Roses Killed My Brother

My brother is 21. He will be 21 forever. He won’t graduate from university, have a career, or grow old. But he didn’t just reach for the stars, he was a supernova, encapsulating everything around him in his incredible presence.

My brother is 21. He had a life-shortening condition that took him from me when we were hardly out of childhood. For the past two years, he was hardly out of the hospital, could hardly breathe, could hardly walk.

My brother is 21. He had the most determination of anyone I’ve ever met. Despite his illness, he achieved excellent A levels, was accepted into Cambridge University, and signed every letter of his name on his marriage certificate.

My brother is 21. As a child he had curly ginger hair. He has deep brown eyes. His right eyebrow raises when he gets excited by a conversation. His party trick is wiggling his ears. He sings along with me no matter the song when we go driving together. His favourite coffee from Starbucks is an iced mocha. He was going to be Prime Minister one day, he says.

My brother was killed by 65 red thorny roses that ripped his lungs apart and took the air from him with every breath. Now he’s breathing easy and there are no more thorns.

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