Hello there Martyn, I'm Darragh, a friend of your sister Mary.
I know it's weird of me to write to you, considering we've never spoken or met, but I'd like to wish you a Happy Birthday today.
I've been friends with your little sister for over a year now. In that time I've found her to be one of the sweetest, most caring people I've ever met. Though we're very different, her and I, we have a slightly strange connection that makes for a very strong friendship.
We've often talked about you. She's fond of all her brothers but you hold a special place in her heart, and I think that's why I'm writing to you now. She's often told me what a great guy you are, how you're the bestest brother anyone can have. You sound like someone I'd like to have a pint with.
Your sister has probably changed from the little girl you grew up with. The little girl who you were so protective of, who was your sister even though she was adopted and who once whacked you in the eye with a well thrown hairbrush causing your primary school teachers to believe you'd been in a fight, rather than sweet innocent Mary causing the damage. She still causes divilment the odd time :o).
I'm proud to know your sister. I know you'd be proud of her. She constantly surprises me with how she thinks with her heart and how she cares about people.
Yesterday she told us about you. We were discussing grief after death - a friend of ours is finding it difficult to come to terms with the death of her uncle eight days ago. She wondered if it was strange that she mourned his loss so much, even though he was 'just' her uncle. She needed good advice, support and empathy.
Your sister wrote her one of the most poignant, thoughtful things I have ever read online. It took my breath for a moment. She wrote it, Martyn, about your tragic death in a car accident 11 years ago.
You shouldn't have to bury your feelings, it would be my brother's 31st birthday tomorrow if he were still alive, he's dead just over 11 years and believe me it NEVER gets easier, yes you learn to deal with it and you don't break down as often, but it will ALWAYS be there and it will never fully go away.I'm sorry I'll never have the chance to meet you, Martyn. You'd be proud of your sister, a beautiful woman who still loves you, still misses you and will celebrate your birthday today, remembering the brilliant big brother you were and the part of her life, her heart that you are and will always be.
I know I still miss my brother dreadfully and I always will and I do still have days where I sit and cry and cry and cry.
Your uncle wasn't 'just' your uncle, he was a person you obviously loved and thought a great deal of and you are therefore allowed to grieve for as long as you like.
There is no time frame for grieving, there's no such thing as, ok he's dead a week, a month, a year or whatever, now get over it and stop grieving, you will grieve for him for the rest of your life but it will be in a different way.
My nieces know all about my brother, even though they were all born years after he was killed, and any children I have will know about him and I'll always talk about him and remember him and have pictures of him around me.
Rest in peace, sir. Your sister is doing great, with friends that love her and will be thinking of you both, and your family, today.