It's crazy the things that you remember, and what you forget. Today it is 34 years since my brother Daniel passed away. He was nine months old and I was almost six, and I only remember a few things about him, but think I remember more about the actual day that he passed away. It's hard to know now if I do remember things correctly, or if it's just how I think I remember it.
When I got home I remember the lounge room was full of people and it was then that I learned that Daniel had passed away in his sleep from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. I had never seen my Mum and Dad so upset and it scared me because I didn't know what to do.
I hate that even though I was six years old, that I can hardly remember Daniel. I don't know if it was because it was a hard time for our family, that my mind has blocked things out, or if it's just because I have a terrible memory and was young. I feel really sad to know that Harri and particularly Kobe may not remember a lot about Aaron and Noah as time goes on, because Harri was only seven and Kobe was only three. Seven and three! It's so young to lose your brother and Dad.
There are times when I want to look at old photos on my computer, and other times it's just too hard to. Not long ago I was looking at some photos from the days leading up to Aaron's death. This photo just hit me so hard. It was about seven or eight hours before Aaron passed away and we had no idea how that day was going to turn out. I just look at how innocent the boys were and still can't believe that their lives changed forever just after this.
I wonder if they will remember the fun that we had early that day, or if they will just remember the scary things. It's so weird to see Aaron walking around in the back of this photo, knowing that in a few hours things changed.
There are still times now when Harri will say 'I just keep having flashbacks to when Dad was dying' or Jay will tell me something else about that night that I didn't know happened - like that he ran outside and was trying to get away, but my brother Chrish was grabbing him to try to stop him from going.
Kobe still asks me about where he was when Aaron died. I remind him that he was asleep and that I had to tell him in the morning that Dad had died, and he says that he wishes that he was awake because he thinks he missed out on something that we all experienced. We have been telling him how lucky he was that he was asleep because it was scary and sad, and he didn't have to see any of that.
Harri seems to be the one who struggles the most with what happened that night. He talks a lot about waiting for ambulance that was coming to take Aaron's body away, and how he knew when I came in their bedroom that I was going to tell them that Aaron died.
The thing that I remember the most was just being in disbelief and wondering how I could ring family and friends to tell them what had happened. I couldn't even believe it myself, so to actually say the words 'I have some bad news, Aaron just passed away' just didn't make any sense.
I hope as the years go on that the boys won't remember so much the scary things, but unfortunately my own experience tells me that they will probably always remember those things for the rest of their lives. I just hope that the new memories we are creating together are helping them to deal with the trauma that they experienced way too young.
I hope that I'm also helping them to remember the good times with Aaron and Noah as we talk and laugh about them every day. We love to tell stories about Aaron being grumpy after work because the grade 8 girls were driving him mad, or him being very intense as he watched the footy, or Noah giggling as Jay would make funny noises at him. What we would give for Aaron to just walk in the door after work. I wouldn't even care if he was grumpy :)