Six years since.

Dear Ed,

As we approached this date, I was in denial that it had really been six years that have passed since you died. I don’t know if it’s my heart and my mind’s way of not getting over you, but I still don’t really think you’re dead. Realistically, I know you are gone, but in my body, I do not feel this is the case. You still feel very much alive to me; maybe it’s just my internal organs’ way of denying the truth of your death. Or, maybe it’s my body’s way of saying that it is fully aware that a part of you still exists out there and is still connected to me.

It was hard this year for me to turn 33. It doesn’t seem like a particularly remarkable age or number, nor is it considered some milestone age. But the core reason is that I didn’t really think it made sense to be turning the same age as you were when you took your own life and died. At age 33, I have lived a very different life than you had, and in many ways, I felt like I wasn’t that worthy of what I had, that it would have been better if you had at least enjoyed half of the privileges and experiences I’ve been so lucky to have. Our lives were not even at all. And how could I possibly be the same age as my big brother? I kept asking myself. None of that makes sense at all. The whole point is that you’re supposed to be my older brother. That means you are older than me. But now, you aren’t. I couldn’t wrap myself around this. I just felt so upset. Logically, it makes sense. But I still didn’t want to accept this.

They say that everything heals in time. Grief eventually is replaced by gratitude, it is often said. Yes, I am grateful for our time together. I am grateful for having you in my life as my big brother. But I don’t think I will ever fully heal from your death… your untimely death, your suffering, your pain. I’ll be honest and say that as time goes on, the more and more I seem to meet people I truly believe are absolutely useless, have no purpose, and are just a waste of space, self-serving, self-seeking, and overly entitled human beings that probably shouldn’t even be called human beings. And then, I think of you, and I think… why do these people get to exist, and you do not? How is that possibly fair? If anyone with half a brain thought about this, there’s no way to rationalize that life is fair. Life is so far from fair that it hurts when I think about this.

Our mom has aged exponentially since your death. I don’t want you to worry about it, but it’s true. It’s like she really just doesn’t care how she looks anymore, puts together the most random pieces of clothing, and walks out of the house. She says, “it doesn’t matter; I’m old now,” as though older people shouldn’t want to look and feel good. She thinks she is somehow undeserving of looking and feeling good. It’s so sad. If you can believe it, she probably worries and panics even more after your passing than before. She really loves you so much, and she occasionally mentions it in quiet moments with me. I know deep down, she blames herself and goes in endless circles thinking about what she could have done differently. I know it doesn’t matter anymore because it won’t change things, but I can tell just from how she talks about you now that she definitely feels this way. She misses you every single day, even if she never fully appreciated you when you were here with us. I am guilty of that, too, though. I think we all are.

You know what is the most frustrating part about all of this? That I know no matter what I say or do, that I will never get to see you again. I still dream that you faked it all and that you never really died, that you faked your death, got a fake dead body and had it stuck in a casket to resemble you. It was never supposed to be like this. I never thought life would end up this way. I never thought I’d be married, living in New York, missing my dead brother who died by suicide. We were supposed to be in it together until the end, Ed. I still remember when our mom used to talk to each of us after we’d have fights when we were little, and insist that we had to find a way to get along and “show love.” Because one day, she said, our parents wouldn’t be around anymore, and we’d only have each other, and we’d have no one else who would unconditionally love us. So we had to look out for each other and stick together. That has been lost now for us, for me. Sometimes, I still feel really lonely when I think about you and how you are gone.

I miss you so much. I love you. I hope you are safe and at peace. I also hope that you still think of me with love. Because that’s the way I think of you, even when you were being annoying and insane like most siblings can be. Please don’t forget me. I’ll never forget about you.

With all my love,

your moi moi Yvonne

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