Monday, August 16, 2010

Siblings remember

I had another post in mind today, but then I saw this story in the paper.

I was reading the Globe and Mail and found an article about the former Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney. His son Ben and his wife just had twin boys (at a hospital not too far from where I work). It was so hard to look at the picture of Brian Mulroney with the twin boys, but something made me read the story. The first baby that was born was named after him. The second was named John. Brian Mulroney, as it turns out, had an older brother named John who died within hours of his birth June of 1935. They don’t know anything else about that baby and he said that it has troubled him and his siblings for decades. They have tried to reconstruct events, to interview people who might be able to provide some information and they have searched records with no result. He said that they want their brother John to know that he has never been forgotten and that they love the brother they never knew. They only know what city he is buried in, but they don’t know where. He said he often reflected on the sadness of the story and how powerless he was, even as Prime Minister, to make it right in any way.

I was so moved when I read this. Siblings don’t forget either. Siblings wonder and are troubled by what happened to their lost sibling, even 75 years later.

10 comments:

loribeth said...

I saw that story & wrote about it on my blog too. Not a big fan of Brian (or Ben, for that matter), but I give them both points for this. : )

Emily said...

I didn't know that. I'm not a Brian Mulroney (Mulroachy was what my grandfather used to call him), but I appreciate him just a little (teensy, tiny) bit more now.

Emily said...

Once again I am an idiot and forgot the word "fan" in my comment above. Damn I really should learn to be my own editor.

Drew's Parents said...

Wow. I am so glad that story was published in the paper. I love that John was never forgotten and his name was carried on in the family. I know that Drew and Jacob's siblings will know them well. :)

Elaine said...

That is so sweet. I've often wondered how Blaine will affect my living daughter when she is older. How will she feel as a mother remembering her little brother gone too soon? And how will his subsequent brothers or sisters feel? It makes me think of that poem "A Different Child."

Danae said...

That's touching to know they never forgot about their brother, and to use his name is so sweet.

Our next girl (if we have another girl), will share Bailey's name as her middle name. We want to be able to tell her as she grows up how she got her name. And by sharing a name with her older sister, I hope that she won't forget her.

Violet1122 said...

That's such a sweet story. How sad that the children are left to wonder about their brother.

I grew up knowing I had an older sister - who passed about 30 minutes after being born. When I was young, I didn't really think anything about it. And I was uncomfortable when my mom would talk about her. I avoided conversations about her.

Now, of course, I have a completely different perspective about my older sibling. And luckily, my mom talks about her - and we know where she is laid to rest.

I have to admit - I don't really think of her in a sisterly way. But I do feel a connection to this person out there.

J. said...

Hi there...I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and wanted to say, first, how very sorry I am for your loss. Your blog is a beautiful tribute to Jacob.

Second, this sibling remembrance is part of my husband's family. He had an aunt who died when she was about 6 months old, back in the 1930s. SIDS, I believe (although I'm not sure that was the term used back then). Anyway, my mother-in-law named one of her daughters after her and my husband's cousin also named her daughter a version of the same name. No one has forgotten, that's for sure.

We lost our first daughter at 40w back in August 2003. Our second daughter shares her name as a middle name. She's also remembered quite often in our house as her sister occasionally draws pictures about her, or talks about her when her birthday or Christmas rolls around. It's so profound the impact our silent children can have on their siblings' lives.

mommy4boys said...

I know I always remembered the son my mom lost at 28 weeks when I was 6. Even though it was a taboo topic in our home, I never forgot. It wasn't until losing the twins that I felt it was okay to ask my mom questions. And even now it's an uncomfortable topic with her. She doesn't even want to talk about the twins much. But I have made it my goal for Colton and Ethan to always feel open about talking about the twins. I want them to know whatever they want. And to always remember them as their brothers who are missed so much.

Julie said...

i wonder sometimes if our future children will ever fully understand how much we miss their older brother, and how much i think they will miss out on growing up with him.