"Happy Birthday, Jesse"

Stop. It makes me so mad.

For those who don't know, Jesse is my baby brother. He was born 9 years ago today (Nov 13, 2006), and killed 33 days later in a car crash.

I remember Jesse. I remember the night I was working at Safeway, texting with my parents while they were at the hospital before he was born, and after he was born. I remember taking turns holding him in the hospital with my younger siblings. I remember putting a football helmet on him, and holding a football next to him. I remember fighting over who was going to sit next to him in the car. I remember lying in the woods hearing "where's Jesse?" over and over as the paramedics searched for him. I remember crying as my dad told me, "Jesse died," while lying in a hospital bed waiting to be stitched up. That day still haunts me.

But I hate seeing, "Happy Birthday, Jesse. We miss you." Or posts along those lines. It's okay from my immediate family, because they had the privilege of knowing Jesse, of holding him. They're the ones who genuinely miss Jesse, and miss the life they could have spent with him.

But for everyone else, maybe you met Jesse for a brief moment. But you didn't know Jesse. I hardly knew Jesse. I knew him for 33 days. I feel like you're stealing something precious from me. Jesse was, is, my brother. And I feel like I'm being stabbed when someone steals that from me.

I understand wanting to recognize Jesse on his birthday, or showing support to our family. It just makes me incredibly angry because Jesse is precious to me. And I feel like if you're not in my immediate family, you don't understand just how precious he was. Maybe I'm being selfish for wanting Jesse's day to myself. But my family went through tremendous pain when Jesse died, and I feel completely invalidated when people toss around, "Happy Birthday, Jesse. Rest in Peace." Like you're stealing something painful and intimidate to me, and owning it as yours.

Maybe this makes no sense at all. Maybe I'm being entirely selfish. Maybe my parents and siblings feel differently than me. But I feel like you're stealing my love and my adoration from me, and you're invalidating the pain that came along with losing my brother.

All that being said, I will always think about Jesse, especially on his birthday, and the anniversary of the accident. I feel so much love towards my family when we celebrate Jesse's life together. It's like a bonding moment, something that holds our family close. Jesse's birthday is a sad day to remember, but also a happy day in an odd way, because my family spends valuable time celebrating his life. We have a tradition where we go to his grave plot and visit him, and let blue balloons go and rise to him to heaven. I feel like the celebration is more for my younger siblings, who don't have as strong memories of his birth and life. It's a way for them to remember and recognize his life. I truly value the time I spend with my family on this day, and appreciate the joy of my siblings as we partake in traditions in Jesse's memory.

1 comment:

  1. Jessica (anewlife123)November 15, 2015 at 3:18 AM

    I know I can't even begin to understand what you went through that day or even now. I feel like anything I could possibly say would feel trivial so I'll just say that I am thinking of you. *hugs*