Big step for me today. I moved my late brother’s whatsapp messages to the archive! Not deleted… just archived.
This may not sound like anything huge, but since I lost him in 2013, these messages cheer me up when I find myself thinking about how much I miss him & feel down in the dumps because of it. After he passed, I had lost half of my family to cancer – mom, dad, and then brother. It’s actually surreal just typing that. You plod along with life, days become weeks & before you know it, years have passed. Though, that gaping hole remains. So often people tell you “time will ease the pain” or the cliché “time heals all wounds” or “it’ll get easier” That’s such bullshit! In my experience, time has allowed me to remember them more easily without bawling my eyes out. I’ve gotten to a point where I can think about them and smile. Remember things we did or things they used to say & actually giggle. But easy? Are you kidding me? There’s nothing easy about not having parents & losing a sibling whom you were so tight with. Not sharing your life with them.
My brother, Deon, & I were the last in the family home after my 2 other brothers and sister got married & began their lives. Deon was an absolute joy! Everywhere he went, he formed connections with people. People loved him. He was always happy & jolly. To the point where it would irritate me 🙂 He would take his last pennies out his pockets to help someone in need. We had quite an age gap, so when he was getting ready on a Friday night for a party, I would be in PJ’s asking a million questions about where he was going, etc. So often, he’d feel sorry for me & pop out to the shops to surprise me with some snacks, watch a movie with me or MacGyver on the telly (I even convinced myself he looked like MacGyver) before heading out. He was always willing to help. As I got older, he was always championing me to live out my dreams & “go for it babes” as he’d say. These are the kind of memories that make me smile.
The cancer came out of nowhere. He went for an op on his arm & a week later had been diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer. Do you think that got him down? Hell no! I’m sure it took its toll on him, but he never let us see it. Always positive, happy. So when he started saying he was tired, when we started noticing him cringing with pain & just disappearing to the bedroom, we knew it was real, and bad. At one stage, he said “I’ll just have to ride this out & hope for the best” This was weeks before he passed, just a year after being diagnosed and just 6 weeks after we lost my father too. 2013 was not a kind year at all.
I miss you terribly Deon. I can say that without the tears welling up as much as before.
I promise you I will live out my dreams. I am quite the dreamer!
He was a die-hard Liverpool fan & I chose to play their song at his funeral…
When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone
For my brother, Deon