Happy 44th birthday, Ed

Dear Ed,

Happy birthday. Today, you would have turned 44 years old. Today if you were alive, I would have made fun of you and called you old for being in your mid 40s. Unfortunately, dumb jokes about age and getting old and white-haired cannot happen since you aren’t here anymore. It’s still strange to me to think that you died 10 years ago. Ten years passed slowly, yet quickly all at the same time. Ten years ago, the thought of bearing children seemed quite far away, but today, Kaia is over 20 months old, thriving and growing right in front of my eyes. Sometimes when I look at her, I become very sad, knowing that the two of you will never meet. And I wonder what kind of relationship you would have had with her, how you would have spoiled her with endless clothes, accessories, and toys, how you would have played with her and read books to her and enjoyed each other’s company.

While it is pointless to think about what could never be, I still think about it quite often. I think about what life would be like if you were still here. I think it goes without saying that if you were still here, our parents would still not get along with you; hell, it’s not like our parents get along beautifully with me, nor did they ever. Their lives were stressed when you were here; their lives are still full of stress, but for reasons I am completely unaware of. I don’t really know if they would have more or less stress with you still here. That is unclear to me since everything for them is always miserable.

This year, I also thought about all my AFSP fundraising efforts in memory of you and if it really meant anything. This is the tenth year that I’ve participated in AFSP’s Out of the Darkness walk and fundraising for it in your honor. As the years have passed, the funds I’ve been able to raise have dwindled, and I can’t really blame people. People are always supportive of a cause when it’s brand new and freshly painful to the person fundraising. But after a while, it gets tiring and old. I do have a number of very loyal and generous donors who have tirelessly given money every single year since the beginning, but I am wondering now if I am asking for too much by continuing this. I work remotely and have been for the last 3 years, and so I haven’t had enough face time with colleagues to really hustle donations the way I used to at my previous two companies. I’m wondering what all of this is actually worth? But I’ll continue it anyway. I hope this is helping SOMEONE out there.

Or maybe I’m just speaking this way because I’m tired. I’m trying to find some meaning in all of this, and I’m not sure it’s identifiable. All I know is: I miss you, and I hate that you aren’t here anymore. I hate that you cannot meet Kaia and that Kaia will never know you. I will dread the day when I finally have to explain to her how you died. I will not enjoy explaining to her what suicide is and why people “do” it. I would also love it if no one could relate to losing a loved one to suicide. But that is a big, big request in a difficult world where we live.

I’m not feeling super optimistic right now, more just exhausted, also because I’ve been sick for about four weeks now, and just feeling like I need a break from life in general. I saw a glimpse of you in my dreams the other night, and for a split second, I actually thought it was real, that you were real again. But it was all gone when I woke up coughing.

I hope you will send me positive vibes from wherever you are. I love you and miss you. Hope you are thinking of us fondly.



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