I wandered into the living room this morning to find out what Alex wanted for breakfast. I found him sat on the settee cuddling a photograph of his brother Ellis. For those of you that don’t know, Ellis died 8 years ago 1 year before Alex was born. I asked him what he was doing, he said he wished his brother had never died. This got me to thinking, what effect does the death of a child have on the children that come along afterwards?
Ellis was our firstborn, had he lived who knows if we would have had anymore children. Alex came along the following year, he was born breach and was in special care so we decided to quit whilst we were ahead with this having kids lark! Alex often says he wishes Ellis were still alive so he had his big brother to play with. He misses the brother he never knew, he misses what might have been. Alex told me that Ellis will always be his big brother even though he is not here now.
I find it fascinating how Alex involves Ellis in everyday life, at school the kids did a family portrait for their new teacher at the beginning of term, Alex included Ellis in his picture. He draws Ellis as a baby when he draws these types of pictures but this time he wrote ‘bro – dead’ next to the image.
We are finding that Alex is becoming more and more sensitive about his brother, he is questioning why Ellis died and why we didn’t have anymore children. I am dreading the day when he asks me that if Ellis had lived would he, Alex, have ever been born!