Tuesday, 24 July 2012

brother love

I haven't had much to say for the past few weeks. I'm a little distracted. One of my older brothers has terminal cancer, discovered only a couple of months ago, when a cough hung around for a bit too long. It's been a shock to our family and something that we have not had to deal with before. We are obviously all trying to remain positive and hope for a miracle, but it's up and down...

This post isn't to attract sympathy. I just need to off load. I am consumed by so many mixed emotions and memories and feelings, it feels better to write it down. More than anything else I feel like we are all in limbo, with a sad little cloud hanging over everything we do.

This is when families need to be together, to support each other and just be together. But life keeps going and the mundane routine of work and school continues. So it's hard to just drop everything and go to him. And just popping in to see him for an hour or two every other day is unfortunately impossible, as it's a 22 hour plane journey. That makes it hard, as I want to see him, I want to give him a cuddle and feel his skin on mine, to look into his eyes and say all the things that I can't put into words.

Part of the process of emigrating to another country, leaving my family behind, has been to switch off emotionally. A wall goes up, so that you don't miss the people you have left behind. Self preservation I guess. The need to get on with your life. It's all for the greater good. But at times like this, it's not so easy, letting that guard down.

I always knew this would be the hard bit. Living so far away, literally the other side of the world, when someone you love is ill. And, as we all get older it's inevitable that people are going to get sick and die, and that this will happen again and again.

But the strangest thing of all is that I still can't really believe it is happening. I am still in shock. I keep shaking my head and wondering why and how this has happened. Why now, to my brother? I never thought it would happen to him. It makes my head spin to even think about how he feels and what he's going through. The physical and emotional pain, the not knowing. That life might end too soon. It's awful and scary and sad.

It should put things into perspective shouldn't it? A reminder of what's important in life, to live life to the full and not put things off. But instead I find myself just feeling vacant and asking myself what it's all about. Life. Death. How insignificant we are. That one minute you are alive and breathing and the next gone, and that's it. Story over. A whole life of wants and dreams and feelings and experience, gone.

My mum is with my brother. I cannot even begin to understand how this must be for her.

I know that millions of people are going through this all over the world, on a daily basis, and my heart goes out to them all.

To my brother. I love you. You are my big brother. You always will be. You are part of me. Part of my life, my memories. I want to you to get better and keep the shaved head, because it suits you, makes your eyes stand out. I want you to do all the silly things that annoyed me so much as a little girl. I want to walk along the beach with you, in the sun, and to nag you about not wearing sunscreen and a hat. I want to watch you eating the  meat pies you love so much, making my kids laugh when you say they are made of poo.  I just want you here, always. To know you are around, somewhere just going about your business. I don't want to you to go. Please get better. Love, your little sister x

image source: eddiessolitude.blogspot.com


  1. So incredibly beautiful - quietly sobbing my heart out right now xxxx.

  2. so sorry about your brother, it is such a heartbreaking thing for your family to go through