Sometimes it is something so tiny that sparks a memory that almost crushes me. A photo, a song, a TV clip, an innocent comment.
Yes, the anniversaries and birthdays are hard and poignant. Each year they get a littler easier, and harder at the same time. Easier as I’m prepared for the emotions I feel. Harder as I realise how long we’ve been without you, how many more memories we lost out on making.
But it’s the tiny moments, the middle of random day ones, the moments that take me unaware. They grip my chest. They are the moments that make me choke. They are the moments that reduce me to tears. Grief that feels as fresh as it was in those early days.
Those moments when I’m watching TV and it transports me back to childhood, both of us climbing rocks with Dad on a beach in Mallorca, we were fearless, sun tanned limbs, adventuring, amazed at everything the world was showing us and discovering it together. Whole days spent in the pool until we had earache. Eating the fruit from sangria, collecting paper umbrellas and postcards. Dancing to Agadoo.
Those moments when I hear that song on the radio that we made Mum listen too, all in hysterics as we tried to pin her down and she tickled us until we couldn’t breathe with laughter. The ski sunday theme tune, when we used to run around the house like nutters with tea towels on our heads. The photo that pops up of the time you came to visit me at uni and we drank all night, and danced to garage and ate kebabs. You tried to hit on my friends!
While I was still an immature student, you had already seen war. You were wise beyond your years and my protective little brother.
Those moments keep coming, yet they’ve started to recur. I guess there are no new memories to top up the pot. Life gets further from the life with you in it. And that in itself sends shivers. As time goes on, it’s sometimes memories of memories. I worry I will forget you. The sound of your voice already feels distant. I can’t conjure you up in my mind as easily. And that almost feels like I’m losing you again.