If Ed were a ghost, he’d be a friendly one. I know this because whenever I come back to our house in San Francisco, although the air is cold and slightly damp, it never feels hostile the way you think it would if someone who once lived here committed suicide. The room we once shared growing up seems bright and warm. I know his energy still lingers all over this house, but especially in areas where he spent a lot of time, such as on the long couch in the living room, his desk in the dining room, and his bed in our bedroom, which we kept because my mom couldn’t bear to give it up. After all this time, it’s not like the energy of a dead person that lingers, but rather the energy of someone who is still alive and out there, somewhere.
Since he passed away, every time I’ve come home, one of the first things I do is dust and sponge clean his old dresser in our room. I clean his framed photo and dust the vases. I sponge off the top surface of the dresser as though it’s never been wiped before. It’s where my mom displays the large framed photograph of him that we had up during his funeral. It’s surrounded by two vases, two orchid plants that were given to us when he passed, and a koala stuffed animal I bought in Melbourne. I also leave his service program up there. I noticed that one of the orchids is actually budding right now and about to bloom. Maybe it senses that Ed’s two-year anniversary mark is coming, so it’s time to start flowering.
I’m not fully sure how I developed this routine. I think I became a little obsessive about doing it because in some way, it felt like a way that I was acknowledging him, like, “Hey, Ed! I’m home! I’m here! Can you see me now? I’m touching you! I’m cleaning after you like I did when you were alive!” I always want to see and communicate with him, so maybe this is my weird way of attempting to be more in-your-face with him, even though his face clearly isn’t here.
Two damn years. I still can’t believe it.