Daniel Taylor

Tomorrow (4th May) marks five years since my little brother, Daniel Taylor suddenly died of a heart attack aged just 25. He lived in Muscat, Oman and I hadn’t seen him for a few years which couldn’t be helped but still fills me with regret but I guess that’s what hindsight is all about.

To me he was my little brother and I am in unique in that. No one else in the world will ever be able to have the relationship that we had and I try to hold onto this as something special, which it is, but it can also leave me feeling rather alone. It’s only when someone is gone that you truly find out how much they meant to people. Dan had two memorials after he died, one in Muscat and one in the UK. The sheer number of people whose lives he had touched was staggering. This is something that can still make me smile now.

Although it is five years it does still feel like time hasn’t moved on as I can still vividly remember everything about that night when my dad had to phone me and tell me the news that Dan had died. I was left with the haunting task of phoning my mum to break this most awful news. Yes I could have passed this task to someone else but as I saw it it had to be me.

I find Facebook a really good way to share stories about Dan and keep his memory going amongst those who were affected by this loss too but whose lives move on regardless (As they rightly should). I find random songs will remind me of Dan and it’s nice when they do. It’s like he just pops out to say hi and remind me he’s still here.

They say time is a great healer but I don’t buy into that. Time helps you learn to manage the pain and the loss and to develop strategies to help you. The most important thing is if you feel that tide of pain rising inside you then you must address it. Perhaps you can’t address it at that very moment but promise yourself you will return to it at some point. Grief is not something that lasts three months, six months or a year. Grief is something that becomes part of who you are for the rest of your life so embrace it and own it.

Alastair Taylor