It’s Christmas time again, and the second Christmas when Ed won’t be around. Although Christmas is my favorite time of the year, it’s now always going to be one of those bittersweet times because he will never be here again. Even if I ever wanted to spend Christmas at home with him, the option is now gone. This season, it’s even more frustrating and conflicting for me given my dad’s recent heart surgery and his recovery, and my mother trying to make me feel guilty for not being home during this time and instead flying off to Australia. Ed’s void is even more painfully apparent to me.
For so many people everywhere, Christmas and this entire “holiday season” is such a source of stress because they have to “deal” with family that they don’t particularly get along with that well. It’s a time when all your frustrations start coming to the surface and you finally have to face them head on. It’s a really sad thing because in theory, these holidays are supposed to bring people together to be thankful and ultimately show their love for one another. Although I haven’t spent Christmas with blood relatives in now three years, I always am reminded at this time of year of all of our tensions, the things Ed and I expected our mother to explode at us for, the arguments she and my dad would pick at us for participating in meals with my cousins, some of which they said acted like “kings and queens” because they would never help with the clean-up or the dishes. None of those things are an issue anymore because those events no longer happen, but the ghost of those events still continue to haunt me.
When I look back, I wish I could have had just one really happy Christmas with my brother — just one. It would be one Christmas where no one yelled at us for anything nonsensical or overly sensitive, no one put him down and told him that “people look down on us because of you,” where people gave him gifts that they really thought he’d enjoy, not just gifts for the sake of giving that had no thought. It would be a Christmas where we actually had a real tree again, fully decorated with rainbow colored lights and all the gorgeous Christmas ornaments he so tastefully used to pick out for me.
Christmas is Ed’s favorite holiday. I feel him a lot around this time, and it hurts. It hurts that the world doesn’t stop to remember him.