Happy Birthday, Baby Brother

I still remember the day it hit me.

Oddly enough, we were coming by the house to pick out your funeral clothes…and to pick up more stuff for us to wear. Mom couldn’t stand to be in the apartment anymore. Too much hurt, maybe. Or just too many memories. Either way, it was the second time we came back home after getting the news you wouldn’t be coming home with us.

I threw open the door and called out….”Hey, Jonathan!”

I forgot. For one moment, between the car and front door, I really forgot. Until the moment I called out your name. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. You were gone.  I cried….harder than I ever had before. Tears of the heartbroken.

You may have been four years younger, but you were one of my best friends. It was habit. To tell you about my day. To laugh with you. To find out about yours…and I knew you’d be excited to be staying at Auntie Marta’s for a while….except you wouldn’t be there with us. Not ever again.

Just so you know, it’s been 26 years since I last saw you…and I still remember you. Still celebrate your laughter. Still miss your smile. And I try to live each day in a way that brings honor to your memory.

And I’m not alone in my grief. So many others are doing the same thing around the world…because someone desecrated your birthday. I’m glad you weren’t here to see that. It would’ve broken your heart. But you would’ve been proud…of how people rallied to be there for one another. To give comfort. And hope.

So today, I’ll smile through the tears….I’ll be the best me that I can be. Because I know deep down, it’s the best way to honor your memory.

I love you.

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36 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Baby Brother

  1. artisticmilestone says:

    Very heartbreaking Kit. I will not know what to do if any one of my siblings are gone. But I find comfort in knowing that they are now in a better place just feeling grateful for being remembered.

  2. Reflections says:

    Well written and very moving. I nearly lost a brother this year and my whole family is grateful he got another chance at life. I’m sorry for your loss. I’m happy you have your memories. May this day of all days, around the world, come to symbolize Peace.

  3. brickhousechick says:

    Oh, Kitt. Sending you huge and tight hugs right now. It is wonderful how you play tribute to your loving brother on his birthday. What a somber day it must be for you. May you find comfort in the happy memories. xo

  4. Mae Clair says:

    A lovely and emotional tribute, Kitt. It’s so hard to lose a love one, but you obviously keep your brother’s memory burning bright in your heart. I like to think he’s smiling down on you and watching over you even now.

  5. claywatkins says:

    I can only imagine how it must feel. Loss is so difficult and you were young, so young. My wife list her sister this spring and then her dad 2 months later – she’s still reeling…. On her birthday this year my wife was a mess. I can only imagine what it must feel like for you on Jonathan’s birthday every year. Wonderful tribute – peace.

  6. Elizabeth Anne Mitchell says:

    I lost my brother last December, Kitt. I think your way of honoring your brother’s birthday is lovely, and I would love for it to become a day symbolic of peace.

    We are both lucky to have had such brothers. Hugs and love.

    Elizabeth

  7. Melissa says:

    I’m sorry for your loss of your brother. I lost my older brother to Aids 10 years ago, but the loss at times seems so fresh. All it takes is something small to trigger a memory of us growing up or a moment we shared that still makes me smile. I miss him. I wish he could have met my girls. I wish I could simply wrap my arms around him and tell him I love him one more time. I miss playing cards with him and my mom at the kitchen table. Nothing earth shattering, just simply spending time together laughing at him and my mom card sharking each other. I guess it is true as long as we remember them with love they are never truly completely gone. Thank you for sharing such a personal blog with us.

  8. S.J. Maylee says:

    I’m so sorry he’s gone, Kitt. I remember doing something similar after my FIL died. Something came up and I thought Chuck will know what to do. Oh my, talk about feeling like you were hit with a truck. (((BigHugs))) Excuse me while I get a tissue.

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