I ran into my grandma at the weekend. I told her how I was going to my first Leeds United game that afternoon and she told me how she has a Leeds United scarf at home.
She has had this scarf for probably over 50 years. The scarf belonged to my grandma’s younger brother who died of meningitis when he was 18 years old. The last memory that she has of him before he suddenly fell ill was that he went to a Leeds United match with that scarf. After the match, he went home with a headache. A few days later he was gone.
As she told me this, she said how she would go to her grave with that scarf buried beside her. It is the last memory she has of her little brother, and over 50 years on, she still had tears in her eyes thinking about it.
Grief never passes, and the death of a close family member is harder than most. I don’t imagine there is anything more painful than losing a sibling. They are a part of you. When they go, I imagine it’s like you lose a part of yourself at the same time. It’s a hole that can never be filled.
My dad recently lost his little sister. It was sudden and there was no warning.
They always argued; they were totally different people. They always wound each other up in the way that only brothers and sisters can. But they also loved each other, despite their differences. And I know that there is a hole in my dad’s heart from where she should be. Where she was taken from too soon.
Treasure your brothers and sisters. They may drive you up the wall at times and you may not be all that similar now that you’ve grown up. But they are the only friends you will always have; that will be there for you no matter what.
You’re stuck with each other, through thick and thin. Nobody else will feel your pain the same as your siblings. When my siblings cry, I cry. When I lose a loved one, so do they. They love the same as you and they lose the same as you.
You may love your siblings unconditionally, but do you tell them? Do you show it? Are you kind to each other?
This week, tell your siblings that you love them. Spend time with them and appreciate them for everything they are. The things that piss you off and the things that make you roll your eyes and laugh with them about. They are the best friends you will ever have.
And you’ll miss them when they’re gone.