As this day drew closer I kept finding myself wanting to slam on the breaks and come to a screeching halt. Don’t let it get to six months. Six months is too much time. Six months is half a year and I don’t want it to have been half a year since my brother died.

My brother died.

It still feels surreal to write that – let alone say it. In fact, I rarely say it. I can’t. I find myself saying things such as … ‘what happened in June’ or ‘when my brother …’ and not being able to finish the sentence.

I find myself flinching whenever I hear or see the word cancer. My heart clenches when I hear someone say the word brother. My ears close when people start talking about illnesses, people they know with cancer, or anything related to the topic.

I’m not ready to handle it yet, or maybe a more accurate thing to say is this is the way I need to handle it right now.

The worst is when people send me photos of him without warning. So as soon as I open an email or message and his face pops up it makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. Actually, the worst is videos of him. I just can’t watch them. I just can’t.

I sometimes find myself staring at his picture, my heart overflowing with emotion. Then suddenly, that devastation turns to an insane fury and I just want to smash the computer screen or rip the photo into shreds.

I can’t explain it. I don’t even know what or who I am angry at. It’s just another manifestation of my grief.

It’s six months on … and it doesn’t feel any better. I still cry daily. My heart still feels like it’s about to explode. While I go on with my day, it’s just not the same. There’s an emptiness inside and it can’t be filled. I’m trying to learn how to live alongside that hollow space.

I know that he is no longer suffering and perhaps that is the only tiny, tiny consolation because he really was struggling. He fought so very hard and was incredibly brave. It was hard to see him in so much pain … and so yes, the only tiny bit of relief is to know that he doesn’t have to struggle anymore.

Yet my grief continues. My pain is still as strong and my struggle goes on.

Six months gone … forever to go.

Ahmed was just starting to get into photography. In fact, he asked me to get him a few lenses for his camera for his birthday. I’ve still got the lenses with me – not sure what to do with them now. This is one of the last photos he took. There is something so serene about the solitary moon in the sky. I hope that he is resting in peace now. Missing him every second of every day.