It’s been six years since the very first time December 18th became a big day for us. Big in sadness, in loss, in remembrance and in reflection. Every year, on December 18th, we become a little more subdued, a little less animated, a lot more aware of what happened back in 2010 when you left us, suddenly, without warning, without even the thought of a goodbye. This year, we thought we could try and celebrate. This year, we attempted to use December 18th as a day of happiness, to kick off my wedding.
That’s right. I’m getting married. Can you believe it? I, your snotty-faced spectacled little sister who you caught eating Nutella out of the jar with a knife, am all grown up and getting married. It’s more than not okay that you’re not around for any of it. I can picture you around all the festivities, having a good time, sharing a laugh or two, mocking something or the other, and ultimately, walking me down the aisle with everyone. But all I can do is make do with old, faded memories and the dear hope that you really are around here somewhere, smiling with us and having a third helping of kheer.
Our attempt today to make December 18th something other than a sad day wasn’t as successful as we’d deluded ourselves into thinking it could be. Overall, the house was filled with laughter and music and prayers for a blessed future but there were moments in which your absence was as painfully felt as an open wound. There were moments when Ami broke down, and later Abu, and it was all I could do to not follow suit. All this happiness sometimes doesn’t sit quite right, it’s incomplete and the tragedy of this realization truly is overwhelming for all of us right now. We’re not quite the same, and we haven’t been since you left.
Sometimes, i miss you so much that the only way I can stay sane is to force myself to stop thinking altogether. I wish you were around to help us with all the wedding arrangements – you’d have such a great time in all the revelry and the late nights. I wish you were here to hand me off to my future husband – you’re both the same height and all I can do is just imagine all the pictures you should be in but won’t. I wish you were nearby to help me brainstorm what songs we should play at the events – making playlists just isn’t the same without your input. Most of all, I wish you were here to see your baby sister as a bride – I hope you’re proud of the choice I’ve made.
But since you’re not here, all I’m really left with are these faraway hopes and dream-wishes that I put out into the world in words. That’s all we can really do now, pray hard with eyes that smart with tears and hope with all our heart that you’re enjoying the glorious winds of heaven, strumming a guitar and crooning some old school Vital Signs.
So we try, and we persevere, as we must. It doesn’t mean we love you any less, or don’t miss you anymore. You’re with us all the time, wherever we go. There are some things that won’t ever change. Your place in this family, and in our lives is one of those things. We love you, Bhai, and feel your loss deeply right now. Send us some good vibes and sing a song or two, your baby sister is getting married!