On October 15, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, I reflect on how my parents helped me to share the experience of our family’s grief at the loss of my baby brother, Brandon Joseph Achtman, who died when he was 7 months old.
I was only two-and-a-half years old when Brandon died. But, year after year, I continued to learn more about my brother’s brief life, his death, and that he remains forever my little brother.
Even now, as an adult, I grow in my relationship with this brother of mine. The fact Brandon existed continues to affect, influence, and rouse me – in many ways as ongoingly as the fact of my other brother, Evan, with whom I grew up all along and who is still alive today.
Below are some pages from the Special Care Baby Book in which my mom and I wrote and drew throughout my childhood to remember and cherish baby Brandon.
Photo of my mom holding Brandon