found out he was really gone from this world. In both of those moments, I remember all these morbid thoughts going through my mind, like if someone just decided to run over me in their car or shoot me in the head, it would be okay because I could join Ed in heaven and see him sooner. At least I’ve had experiences I’d been really happy about that I felt enriched my life, like traveling to Asia and Europe, graduating from college, living in another city, falling in love, having a group of close friends. In those moments, I kept thinking about how Ed never had any of that and how much I hated that he didn’t. It just isn’t fair, and I keep thinking about it without even realizing it, and I catch myself.
I can still see his face from that day of his service. It often flashes in my mind when I least expect it. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or bad, but the one thing that is for sure is it always brings a sinking sensation.