I am the eldest of 7. She was baby number 4 and my first sister.
I was 4 when she passed away - she was only 3 months.
I can still remember my Mum holding her & screaming, rocking back & forth on the bed; before my parents were led away by police to provide their statement.
It was a pretty difficult concept for a 4 year old - she hadn’t been sick, she hadn’t been upset - she was perfect. Trying to understand that from one of my breaths to the next - she had stopped & that was that.
It’s still a terribly difficult thing to understand.
Growing up after that my dad distanced himself - it was almost like he didn’t want to ‘overly invest’ so if something happened again it wouldn’t hurt so much. It took many years but our relationship has finally mended. My parents marriage didn’t though - her death was the beginning of theirs.
My mum has a box full of my sisters entire lifetime of belongings. All of her clothes, blankets, toys etc are in that box.
There’s also a lock of hair that was provided by the medical team after they did the autopsy. The box is old & deteriorated now - I’ve offered to get it re-upholstered but Mum can’t bare to part with it to have it done.
The box has pride of place on mums bookshelf but she still rarely can bring herself to open it. I have, her clothes still smell like hers oddly enough.
Every birthday we light a candle & have a cupcake to celebrate another year - we never forget.
My first born Son was born the day after her birthday. I laboured over 24 hours with him and Mum was desperate for me not to have him on my sister’s birthday - he was born at 12:01am the very next day - I’m not even kidding.
I think it’s had a more profound effect on me once I had my own kids. My daughter is now 18 months - she was named after my sister. The first year I could barely allow her to sleep more then 2 hrs straight at a time - I was constantly touching her to make sure she was warm & breathing. It’s only been these past few months that I’ve allowed her to sleep in her cot without a baby monitor turned on.
In moving forwards I have little things - I’ve gotten a tattoo on my inner ankle of an abstract angel - it’s one of a kind & how we sign my sisters name on birthday/Christmas cards etc.
Just this past Christmas my Sister’s & I all got matching tattoos to represent the loyalty & unity of family.
Life goes on but there’s is always a void.
Questions always surface - why? How?
What would she be like etc?
With any loss - some days are more painful than others, some days/weeks are not painful at all.
To have something happen like that when you’re young, to witness grief like that - it does leave a scar.
Thank you so much @hails_holzy for letting me share your story x