Making the best of losing a brother and doing something amazing in his memory
Jamie would have been 24 years old on 16th November 2018. We never imagined that we’d ever be writing something like this, but here we are. It’s now been 5 birthdays without Jamie with us, so this year we wanted to let you know how your support is making a massive difference to us and to the young people we are able to help through the foundation because of you.
We have always treated birthdays as a big celebration in our family and Jamie’s is still no different. We will be together, like we always are, laughing, taking jokes too far, calling our mum by her first name whilst she helps herself to the meal you ordered because she wishes she ordered that and being told to calm down at regular intervals by our dad whilst he continues to top up our drinks wondering how we all got so tipsy so quickly. We will be at the same restaurant we always go to, to celebrate Jamies birthday. As this is the last place we all went as a family of 6, and it really does feel like he is sitting there with us.
Now to the foundation, The Jamie McVeigh Foundation has raised an amazing £20,000 so far. The kindness shown by everyone would make Jamie so proud and incredibly overwhelmed, and for us, knowing that his name is helping young people does help us cope with the sadness we feel every day. It’s a weird contrast to get our heads around – on the one hand a real sense of joy and achievement and on the other a deep sense of loss and unbearable tragedy. Jamie always cared much more for others than he did for himself, he would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it and wouldn’t expect a thank you. He never complained, and being the youngest of 3 hormonal older sisters he had a lot to complain about. It is impossible to put into words how much we miss him and his shy smile, his quick wit, and his dry sense of humour! We will never get over losing him, but we have learned to make the best of it.
Talking about losing Jamie remains as hard today as it’s always been. One of the key messages of the foundation is that ‘its ok not to be ok’ and while that’s easy to write it’s much harder in reality. It’s difficult feeling ok when you’ve lost a brother, or any family member for that matter but that slogan is a helpful reminder for us and we hope for others too. Jamie rarely talked about how he was feeling, he never opened up or seemed to carry any worries, and to this day we will never know what really happened on the morning of 19th March 2014, which was actually one of our Birthdays. But what we do know about Jamie is that he loved sport, in particular football, and he was good at it. Football really brought him into his own, when he stepped out on the pitch you could see he was in his element, passion took over and nothing else mattered in that moment but the game. We want this passion to live on within the foundation and that is why we chose to fund young people in sport and varies other social activities.
The loss of Jamie has taught us to be kind, to not take ourselves too seriously and not sweat the small stuff. We are privileged to of had him in our lives even though it wasn’t long enough and we hope his story and this foundation will help you.
Written with love by Jamie’s sisters, Derri, Christie and Ellie x