Dear Bubba 3

2 days ago… it was 5 years since my family and the world lost you.

My little brother.

It has been a sad, difficult, heart-wrenching, aching, complex and bittersweet journey that I would not wish upon anyone. Although it is unfortunately something as humans, we will all be touched with one day or another.

One thing it is for sure though… is a mother of a learning curve.

I stumbled upon this recently, by Zaim Ricochet.


So here is what I have to say. Here are my truths about grief. Maybe someone needs to hear them.

1. It gets better.

2. This makes me happy for the living.

3. This makes me very very sad for the dead.

4. It is not a club.

5. I don’t always know the right things to say either.

6. It does not make death seem any less scary.

7. I am actually more afraid of it now.

8. I cry in funeral scenes in just about every movie or TV show.

9. I am not necessarily remembering yours… I am more likely feeling sorry for the fictional widow of the war hero and wondering how she is going to sleep tonight and who is going to help her get her dressed in the morning. Because I know what it all means.

10. Talking about how you died doesn’t make me feel good.

11. Talking about how you lived does.

12. People never seem as interested in the latter.

13. Sometimes I use fun distractions to help me get over losing you.

14. Sometimes I use losing him to help me get away with fun distractions.

15. I don’t feel different on momentous days. They are just another day with one down.

16. I do feel different when I see someone who looks like you. For a minute my brain tricks me into thinking that maybe you are actually all grown up, alive and beautiful, working for the CIA and this was all just a ploy to keep us safe.

17. Those moments are like cutting a scar wide open. Except with skin that is trained to heal. And doesn’t completely hate the pain.

18. I miss you. And can’t wait to see you. I need to believe I will so please don’t make me question that.

19. Fighting over grief is like arguing over who drew the more realistic angel. No one really knows. So be your own saviour.

20. I love my life and everyone in it harder than I did before. This part was really difficult and it’s taken me years. But if you can. Love full blast.

21. I am a better sister because I have one less brother. I stood up. I like to think I would have gotten here alone, but truth is, I don’t know.

22. Twenty-two. That’s how old you, our baby boy should be turning this year. I’ll celebrate for you. Like I try to everyday. Because if it’s true what they say…. When you lose someone, they go on living in your heart …. I want to make sure it is a beautiful place.


XXXXX Dear Bubba – You are the king of my sky and it is full of pinks and aqua, possibility and imagination. You are in my fairy tales and luckily as you know, I believe in them like a warrior. I love you now and forever and just because you didn’t break me, doesn’t mean I don’t love you with every inch of this tattooed sun-spotted skin. XXXXX


  1. Ilai Jikoiono

    My little brother was in the same class as Wilson in International Primary.

    He used to talk about how Wilson always had his back in Cricket, Soccer, Rugby and Baseball. Whatever sport he played, Wilson would always be his buddy.

    Every time they had a match, my brother would tell me about how he and Wilson won the match. And if they didn’t win, both of them would have theories of who pulled the team back.

    Hope you’re enjoying all the sports in heaven Wilson. Don’t worry about not having a buddy for support. When it’s Uraia’s turn to join you, he’ll be right there…like the old times. And we’ll all be cheering you both on!

    1. matissewb

      I remember Uraia! And I remember wilson loved him. Its funny. You run through the same memories over and over they become like a movie. Its so awesome when you are reminded of something new! It’s like an episode of your favourite tv show that you missed and found!!!!! Xxxxx

  2. Suzanne Banks

    Dear Matti that was so very beautiful. What a special heart you have. How the world will be a better place because of you dear girl. I am writing with tears but I am so proud of you and the love you have for your brothers. Wilson was so special to all his family and friends but you can keep his memory alive with your love and beautiful memories. You have a radience that attracts people—-use it for good in the world and you will bring Wilson into your light. Our loved ones who have passed are always with us if allow them in. They can become our guiding light, our angels who walk beside us as we travel through life. Love you dear girlXXXXX

  3. Caroline Rennie

    Matti, I first learnt about raising boys through Wilson and long talks with your mum and dad on parenting and life in general. They were my mentors, kind and generous . Your mum was always an inspiration to me. It
    maybe hard for you to believe but when we all hung out I was not much older than you are now, I was 24, when I began teaching at ISS. I remember your parents being the wise 40 year olds … I am now that person but maybe not so wise. I get to see Wilson and Cormac in my boys . I am back In the classroom this week teaching grade 7 social studies for a teacher who is away,so memories of you all come flooding back . It is interesting that for you everyone keeps growing older, for teachers , our students are forever young, with inquiring minds, cheeky smiles and fantastic stories. Even when Wilson was in high school in Australia, in my mind he was still 13. Wilson was also a writer and even when he was young he could write the most amazing stories , his just didn’t have all the extra decorations yours and keriana’s did . It was so nice to catch up with your dad and Cormac last summer, but you know Cormac my head is still no older than year 4 . Keep writing Matti , the world is better for your voice.

    1. matissewb

      Hello!!! Oh that beautfiul comment made me smile and my eyes water at the same time ! I cant believe you were 24! Gosh no wonder we all loved you and wanted to be your friend! Sending you guys so much love. Always. Xxx

  4. Cliff

    Very sweet, matissweb! Thank you for sharing. Losing someone close like that must be hard. I know the fear of losing a child is a frequent nightmare for parents. I don’t fear my own death, but I do fear the death of those I love. What seems to work best for me is to remind myself as often as I can how important it is to appreciate and live fully every day I have, in my own life and together with the lives of those I love. It is life’s fragility which makes it even more precious.

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