Monday, 24 January 2011


  • I'd been in Canada for about seven months when he was born. I'm eight years older. When he was almost a year old, us kids had him open most of our gifts weeks before Christmas. He was crawling, at that age where he would tear apart whatever was in his path.We only needed a small rip that would allow us to see what the package contained. I knew what every gift was by Christmas morning.
  • He was the first baby I ever changed. The first one I ever babysat.
  • We've had two big arguments in our relationship. He apologized first both times. And he cried while doing so.
  • We met for a beer one evening at a lunchtime eatery my sister always frequented. An old bank turned restaurant you could order half a sandwich with a scoop of potato salad - it was cafeteria style. When I got there, he'd already ordered us each a Blue Light. It was the night he told me he was gay. I told him that I already knew. He cried with relief and we laughed, hugged and ordered more beer.
  • He loved my (and Shaune's) dog Judge.
  • Shaune and I helped him move into his first apartment in Toronto. His massive couch was a pain in the butt.
  • Shaune cooked a beautiful fancy meal for Matt and his first serious boyfriend. We'd never been on a double date before. It was beyond fun.
  • Matt was good at disguising his voice on the phone. He got me a few times pretending to be an old lady who accidentally dialled my number looking for her son.
  • He told me that he was unapologetically materialistic.
  • He always felt deeply for the underprivileged and was generous.
  • He loved sushi and worked out all the time. He was beautiful to look at.
  • He was quick witted, self-deprecating and had a way of tickling my funny bone very few people could. Even during serious conversations, we always laughed. 
  • Growing up I always gravitated toward gay people. In university I had a warm group of gay friends who I spent a lot of time with. I think God's work put Matthew in my life even though we are not biological siblings. When he came 'out' to me, I wrapped him in a warm blanket of love, pride and acceptance. 
  • He loved Shaune's cooking.
  • When we were little, we could always upset him by calling him Matt-ress.
  • He and my younger sister Laura used to put on plays in our living room.
  • He could never remember whether my birthday was on the 19th or 20th of April.
  • Last year, I sent the Starbuck's gift certificate I got for his birthday to his old address. He never got it and it was never returned to sender.
  • Last year was the first time in as long as I can remember that he didn't call me on my birthday.
  • He was caught in the background of an episode of Just for Laughs.
  • He talked about his three brown sisters from Bangladesh with pride to his friends. They told me this at the funeral.
  • Whenever I hear about what's going on with the gay community I feel two things. Compassion. And deep sadness. I would have liked my boys to know the struggles this community has faced through their Uncle Matt.
  • Lately I feel envious of anyone else's memories of him. I feel like a starving man looking through a dumpster for scraps to nourish my meager supply of memories. I wish I had more. More time with him. More hugs. More opportunities to love him. More laughs. Just more.
  • I miss him. 
  • He told me that he needed me several times over the last few years. I'm not sure if I did a good job of being there for him.
  • I wish I had called him back that last Monday night.
  • Although he wasn't the youngest child in our family, he was the youngest for a long time so that I always will consider him my baby brother.
  • Sometimes he told me things which stressed me out to know.
  • His middle name was James. And he dressed beautifully.
  • When he moved to Los Angeles I gave him a hundred dollars.
  • He was afraid to tell me that he couldn't take care of his dog and work so much and that he'd had to find a home for her. I told him I was proud of him for knowing what was best for the dog.
  • He was the first person to see Deaglan take his first steps.

  • He would have celebrated his 32nd birthday the day after tomorrow.


  1. I don't know what to say. But I do know that he was truly a blessing that you had him for the time you did. What wonderful memories you will always cherish.

  2. You can see the energy and love in his smile. A beautiful post Kim. Sending my love to you...

  3. My heart is crying for you. Please continue to wrap yourself in these memories when missing him becomes too much.

  4. I love when you write about your Brother. :)

  5. He is safe in your heart now Kim-and reading this just breaks mine.
    Hugs for you, and thanks for sharing this beautiful, painful piece of writing.

  6. Kim, sending you love from my heart to yours. I can't even imagine... You are such a wonderful sister to honor him in this way. He IS beautiful to look at I think that every time I see his picture in your posts. But, I'm sure he was an even more beautiful baby brother. peace, love, and comfort my friend.

  7. This was a heart-felt beautiful post. Your brother was a beautiful man. Happy Birthday Matt.

  8. I always feel a kinship with you when you post about the brother you lost. My little brother would have been 34 on his next birthday, in June. He's been gone almost 10 years, but the missing doesn't go away.

  9. Kim, I hope it is okay to comment here... just felt very much compelled to do so. I lost my sister in June the same way. She was 32. I have spoken very little about it, written very little about it, because it is such a difficult thing to express. Nothing, for me, quite captures what I need to say. I read the words you spoke at your brother's service and found myself in tears wishing I had been able to speak at my sister's service. But at that time I was unable to say a word. My parents spoke, her daughter sang. And I said nothing. Reading your words here has been cathartic for me in that you have beautifully put so many things that are so difficult to say. I am so sorry for your loss and I admire your strength in working through it. All good wishes to you.


  10. Cherish each of those memories and he really sounds like he was a wonderful person. He will always be a part of your heart and you can share these beautiful moments with your boys when they are ready.

  11. Oh Kim... I am so sorry.. I don't know what to say... I am yet to know your family apart from you four... This is such a heart-felt post... He is safe in your memories... and here with us... Happy Birthday Matthew.

    Take care Kim. xoxo

  12. Oh, Kim, these were such touching sentiments about your brother. I love your honesty here, and you can tell how much the two of you loved each other. And how lucky that he got to know your oldest son and have him in his life for a bit.

  13. Oh sweetheart -- what a touching post. It sounds like Matt was a truly beautiful person, inside and out. Hold tight to all of those special memories you have of him and keep him close to your heart, always. Thinking of you and your family.


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