Thursday, 25 October 2012

My Amazing Brother

I can't help but be proud of Jalen.  He has always been a great big brother to all of his brothers, but especially to Noah.  He loved him right from the start.

He always knew right from the start that Noah's life would be short.  As Noah got older he became more and more aware that there wasn't much time left with him.  On Noah's tenth birthday Jay got very emotional and said to me that he knew that Noah may not be around for much longer. I played it down and said that we will just have to wait and see, but deep down I knew it was the truth too.

On the 12 month anniversary of Noah passing away, Jalen posted this as his status on Facebook.  He made me so proud that he still talks about what an influence Noah had on his life.  He said the same things in his talk at Noah's funeral.

A couple of weeks ago Jay said to me that he wondered what it felt like to 'be normal'.  I asked him what he meant and he said that his whole life he has thought about someone dying.  He always knew that Noah would die one day and had it in the back of his mind that one day he would have to say goodbye to him.  Then Noah passed away and then Aaron and he said his whole life he has had to think about death and he wondered what it was like to not have to think about it. 

I reminded him that everyone has something that they worry about, even if you may not know what it is. It may not be that they have to worry that someone they love is going to die, but it is still hard.  I also reminded him that even though we knew that Noah was going to die one day, that we wouldn't give up having him. 

It's nice to know that he agreed.   I'm so proud of him for the way that he can see that having a brother like Noah is a blessing, even though there are hard things about it as well.  I have no doubt that Jay wouldn't be the person he is today without having Noah as a brother.

p.s If you've never had the chance to go to a TOFW event or would like to participate again then you're in luck because this weekend (Friday and Saturday USA time) for the first time ever they are steaming TOFW live from SLC, Utah for FREE.  If you are like me and would prefer to watch it during daylight hours (if only there was no time difference between Tassie and SLC!) or when the kids are quiet and in bed, then it will be online for the next week.

Just go here to register before the event starts.


  1. And what a great brother he is.


  2. He will grow to be a wonderful man as his father - from how you write about them both.

  3. He sounds just as amazing as Noah. Such a great deal of adult concepts he has had to process.

  4. Jay sounds like an amazing guy and I agree, one day be a fabulous man like his father was.

  5. Elizabeth in South Carolina,USA25 October 2012 at 13:39

    Yes, I know Jay is a much better brother for having Noah in his life. When he reunites with Noah, it won't even feel that they have been apart! Noah will ALWAYS be his brother and he will always be Noah's brother...forever. How wonderful!

    I am already registered for the TOFW! I got an email about it the other day. I went to one back in 2006 with my daughter and it was SO good! Can't wait to watch this one! John Bytheway is especially good!

  6. Some kids are just so wise beyond their years. You are so blessed.

  7. Jae is wise beyond his years, and he has learnt compassion and empathy that is beyond a lot of people.
    You have every right to be proud of him.
    I love him very much.
    Love Mum.

  8. Dear Jalen,

    I was deeply moved by your comment about wondering what it would be like "to be normal" and not to have always thought about death.

    That is such a profound thought, and it never occurred to me that a kid in your position (at least, before the death of your Dad, which no could have imagined) would have that thought, but then, after I considered it, it makes perfect sense.

    There are so many trite things that could be said to you, all of which are true- that these losses make your more empathetic, more wise, etc. Also that you have learned to make each day count and to be more grateful for life.

    All those things are true, although I bet you would give back every one of those traits to have not had the losses you have had. They were very hard earned, dear boy, and with a price that even I, an adult, cannot even imagine having to bear.

    One other thing you have gained, although at great cost, is the ability to discern what is temporary pain vs lasting pain. Not the "ouch" pain but the "Oh my gosh, this is such a pain in the A$$" pain. You know not to sweat the small stuff. So much in this life IS the small stuff, even though it can seem really big and insurmountable at the time.

    You are a remarkable kid and I have no doubt that you were before the loss of your brother and your Dad as well. Your task will be to not define yourself (or let others define you) by your losses but by who you are. You have a light in you, Jalen, and it burns brightly. It may have been dimmed recently, but it's still there. You have tons of people who believe in you and know that you are going to go on to do many great things. I will not be surprised to be reading your name in the papers in America about ten years from now.

    Go forth and shine, Jay. We're all behind you.

  9. It's true what Leeann said. Your family's story is a hard one, but the reason we come back to read more is because you are so remarkable. Each of you. I've read back before Noah and your dad passed away, and you have always been...well, for lack of a better word...awesome. We are rooting for you and I tell you what, I love watching you grow and can hardly wait to see what you become. Your dad and Noah have got to be so proud of you.

  10. What amazing boys you have.


We are so grateful for everyone's love and support, and appreciate your comments xoxo

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