My new mission—finding my brother’s twin

I had to stay up late for a site launch in Australia and just realized that at this exact moment four years ago I was up simultaneously singing Happy Birthday for Charlie and saying goodbye.

My exhausted mother, who was up for at least 48 hours, maybe more, fell asleep in bed with him. My dad was close by on the couch.

I talked to him. I didn’t really know what to say, except: “I love you” and “it will be OK.” Over and over again for hours. Until all of a sudden I realized one fact, I said “Charlie, now you will get to see your twin brother. Isn’t it interesting how you entered this world with him and you’ll leave it with your other brother next to you?” and then he took his last breath… holding my hand and he was gone.

The last few months I’ve been on a mission but caught in a lot of red tape. I’m trying to figure out where his twin is buried and, if possible, return him next to his brother. His twin brother died a few months after birth. He had no one. No biological parents could be found. He wasn’t yet in foster care (only a few months later would Charlie arrive in our home).

What happened to this little boy? It breaks my heart to think about. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to find out—I’m not exactly legally related to him, but I’m still going to try. So, that’s how I’m honoring my brother this year. Trying to reunite him with his twin.

The grief has gotten easier to manage, but I still struggle. Going to my house is hard. I either think it’s too quiet without nurses and machines—or about his final days. Most of all, I miss seeing his smile, especially when he heard my voice and his infectious laugh.

I’ll never forget you, Charlie.

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