7 years later.

Dear Ed,

Seven years. You’d think it would have passed by slower than it has, but it actually seems like just yesterday when you left us. I don’t even know what to say anymore. I’d like to say that I’ve learned a lot since you died, but I’m not totally sure that’s even accurate. I feel like a lot about my life has been at a stand still. I’ve tried really hard to maintain my integrity, to keep with my values, to be my genuine self. But I feel like that is just being chipped away slowly working in the corporate world. I’m tired of the pressure to suck up to people I don’t like or care about. I’m sick of the backstabbing, the lying, the fabrication of stories. I’m sick of the HR gaslighting, the racial injustice, the white fragility constantly on exhibit at work where no one does a single thing to address the issues at hand. I’m tired of not being recognized for my achievements, and instead, having them be overlooked simply because others choose to be louder and flaunt their pointless and revenue-less activities. It’s no wonder you rejected the corporate world, the idea of just being another rat in the rat race. There’s no value in the work that we do. Who cares about making rich people richer, about getting acquired, about going public? At the end of the day, we are all disposable, and the work we have poured ourselves into will be forgotten. No one ever wrote on their tomb stone the number of upsells or deals they worked on or sold. No one’s eulogy ever talked about the success playbook they wrote for a scaling startup based in San Francisco. All of this work is meaningless at the end of the day. The only thing that really matters are the relationships we take away from this white supremacist, capitalistic society we live in.

In the last year, though, I think you’d be excited. I’ve been actively working on Yvonne meets Food. You’d be so happy for me with my YouTube channel. It may not do much now in terms of money, but it’s part of my passion and a part of my future. I’m now at 205 subscribers, which is still small, but hopefully, fingers crossed, it will only grow. I actually can see your face light up now when I think about how you’d react at the work I’ve been doing on the channel, and even all the time I’ve spent learning how to video edit.

I honestly don’t know if I’ve done anything else in the last year you’d be happy about. I’ve thought about it, and I just cannot come up with anything. I haven’t spoken with our mother since the end of February. She falsely accused me of speaking ill about her to our aunt, and I refused to tolerate her false accusations and constant comparisons anymore. It seems a bit abrupt to stop talking to her about this, but this was truly years and years in the making. I’ve really had enough of the constant criticism, the constant false accusations, the constant comparisons to our oldest cousin, who she sees as the “ideal child.” I know you can relate to this. I’m 34 years old. I just can’t take any more of this negativity. She can call me whenever she wants to apologize. She won’t do it. So the ball is really in her court. If we never speak again, while I may feel sad about it, I will not regret that I chose this path. She did wrong, and she needs to acknowledge it. She should acknowledge her wrong for the both of us.

In that moment on the phone when she started comparing me to our oldest cousin, I immediately thought about how she constantly compared you to all our older cousins from everything to grades to school to college to attitudes. It makes me sick to the stomach to remember all this toxicity. I don’t know how you put up with it for so long… too long. I’m sorry I didn’t help you enough. I’m sorry I didn’t defend you enough. I was young, naive, powerless… she does the same to me and always has, but never to the degree she did it with you.

I thought about you a lot during the worst points of the pandemic here in New York, in the U.S. I thought about how miserable your life would have been if you had still be alive and at home with our parents. Just the mere thought of it made me angry. I can’t imagine you being under the same roof as them and not being able to go anywhere other than the grocery store. That would have been like a different type of suicide.

We like to think our lives move forward, that we move on. But I haven’t really moved on from your death. I woke up in the middle of the night a few nights ago thinking you were still alive, and that I had to call you. And when reality sank in that you were gone, I felt sullen and immediately went back to bed. This happens to me occasionally. I can’t really help it.

I want to talk to you all the time, to tell you about things I’ve made, what I’m filming, what I want to do next. But I can’t. I’ve considered going to a medium to talk to you, but when I think about it more, it seems pretty ridiculous because she’s probably going to rip me off, and I’d likely not really be talking to *you* you. It sounds childish for me to keep saying this, but life just isn’t fair. It’s not fair that people like you have to suffer and die and others who are just awful, toxic, two-faced human beings can continue on this earth, seemingly thriving and conniving through life. It is not fair. But, I have to keep going. I think about revenge for all the people who have wronged you, have wronged me, but I realize it’s all pointless.

It’s why I feel like I have no more words to say. I just feel sad and angry about so many things – the state of our world, the state of the working world, the state of the world without you in it with me. This world really sucks right now. It’s like there is nothing to look forward to.

So… when do I get to see you again? You haven’t showed up in my dreams in a while, and you seem to do that to be a bit of a jerk. You are my brother, after all. Can you come swing by for a little? I really need a hug from you right now. I hope you are doing well, and that your mind is clear and free from any negativity. Hope to see you soon.



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