Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Third Brother

When I was five, my third brother was born. I already had two brothers, both older than me. But my third brother wasn't to live with us long. Thomas died the day after he was born.

I don't remember Thomas at all. I don't remember going to the hospital to see him. I don't remember the funeral. I don't remember everyone being so sad. I don't even remember getting a new pink dress for his funeral. I have no memories of him at all.

Despite not remembering him, he is still very special to us. We have a box of his things, a little dress with spots of his blood on it, his ear muff, photos from the hospital. We have his teddy bear collection, steadily growing each year. And we have his birthday.

Thomas's birthday is always the same. Every year we give him a candle, a bunch of flowers for the house, one for his grave, and teddy bear. Mum's room is full of these bears, each with their own name.

We always have a white cake. We always go and visit him in the cemetery. After all, how can you have a proper birthday without the birthday boy? Every year we take a photo with all the children standing behind his headstone. We always have a picnic sitting on the grass afterwards. It's family tradition.

Happy Birthday Thomas!


  1. Oh, that's so sad, and so sweet. It's wonderful that you celebrate his birthday every year.

  2. Victoria, we love celebrating Thomas's birthday. It used to be sad, but it's become more sweet than sad over the years.

  3. Brid, there's something special about celebrating his birthday and going to the cemetery. Picnics and his grave are always going to be linked in my mind.

  4. Autumn, you should really see his whole display of teddies. He's got nearly thirty of them now, and they're all named and special. Plus all his flowers. He's very special to us, our little saint in heaven.