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Robin Ali Memorial

In Remembrance of Robin Ali

1976 - 2016

An Open Letter to my Brother in Heaven

From your eldest sister

It is 5 years since we lost you and 5 years have never felt so long. 

5 years without my very best friend.

5 years of waking up every morning having to face the reality of life without you.

5 years of talking to you in my head all d long hoping and praying that your listening and that the strength that you carried through your life can somehow be reflected onto me.

5 years of wondering if I'm the only sister that got left with so much pain when I lost my brother. There was nothing more comforting than knowing I had my brother to protect me. If anyone hurt me they would have to answer to you. lt was like I had an imaginary shield around me because my brother was only a phone call away. 

You gave me the biggest gift anyone's ever given me and that gift was confidence in myself and life. During my six months hospital stay, you never missed a visit and you motivated me to become well enough so I could be discharged. You and Mum worked tirelessly to make sure that I had a brand new home to restart my life - you gave me a second chance. 

I thought I had the rest of our lives to thank you. I'm writing this letter because I just wanted to thank you. 

Thank you for 40 years of being my little brother. Everything you did taught me to be a stronger person. You achieved so much and did so much good in your 40 years. I look to you if I flounder. 

Thank you for listening to my stupid dramas.

Thanks for scaring and interrogating any other male you ever saw around me. (You went a bit overboard but., you meant well). Thank you for teaching me I had worth. 

Thank you for the motivation to live, for telling me I had to give it my all; To laugh, love, and enjoy my future. You taught me to put my whole heart into everything I do in life. 

Most importantly thank you for becoming my best friend as we got older, and in those final weeks, our relationships and bonds with each other became so much stronger. 

Thank you for dealing with my sometimes difficult personality, for telling me to take a chill pill. For pointing out how I am reacting and not reflecting. 

Thank you for coming around to wake Mason and me up at every morning for a cuppa and a chinwag.  

Thank you for making me promise you I'd never hurt myself again. You told me that I could call you no matter why or what time it was and you would be there to listen, talk,  & understand. 

Thanks for sometimes letting me party with you and letting me feel like I was a Superstar. ( I wasn't ) You always thought to ask me along. I usually always joined in the shenanigans &  fun. Lol - We loved partying.

Thank you so much for the thousands of laughs, I'll never forget the sound of your laugh. (especially the way you laughed at your own jokes ) I often watch the Facebook videos we filmed of you. I love to hear your voice. 

Thank you for bringing Emily into my life. I think that you knew you would not be around for much longer and that she was going to help me to continue "living" and prevent me from a relapse or another hospital admission. Emily has become my world and she is the reason I keep breathing. 

I wanted to tell you that YOU always have been and always will be my hero. Although I didn't truly understand or admit this until you left. The fact is you trained your whole life to be an angel. You battled the demons, monsters, the wounds with the bravery of a true soldier, each and every day. I try to stay strong like you taught me. 

The hardest part of losing you was when life started to move forward, and I began to realize that even I have to move forward to and I had to learn how to live without you. I realized that my future grandchildren won't grow up with you around. I think that you would have loved to be a great uncle. For a long time, I forgot that you're no longer a phone call away. I saved your number and texts messages. I still wish you'd text me back. 

People continue to ask "how are your family?" And it hits me again, that you are not here, anymore. We won't grow older together. I've had you as my brother your entire life. I miss you more than words can explain - there are no words I can use to say that, I more than just miss you !! There is a void, a black hole, an emptiness within me, that I simply am unable to explain. 

I know that our creator energy must have had a very special job that he needed you for. - You are The brightest star in the night sky. I know that you grew weary and life was not easy for you. I wished I could have saved you. Just as you saved me. 

I know you're watching over us all. And I know that you continue to be ever-present in my life. I still wish though, that you could have stayed here with us, just for a while longer. I know, that when it's my time, I'll see you again bro. I'm sorry that it took me 5 years to have the strength to write this letter. 

I love you my angel, my brother. my friend.


Your Sister, Kristie

PS: To everyone who has lost a sibling and might feel like your pain is overlooked, it's not. Reach out to friends and loved ones, if you are struggling. I found some support groups online very supportive, caring, compassionate and they helped me a lot. I used a generic search engine and looked up "Sibling loss" "Suicide Survivors" and "Overdose Loss". I hope that you find peace. 

I miss you

- Kristie Townsend