Nine years later.

Dear Ed,

It’s the 9-year anniversary of when you bid farewell to this earthly world and left all of us. I can’t believe this much time has passed since I last heard your voice, since the last time I saw your face… your sad face. Some days, it feels like an eternity since I last saw you. Other days, it feels like just yesterday.

This time last year, I was pregnant with your little niece. And now, she’s over seven months old, thriving more than I ever could have imagined. She’s crawling, rolling, eating solid food, babbling and laughing. Sometimes, I see you when I look at her face. Sometimes, I imagine what your reaction would be to hear that she was born healthy and safe. I imagine what it would have been like to have you meet her in person for the first time, knowing she’s your little niece, your little sister’s baby. And these thoughts crush me. I try not to think about it too much because it gets me emotional and teary, and since she was born, almost everything makes me want to cry. I guess Kaia’s birth has made me even more in touch with my feelings, especially the sad and happy ones. I wish you could meet her and be a part of her earthly life.

I hope to raise her to be curious, thoughtful, empathetic, generous, and kind. I hope to share stories of you with her so that you will still be a part of her life, even if she will never meet you in person. I’m not sure if she will be able to have the privilege of having a sibling as I did with you, which makes me sad because I know I benefited so much from having you as my sibling in my life. Occasionally, I still have moments when I feel extremely lonely knowing you’re gone, knowing I have no living siblings. I don’t know if Kaia will feel that way if she has no siblings. But I think about the future, about our parents slowly growing older and needing care and support. And though money isn’t an issue for them, someone will need to facilitate all of that. And that burden is on my shoulders… my shoulders alone. It would have been more easy to fathom if you were still here so that we could support each other and grow old through life together. But you’re gone.

My heart is heavy. Kaia’s birth and presence every day is a reminder to me of my own mortality. She reminds me how quickly time is passing. Every minute that passes is another minute closer to death. Every minute gone is another minute lost. Sometimes, I just want to freeze time. Sometimes, I just want to go back in time and see you again, say and do other things to and with you. But I can’t. I won’t be here forever, and one day I’ll join you wherever you are.

Did you ever ask… what is this all worth? Why am I still here? Why do I still want to be here? Or were you so deep in your pit that you just stopped asking questions because the hurt was too much? I get it. I get it. Recently, I’ve been asking myself what I’m doing with my own life, or if I’m making the right decisions, or if I’m doing the best I can for baby Kaia. She gives me a new purpose in life, though. I’ve never realized how happy I could be until she arrived. Now I understand what other mothers say when they say that they can see their hearts beating outside their chests. She’s my little heart.

I will do my best to take the very best care of her and to have your spirit live on through the both of us. You will always be a part of our lives, Ed. I love you forever. Kaia will love you, too.

Love,

Yvonne

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