When June 5th rolled around, I braced myself for a surge of sorrow and grief. June 5th marked the second death anniversary of my brother. It still feels surreal when I type (write/say) that. While I have intellectually understood the fact that he has passed away, it still feels like it didn’t happen.
I still reach for my phone to message him. I still look up sometimes and expect him to suddenly appear. I still imagine him sitting on our sofa and all of us watching TV together. I can totally see and hear him in my mind – knowing how he would respond to things that I was saying, thoughts I would be sharing, events that were happening.
I traveled to be with my parents for a few weeks, making sure that we were together on June 5th. The evening of the 4th we sat together for hours and they told me stories from their childhood. Ahmed would have loved to heard these stories, even if there were some that we had heard before. I had only ever known my parents’ lives in Dhaka after our country’s 1971 independence. It was interesting to hear about life pre-partition/pre-independence – especially as we were in Kolkata at that moment.
June 5th came by and that explosion of pain and sorrow that I was expecting didn’t come. Instead it was the same pain I feel every single day. It was no different. I guess when the sorrow always feels that it’s at a 10 it doesn’t really get much worse. The only thing the date ends up being is a reminder of time passing by.
Going to Bangladesh is never easy for me. While it is home, it’s also not home. I didn’t grow up there. I have family there, but seeing them a couple days each year (sometimes less) makes it hard to develop any real bonds or deep relationships. It’s tough. Nevertheless, there is a certain sense of home when I do visit and having my parents and getting the chance to spend time with my grandmother makes it very special indeed. This time around I spent a lot of time with my family and it was wonderful. It made me realize how valuable time is and how priceless these moments are.
I didn’t take too many pictures this time around, but here are a few from my trip: