I will always remember visiting my best friends house as a young girl. Not only because we had a LOT of fun, but because something there is similar to my own situation now.

Her mother’s brother died. And there was a photo of him on the wall. An outdated photo, with faded edges and dust on the frame. I never thought much about that photo. Though I saw it each and every time I visited, I never asked or knew his name or how he died. I didn’t think about her Mum and what that really meant.

Now, twenty years later, I have a photo on the wall. It is outdated. Taken with a FILM camera in Bali.

It hangs nicely on my kitchen wall and I look at it each and every day.

But now I know that when Jaxon brings his friends over to stay or play, they will see that photo and behind my back Jaxon will tell them it’s his mother’s brother. And Terry will be like a no one to them. A picture on the wall.

People don’t even ask any more. They just look at it and think nothing of a photo of someone they have never met on our wall. And if they do ask, then I say “that’s my brother Terry”.  Like maybe he’s on holidays. Maybe he just lives overseas. Or maybe we just don’t talk anymore.

Like that would ever have happened.

Eleven years ago, I would have broken to pieces having to say he’d died.

I remember the day he died like it was just the other day. When nothing seemed to be real. When driving home from my camping place the thought of putting myself in front of a truck was appealing. And gliding through the rest of the day like my entire body was just on auto pilot.

My best friend came right over. And she sat with me while I cried and cried on my bed. While extended family sat in the kitchen consoling my Dad. I remember how much I loved her that day. For without her, I would have otherwise been alone. She let me rest my heavy head on her knee and cry. And she held my hair back off my face and she wiped my tears away and she cried with me. When the tears had dried out and I could no longer keep my eyes open, I drifted. And she sat with me quietly while I stared off in to nothingness.

I remember the days where I would go to work and have to be driven home within an hour because being alone with my animal’s and just my thoughts would rip out my insides. I couldn’t stand up, let alone work. I couldn’t even talk. I couldn’t find the right words that would properly describe having your world yanked out from under you at 120 kilometer’s an hour in a 60 zone.

All gone in a matter of minutes.

I will never get my dreams back. I will never get the future I had in my head. The future that had him firmly planted in every plan I ever made for myself. The children. The BBQ’s. The parties. The birthdays. He was there in every thing. Intertwined throughout my life, growing with each other. Until we were old and grey, and had to stand by the grave as we buried our parents together.

But instead, I stood by his grave. With my parents by my sides. Watching as his young body was planted firmly in the ground. Forever. His laugh nothing but an echo in my head.

Terry will never meet my husband. The love of my life. He will never know his nephew. He will never know what it feels like to grow old, or to watch as the life you create takes it’s first breath. He will never do any of the things I had planned for him in my head.

Tim will never get to meet my brother. One of the most influential people in my life. One of the people that made me exactly who I am. He will never know what Terry was like. What he sounded like. I can’t talk about him enough. What I have to say about him doesn’t even begin to give you an idea of the life that Terry had. The way he changed the mood of the room just by being there. Only Terry could tell you you were a fucking idiot to your face and not hurt your feelings.

Jaxon will never have a cousin with my maiden name. Because my maiden name died when Terry died.

That hurts. All the time.

No words can express it. You don’t know it until it happens to you and you will never understand me. You will never understand the emptiness that is created the day someone so close to you dies. The void that is created. That photo on the wall means everything to me.

It’s not just a photo. It’s my life. It’s my lost dreams. It’s my broken heart. Deep down inside me, no matter how strong I seem and how little I seem to need to talk about him and remember him to you, there will always be a large hole. A large broken piece that can never ever be repaired. Or replaced.


Every day I cry on the inside for the life that I lost when Terry lost his.

It’s always the little things

When someone really close to you dies it’s always the little things that you forget first.

In the months following Terry’s death I forgot what his voice sounded like. Because his voice was so second nature to me that I’d never had to think what it actually sounded like. I spent days on end playing his answering machine message over and over, just trying to remember.

I forgot how really close we were. I spent the days following his funeral kicking myself that I didn’t call him more, or spend more time with him. It never feels like you did enough when all of a sudden they’re gone and you realize you will never get the chance to talk to or see them again.

I will always remember the big things. The one’s that are easy to remember because they made him the man that he was.

Terry was a tall man with brown hair and brown eyes. He was in to sports and music, clubbing and having fun. He was always training for a triathlon here or there. He loved his food, his cars, his woman and drink. He was an incredibly loyal and protective brother.

As time goes on you begin to remember things that have long since been forgotten. Silly things, that were special only to him and I.

They come at moments when you least expect them. A long time ago it would have been a really painful memory, no matter how sweet. But now it put’s a smile on my face and a glow in my heart.

Something that come to mind.

Terry would never hand me my birthday presents. He would never wrap them either. He would always come in to my room late the night before and throw it on my bed, still in the plastic bag he got it from the store in. For a long time all he got me was Stephen King novel’s. Then it was Bon Jovi CD’s. I remember that the first time he did this (gulp) I was VERY young and it was a (gasp) cassette tape…Alvin and the Chipmonks (I did mention that I was very young right!?) It was a short and sweet affair, but as he left he would always say “Don’t say I don’t look after you kid” because he knew that he’d got me exactly what I wanted.

As time goes by I hope to share more of these bitter sweet memories I have with you. I like to think that one day, if I am not around, Jaxon will get to know his uncle Terry through this blog.

We were close. His voice has come back to me.

Those photo’s

These are practically the only good photo’s I have of my brother Terry. Well, maybe. These are the only one’s I have framed and on display. I didn’t think he’d want the naked beach photo’s or the drunken staggering home photo’s in frames!!!

This first one is of us at our childhood home in Melbourne in 1992. That makes me 15 years old and Terry 19 years old. Note that Bitsy is still in the picture! She lived for another 3 years after that photo. She was 18 years old when she had to be put to sleep after having continual heart attacks.

This second one was in 1996 at a cousin’s 21st and her Dad’s 50th. It was a barnyard party. This is how I like to remember Terry. He was tall and thin, athletic (triathlon’s) and a good drinker. He ALWAYS had a smile on his face, a cheeky one. That night we got VERY drunk and cried together because Mum had just left Dad. He put me to bed and let me wear his jumper because I was cold. And then slept in the back of his car.

I really wish I had many more good photo’s of Terry and I together. It is sad that we were so close but now that he is gone I have very few physical memories of us together. Learn from my mistake, take photo’s with everyone you love. It’s hard to think about but one day it might be all you have of them.

One of those days

There are days when you don’t even think about it. There are days when it doesn’t hurt. But then there are days like today when the pain wont go away and when you can’t stop thinking about it.
On those days the tears come hard and fast. An invisible rope wraps itself around your neck and keeps you from breathing.

Your heart sinks because this wont change.

The worst thing about it is, that the ONE person you want to hold and tell them you love them, isn’t here. And never ever will be again. It hurts to breath, and it hurts to be the one that got left behind.
This is one of those days.
Today I wish with every single particle of life in my body that my brother was still alive.
I want my phone to ring and for Terry to say “I’m out the front, come for a drive?” like he used to.
I wish that he could hear his nephew’s laugh as he play’s hide and go seek with his Daddy. Or see the sparkle in his eye when he discover’s he can stand all by himself.
But none of this will ever happen, or happen again. There is nothing more painful in this world than losing a loved one. Nothing more painful than having your dreams torn from your heart forever.
(Photo: Terry and I with my first dog Bitsy. I’m scanning more photo’s, because I want to share his memory with you)