Whose prints are on your Impression piece and why is it special to you?
I have my brother’s son, my nephew’s little finger print on my impression piece. This is so special to me, as my brother very suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in October 2021, when my nephew was 2 years old, and my niece was just a few months old. My brother and I were IVF babies, and he used to tell people we were twins. We were very close. Losing him is the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. My heart breaks every day for his kids especially. He loved them so much and it seems so unfair that they have to grow up in a world without him. My nephew is SO much like my brother in so many ways, so he makes me feel close to my brother. And at his funeral I made a promise that I would do anything and everything I can do look after the kids and his wife forever.
Can you tell us a little more about how you came about being so involved in their lives?
I just love being an aunty. Even from the moment my brother and my sister-in-law told me they were having a baby- I was just so excited. I love being with the kids, I love taking them to do fun things, or even just doing nothing at home. Navigating how to explain a loss to them that they could not even possibly comprehend yet is really difficult. There is no rule book. I just want to give them the opportunities and experiences that they should have had with their dad. I feel like as the older sister- that is my responsibility to my brother. Sometimes I just look at them in such gratitude. They are so young and so tiny, they don’t even know the power that they have had to be able to pull me out of such a dark place, without even knowing it! They are just incredible little humans.
How did you find making the impressions for your piece?
Well.. trying to get 2 kids under 4 to sit still for two seconds to get their fingerprints was… interesting! My niece’s fingerprints were just a little too faint- so we just did my nephews for now. But he was super intrigued- and was so excited to see the finished product when it arrived. He was super patient with me, and did it over and over like a champ till we got the perfect impressions!
What is your favourite thing about being an aunty?
Tough one! I just love the special bond we have. I just love that in some way they are a piece of me too. I love watching them grow and accomplish things, and unlock new skills, and be creative. I love holding their little hands. I love dressing them up in cute outfits. I love when we go out for babycino’s, and to the movies… I just love spoiling them!
What is the biggest lesson your brother has taught you?
Life is so short. Nothing is guaranteed. Don’t wait. Do things that matter. Make memories. Take ALL the photos. Tell people you love them. These are things he taught me after he died. When he was alive- I would say the biggest lesson he could teach anyone- was that you don’t walk away from an unfinished beer.