I had… Have a little brother.

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.


17 thoughts on “I had… Have a little brother.

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss. My next door Neighbour went through a similiar thing. It has been devasting. Her daughter was 6 when she lost her 5 yr old brother. Now she’s 11 she just lost a baby sister.(Stillborn) she’s lucky she’s still has a 41/2 year old brother. But I can’t help but think what went thru her mind! God Bless!

  2. I know you have wanted me to write this story down for so long but ii is still very fresh. Even after 19years I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember the last cry I heard from him as they sent me from the room as they tried to save him I should never have left him. To the day I die I will remember that cry. It is the last living memory I have of our beautiful Adam. I wish he were here for all of us I love you girls more than anything

  3. Dearest family, I was not there with you, but everytime we go to visit my sister-in-law we always visit Adam and take him flowers.
    So even though you are far away, he is never forgotten. Love to you all aunty Max. XXXX

  4. Sitting in car at school pick-up just crying. A beautiful post about all the years unlived. How terribly sad for your family. What a beautiful gesture fir your dad to give your son that Tonja truck. xxx

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