My dear little Joey,
the night we lost you
is the night I was born.
I was almost 11 the night I found out,
and at once my heart broke with sorrow and shock.
Not only for mom’s loss but also for mine.
It felt so strange to feel such pain, since we’d never even met,
so for years I tried so hard to hide it, as I’ve done in the past.
It only worked to an extent, so I looked online for help
from others who have felt the same, but I was unsuccessful.
That shocked and made me angry, as our loss is fairly common,
and my heart went out to all the others, who couldn’t find support.
There were options for the parents, which wasn’t a bad thing,
but what about the siblings? Who was speaking up for us?
I finally learned of two groups doing it, but they were far away,
so I reached out to one by email, and thankfully heard back.
We could not meet in person, but she did so much for me,
by inspiring me to write my story, which I had never done.
I followed her advice, and really ended up surprised
by how much pain I’d been repressing, since we learned about your death.
It took a lot of guts and strength, since I’m shy with my emotions,
but it also brought with it some healing and opened unexpected doors.
Among them was a trip to New York, where I first met other siblings
at a retreat that was held just for us, and man was it intense!
I was finally at a place where I could freely speak
about my pains and struggles, without a fear of judgment
or adding to one’s pain. Because of that, I opened up
and shared much more than what I’d written, without being interrupted.
To know the others could relate, was really quite a comfort
that for so long I’d been searching for. It left me feeling grateful,
but also rather bummed, for all the sibs around the world
who wouldn’t get this chance. So I became a voice for them.
I started sharing my story online, for other hurting sibs to find,
but also so those unaware, could learn about our struggles.
I couldn’t really blame them for not already knowing.
as I was also in the dark until I learned of you.
I’ve gotten awesome feedback, from siblings and from others,
which always is an honor, ‘though I can’t take all the credit.
You, dear Joey, and our brave and honest mother, are my biggest inspirations.
I will always remember the night that we found out the truth,
not just for the pain, but for the deep love I instantly felt
for you, my youngest brother, ‘though we’d never even met.
The love is not one sided, as I often feel it from you
especially when I see a cardinal or a baby kangaroo.
I’m very grateful for those times, my dearest Valentine,
and look forward to honoring you as long as I can.
I love you, Joseph Michael! ❤
Love, your proud oldest sister 🙂
*please overlook any mistakes