June 1st, 2020
I hate this day more than any other day of the year. It still feels like only yesterday I lost her, my best friend, my Aily. I replay this day over and over in my head, I can’t stop it, can’t control it. I still wonder if she was scared, if she knew she was dying, if she was at peace with it, if she was in pain….it’s haunting. I remember the moment she died….when Kieran told me to close my eyes….when I literally felt my heart shatter into a million pieces. I remember telling her I love you so much, it’s okay to let go, don’t hold on for me….repeating it until she stopped breathing…Jesus, these memories cut me like a knife, memories that will be with me forever, till the day I die. As I mentioned in a previous post, the beginning of the end happened on my Dad’s birthday in 2018, when she had the strokes and blood clots. Those 2 weeks from the strokes and her death were cruel, unfair, fucking awful to be completely honest. So, for these past two weeks I have been switching between the same emotions, anger, and sadness. Angry that she had to get sick and go through all this shit and sad that I am alone without my other half. I felt like I was losing my mind at times. I have lost myself, who I used to be…..I had to start over…
So many big changes for me this past year, moved back to NM, got my own place, and now a new career. I now work for the police department as an ID fingerprint technician. Finally using that degree!! For the record I really like my new job, I do miss cooking but, I find my new work genuinely fascinating. About a week or two into my new job I broke down sobbing. I realized that I am slowly becoming less and less of who I once was, and it scared the shit out of me. Aily has always known me as Chef Vani, that’s who I was both professionally and personally (she had her own personal chef in me) for all our adult life together. I started to feel like I didn’t recognize myself anymore, she wouldn’t recognize me anymore. I cried my eyes out on the phone with my dad (thank you dad, I know how hard it still is for you to talk about her), feeling so uneasy and guilty about moving on without her. I know, I know; she would want me to move on and be happy, but it’s not as easy as one would think. I know she would be proud of me and she always told me two things: when I went back to school to get my degree, I had the same kind of freak out, who am I if I am not a chef? She always told me, once a chef, always a chef. And as she got sick and we both knew it was terminal, she told me, once a twin, always a twin, no matter what. She was one of the smartest people I ever knew. Even though I know she is looking down on me smiling and proud, I still feel guilty and sad that I am no longer who I once was. Losing her has forever changed me in ways that are difficult to explain. While I am content and settled in my new home and life, I don’t know if I can be genuinely happy, if I ever will. I am not saying I am not pleased with my decisions to move and find a new career; I know this was what was best for me. But there is a sadness, a loneliness that never goes away. It’s like no matter how much I move on, how much I change and grow, there is that huge dark cloud looming over my head, reminding me of the hole in my heart, the loss of the most important person in my life.
I will be working at 4:01 am (3:01 am Seattle time), the exact minute she took her last breath. Now anyone who knows me, knows I really don’t like to cry in front of people (the exception of her Celebration of Life party), but I know it will be inevitable that the tears will fall while I am at work; I did, however, warn my supervisor, I wrote her an email explaining everything. I didn’t want her to think if she saw me crying at my desk it was because of the job. Really didn’t know the best way to address this, not huge into sharing personal stuff at work…but I felt like I did need to give her a heads up. This anniversary will be especially difficult as well, it’s my first one away from all my family, and since we are all self-quarantining, I will be completely alone. I know I will get through this….if I could make it through June 1st, 2018, (which to be totally honest, at times I wasn’t sure if I would), I can make it through anything. But today, today I am allowing myself to be heartbroken and sad. I will listen to sad music, cry, and grieve the loss of my twin and who I once was.
Ofrenda for Aily
Me working graveyard, it was towards the end of the shift….nice red eyes ha ha
some old pics of me and aily: first one is either 11th or 12 grade
Me, Aily, Dad
Aily and Michael in NY….now they are both watching over me
I know I posted this last pic before, but it’s the last pic of Aily I got before shit went south and she absolutely loved her new do. She was so beautiful even when she was sick!