Tomorrow, I turn 29. That’s one year closer to 30 for me, and the first full year gone by of being 28 and without a living brother. I spent about half of age 27 with Ed, none of age 28, and none of any future year will be spent with him alive.

It’s a weird feeling, to think that every year I am getting older, but every year, he stays the same age. Yes, in my head, each year I celebrate his birthday. Last year, I wished him a happy 35th birthday. But we all know he’s not getting any older. His age will remain the same forever. Thirty-three years and about 11 months, just one month shy of turning a ripe old 34 is him. Each year, my face will change, my body will change, and my hair will change. In four years, I will be the age he was when he died. I already know I will feel sick. I will think, Hey, Ed! It’s me! We’re the same age now! Who would have ever thought this would happen?!

Well, no one. It’s not normal to reach the same age as your older brother. It’s a void that always resurfaces when we get to his birthday, his death date, Christmas, and my birthday. Sadly, my birthday is another reminder every year that Ed is no longer here, and he’s the one person I know for certain will not be reaching out to me to say “happy birthday” ever again.

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