This may be confronting and very painful for some people. If it hurts you, I’m sorry.
I had… Have a little brother. He died when I was five. He would have turned 19 this year. Instead, he’ll always be 10 months old.
I don’t remember much about him. I remember the house we lived in. I remember it was two weeks before Christmas. I got Roller Blades that Christmas. They were awesome.
Santa still bought him three toys that year. He got a Tonka Truck, a big, bright yellow metal dump truck. A pull along spider that has wheels for feet that are uneven so it wobbles around when you pull it. And a drum.
My own son has The Tonka Truck now. My Dad gave it to him for his first Christmas. Because he never got to have a first Christmas with his own son.
I remember the funeral. His casket was so tiny and white. It had silver bits on the outside. The bunch of flowers was as big as it. My uncle David was doing a reading and he was crying. He couldn’t finish it, he was crying too much. He would have been 15 or 16…
They played Little Drummer Boy at his funeral. I still tear up when I hear that song at Christmas.
At the cemetery my Mum asked me to ask the Priest for the Rosary beads off the coffin before they lowered him. I didn’t want to, but she made me do it. They were dark blue. Pretty, very shiny. Silver links between them. I didn’t understand why we had to put him in the ground.
At the wake, I sat in a chair at my Nanna’s house and ate a whole bowl of mint leaf lollies. No one yelled at me or told me not to.
I was convinced I was there, at the hospital, when we found out that he didn’t make it. I had it all visualised. The office we were in, the chairs I was sitting on, the doors swinging open. Right down to the posters on the wall. I remember the Doctor saying “We’re so sorry…” And Mum collapsing into Dad, crying. I don’t know if any of that happened. I wasn’t there. But I think we were told so little about it, it was how my brain processed it. Made it’s own memories for my brother, even if they weren’t ones I really wanted.
Dad bought him a hugging monkey when he was born. A massive big fluffy grey monkey with Velcro on it’s paws. I used to love putting that around me and cuddling it back, pretending he knew I was cuddling him and he was cuddling me, too.
It still shocks me. A little while ago I was looking through some things. A photo of Adam fell out. After he had died. Before they did the autopsy. My son would have looked so much like his uncle.
I wish I could have had him. To tease. To beat up. To love. To cuddle.
I wish my parents could have had him to give him his Tonka Truck. To see him walk. To hear his laugh one more time.
God I miss my brother.