Friday, 5 February 2016

A Memorial Tribute in Memory of my Jonathan

Jonathan Thomas Kieran Bruen 
Born April 21st 1990
Died March 3rd 2009

Jonathan was born in England.
He attended Kilmove National School in Mayo Ireland after the family moved there when he was 4 years old.
Two years later the family moved back to England where Jonathan attended St Mary's Roman Catholic School in Evesham, Worcestershire.
Jonathan had many friends and as he progressed into early teen hood he developed a keen interest in music.
Jonathan enjoyed playing the drums and writing his own songs.
At this stage Jonathan was now attending St Benedict's in Alcester, Warwickshire and here he took part in a talent show where he played the drums and his friend sang.
At the age of 15 the family moved back to Ireland where Jonathan attended Youthreach in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon.
He had a girlfriend named Lara who he loved dearly and even made a music tribute to her which he posted on YouTube.
Jonathan worked in the local solicitors, car dealership garage and computer shop as part of his work experiences.
As children myself and my brother argued 99% of the time, as most siblings do however when he reached his late teens we became very close.
Jonathan and I would text and speak on the phone daily, he would visit my house often.
One Sunday he brought his girlfriend Lara for dinner at my house and then we took my daughter Vivienne to the park.
Jonathan and I would often go for drives in his car.
I remember one time, we went to a garage in Charlestown where we took a new car for a drive, it was so much fun and if course he had no intention in buying it.
Jonathan's goal in life was to become a Gardi  (police) and the night before his death he started work as a night time security guard.
His death had a big impact on me.
The morning after his first night shift at the new job he failed to return home (he was living with my parents).
My mum rang me to ask if I had heard from him, I said "not since last night"
I don't know why, I can't explain the feeling I had when I finished talking to my mum on the phone and I realise most people won't believe me but... 
I rang my "then best friend" and said to her "Jonathan has gone missing, I don't know why but I have a feeling he's had an accident and is lying in a ditch somewhere" she said "don't be stupid, he will turn up soon"
I rang Jonathan but the phone had a dead tone.
An hour passed and I rang my "then best friend" again and voiced my concerns.
She said "if your that worried tell your parents to give his car registration details to the local Gardi"
I rang my mum and told her to do just that.
Within an hour my mum rang me and said she and my dad were on their way to the hospital in Sligo as Jonathan had been involved in a road traffic accident.
I knew my feelings that morning meant something.
I was a single parent, my daughter was in school and I didn't drive nor have transport and Sligo hospital is about an hour+ from where I live.
I rang my dad an hour later and he said Jonathan had been cut out of the car by the fire services.
He was going in and out of consciousness but they hadn't been allowed to see him as yet.
Because I couldn't get to the hospital (despite the fact that relations had gone there and not asked if I wanted a lift), my way of being there was to ring every hour.
And I did just that...
As night approached I kept everything normal for my daughter who was then 9 years old.
I put her to bed and said goodnight.
But I stayed awake all night and continued to ring my dad every hour for an update.
Twice during the night we nearly lost him but he pulled through.
The following morning I took my daughter to school as usual although I had that "feeling" again that something wasn't right.
At 9 am I rang again and this time my dad told me there were complications but Jonathan would be OK.
I felt different and I know those of you reading this won't believe me but its the truth.
Regardless I wanted to stayed positive and keeping hoping all will be fine.
I went and bought Jonathan a get well present, it was a "soft bendable flower" which I thought would be nice to bend around the hospital bed.
He liked things like that.
Anyway over the next couple of hours I rang my dad but there was no reply.
I become worried so I rang the hospital, the ward sister said "I'll get your dad for you he needs to talk to you"
I knew then without hearing any words, I knew Jonathan had died.
I don't know how I knew, I just did.
My dad came to the phone, in a calm tone he said "Jonathan has gone, we've lost him" I knew he was dead but part of me wanted it to be a lie and I said "where's he gone" and then I heard my mum in the back ground screaming and crying.
Dad then said "he's died can you let Charles know I have to go"
Charles is my other brother.
I rang him but his then girlfriend answered, I told her and she said she would tell Charles.
I carried on as normal, I went to my then best friend's house to tell her the news, at 3 pm she tool me to collect my daughter from school.
I sat my daughter in the cat and went to explain to her teacher that she wouldn't be in school for a week due to my 18 year old brother dying.
I then told Vivienne (my daughter) who broke down in tears.
That evening it snowed, I said to Vivienne "that's Jonathan saying hello because he liked the snow and he knew Vivienne did too.
My dad sent his friend to collect us and take us to their house.
My brother Charles and his then girlfriend had flown over from England.
I hugged them and that night myself and Vivienne slept in Jonathan's bed in his room.
I don't know why but my dad was acting normal however he didn't acknowledged me there, I guess it was his grief.
Whereas my mum was hysterical and constantly crying.
The following day Jonathan was laid out in the coffin in the living room at home.
The house was full of relatives and friends, also Jonathan's girlfriend and her family plus people I didn't even know came to pay their respects and they didn't stop until the coffin was taken to the church for the funeral.
The gift I got for Jonathan to take to the hospital I put in the coffin with him.
Charles put money in his pocket telling him to have a pint in heaven and Vivienne put a picture she drew in the coffin.
People kept rubbing Jonathan's face and missing him so the undertaker had to come back to touch up with the make up he used.
Jonathan was meant to be in the coffin at the house for 2 days but mum broke down and didn't want him to leave so they Greed to leave him with us an extra day.
The following day Jonathan had to be taken to the church for the funeral then to the graveyard to be buried.
The family finally said their goodbyes.
Myself and my uncle Mickey (dad's brother) were the remaining two, we gave Jonathan a kiss and said goodbye and we both helped the undertaker put the lid on the coffin.
The church service was emotional and finally I cried, I hadn't done so until that point.
The funeral song at the end of the service was "To Make You Feel My Love" the Gareth Brooks version as Jonathan was a fan of his.
After the funeral we gathered at Durkin's in Ballaghaderreen for tea.
A few days later my parents drove us home.
We had to, we need to get back into our normal routine.
Anyway, as I say, life is what you make it and I'm trying my very best to make mine the best I can in memory if Jonathan.
He is gone but he will never ever be forgotten by all who knew and loved him.

Jonathan I love you.
Love your big sister Samantha.

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