My brother and I are only 18 months apart. He is my best friend and the first person I call when I need help or advice. Yesterday was a very special day being my big brother's 21st birthday. My family (Mum, Dad, my sister and I), and my boyfriend took him to play 9 holes of Super Golf in the morning. That afternoon the family went to see Skyfall, the new James Bond film, as James Bond was our favourite movie series growing up.
Finally to end the day we had fish and chips on the foreshore just as we had done countless times as children when we visited the city.
We had a lady passing by take a picture of us so we would always have a reminder of this special day. That picture now sits in a frame on my bookshelf. Four people smile back at me, a wooden box containing ashes in the centre. My brother's box.
Instead of planning a 21st this year we got to plan a memorial. On the 20/12/11, two weeks and two days after his birthday, my brother and his best friend died in a car crash. I won't go into detail but it was horrible. The front page of the state newspaper showed the extent of the damage to the car. We weren't allowed to see the damage it had done to him.
My heart shattered into a thousand pieces. We hadn't even been home for an hour and the press started arriving and calling. We couldn't grieve in peace.
I've missed him so much this year. Gone to call him or text him about things and then realised I can't. He wasn't there to tease me out of shock when someone crashed into my car. He wasn't there two days later when my sister fell off a roof and broke her back.
He wasn't there to interrogate my first boyfriend, who I've now been seeing for 10 months. His friends have stepped in there though.
Even though I haven't really processed that he's gone – I still say he is rather than he was – I have a knot in my stomach that is growing the closer it gets to the 20th. The closer it gets until it has been a year since I spoke to him. A year since he's gone.
I miss him so much that sometimes it's paralysing. Without my friends, family and boyfriend I don't think I would have made it through in one piece. Thanks guys.
I'm sorry I haven't written anything in a while. My computer died and didn't leave me any almost completed stories or ideas that I had written down. Then my brother died and until now I couldn't write. It's still hard - especially when I want to write something light and fluffy and it all turns out unhappy - but I'll try :)