Happy birthday, Bhaiya.
I woke up today expecting to be emotionally incapacitated as I am every year on February 10th. Expecting to be awash in tears of misery and anger and the terrible grief that has coursed through my veins every single day since Your passing.
Yet I was not.
Instead, I found myself thinking of You fondly. The memories we shared whilst You drew breath, ones filled with the resonant score of Your laughter; ones that adorned the walls of my loneliness with comfort and wisdom; ones that always lit the path for me in the sea of darkness that enveloped me on the day we put You into the ground.
The more that I lost myself in these vibrant thoughts of moments that I cherish so carefully, the more that I realised today isn’t only Your day of birth. It’s also the day that I died.
Exactly one year ago, my heart was stopped for treatment. During that short span, You can to me in a room of black. Aglow in Your peace and Your presence, You offered me Your hand. I reached for it. Tears painted my cheeks as hope finally bloomed where my heart should’ve been. Lifting my fragile limb, I reached for it. I reached for You. I thought I was ready. God, I so wanted to be ready.
But then You took a step back. You withdrew from me. Wielding a sad smile, You slowly dropped Your arm and took another step away, then another and yet another. I tried to move towards You, but I could not. My feet were stuck in the muck of black as I watched You retreat. You glanced to me all but once and whispered words I shouldn’t have been able to hear. But they reached me, like a whisper upon my ears, they sang into my heart and my soul as a requiem.
“It is not your time.”
I cried, desperate in my vision of You after so many years.
“There is still much left for you to do.”
My legs ached with unfathomable agony as I tried and tried to move towards You, to give chase to the dream, the ghost, the being that has haunted me for the last decade.
“There’s still someone that you must help.”
I finally dropped my hand, knowing it was futile. You were always impossible to talk to once You had made up Your mind. The choices set in the stone of God.
“I will see you again. When I do, I will take you with me.”
That day changed my life. Somewhere deep inside of all the corrupt ooze of my mourning, I found solace. I found a warmth that I believed had abandoned me the last day that You called out my name. The very last time I would ever hear Your voice. Since then I have been walking in this illusion of existence. Even so, one year ago today, You came to me in death, gave me life, and faded into the gloom.
I should be far more melancholy today than I have ever been. I should feel the depth of Your loss down into the hollows of my bones. My eyes should bleed with the yearning for my closest confidante, my truest and bestest friend in the whole of this despicable universe.
Yet I do not.
While I feel Your loss more intensely than I ever have, I also feel a great sense of hope. My world doesn’t feel like it’s blanketed in the pitch shadowy oceans of helplessness and futility. The shards of my broken will and intent no longer adorn the path before me. The arctic basking of loneliness no longer embraces me so.
While I feel the emptiness of Your loss in everything around me as if Your death had only occurred moments ago, I no longer want to join You so wantonly.
One year ago, You came to me in death and gave me faith. You can call it magic. You can name it the fantasies of a grief-stricken buffoon. You may entitle it however You feel is necessary. It doesn’t change the fact that in all these years while I have suffered in my feelings of loneliness and longing without You, I don’t believe You ever truly left me. You and Boss Man, together, have been watching over me, trying Your damndest to guide me through the stubborn and prideful nature of my sorrow. You never gave up hope on me, even when I sure as fuck gave up on myself.
This is why.
This is why I cannot anguish as I have been.
Seeing You again, even in the blank, ebon canvas of dream and death; to hear Your voice and to see Your face; to know that You are waiting for me as I have been waiting for You; it brings me comfort. It gives me the sustenance I need to nurture my future. I do as much as I can, to fulfil whatever plans Boss Man, and You, may have for me. So that one day, I can find my way back to You. So that when the times come, I shall be ready, and You shall not turn away again.
So, happy birthday, Bhaiya. Happy birthday, and thank You. Thank You for always being my brother. My family. My one and only supporter in this chaotic shite known as Life and the World. Thank You for always watching over me, for caring for me. For being the only person to have ever loved me so.
I shall not bask in misery this day and this night. Rather, I shall embrace the life You have given to me and the essence of the joys we have shared so that I may celebrate everything You were, everything that You are, and everything that You shall be in this gift departed.
I love You with every ounce of will that I have remaining.
Happy birthday, dearest brother of mine. May You rest well, until we meet again.