My brother

A small, black leather wallet. Used, worn and carrying the scent of the jeans my brother used to wear.

A plectrum, faded by the many songs he played on his bass guitar.

Memories. Too many to fill my mind at once.

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Love. Too deep to ever forget he was my brother, my only sibling.

Photographs receiving a kiss from him at the age of 4. Another one, his arm around me in the back garden in Belgium. His joking around, warm and catchy like a summer’s breeze in Ireland. His broad smile standing at U2’s recording studios in Dublin.

How does a mother ever get over the death of her firstborn?

How do I deal with his legacy?

I do not want him gone, I need him here.

His voice a forgotten memory. I cannot recall his voice.

His treatment for a tumour in his brain on the day I heard I had a high probability of having MS. Our brains acting out on the same side of our faces, with similar symptoms. His illness treated that day, mine with me forever. The wheel of fortune favoured him that day, and I am still glad it did.

We never fought. We never answered each other’s comments by slamming doors and walking away. We talked.

We talked, but not enough.

His love and joy for his children; no man sweeter than my brother. The tears when my niece arrived, the twinkle in his eye when his son was born.

Grief, a tear in my mind when others talk about their brother. A hug, an embrace I cannot feel anymore. A future we will not share anymore.

There is a silence I cannot place, memories that are beginning to fade.

The silence he leaves behind, follows me in places in Ireland I know he would have loved, places he would return to time after time.

Will I ever see him again?

Will I ever hear his voice again?

I cannot recall his voice.

Smiling Broere Xmas 2006


©Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me, 2011-2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Willeke Van Eeckhoutte and Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Writer of irelandms.com | Everyday Health Top 10 MS Blog of 2018 | Feedspot Top 50 MS Blog 2017, 2018 | Ireland Blog Award Finalist 2014, 2015, 2017 | Contributor to MS Ireland community blog | Contributor to Living Like You, a Novartis sponsored MS blog |

22 thoughts on “My brother

  1. A wonderful tribute and loving memories. He was with you when you penned those words, He can hear your voice, you just can’t hear his. Why was he put on this Earth, with Your family? I hope you find some solace.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It’ll be 7 years soon but it still feels like he passed away yesterday. Lots of memories, lots of love still.

  2. All that’s left of us are memories.
    Sweet thoughts of you.
    I’ll remember all of them.
    Mostly the good times,
    But sometimes a bad one will sneak in.
    Then I’ll remember we pointed at each other, and
    it will become a good memory.
    You wouldn’t think such a small thing
    as our first snowball fight or our last one
    would be important.
    I do.
    I remember them now.
    There are things I’d rather forget,
    But should I ever have the need,
    or start to forget,
    I’ll think of those days,
    and recall the sweet memories
    of you and me and the childhood we shared.

    Written just for you.
    By Debra Bergner

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