A year ago today my brother was taken away from me and my family in the cruelest way possible. He was stabbed once in the chest, and once in the temple all because he tried to stop a fight. My brother did not suffer a quick and easy death. He suffered major blood loss, his organs shut down one by one and he was pronounced brain dead on arrival to the hospital. John was a wonderful man. He would do anything for anyone. He was a man you truly respected and would not dare get on the wrong side of him. Even if he had only known you for ten minutes he would do his very best to help you if you were in trouble. He was the joker of the family and liked to think he was at a greek wedding when he was drunk, smashing plates and singing at the top of his voice. Though he and I lived hours away from each other, we made it a point to speak on the phone almost every single day. My last conversation with him, hours before he was stabbed ended in "I have to go now, so take care of yourself" "Don't worry, I always do". Waking up that Sunday morning I knew something was terribly wrong. My mother would not wake me unless the house was on fire - or someone had died. I cannot describe how I felt at that moment, only if you have lost a loved one to murder can you truly appreciate the emotions I went through. I went through the classic denial phase. Pretending nothing had happened I went to work the next day where I finally broke down. Even then it did not hit me what had happened to my dear brother, that realisation came to me in October 2008. My brother's body was not released for over two weeks and he had two autopsies performed on him. During that time I worked closely with Summerset Police and began planning his funeral. The day of his funeral arrived and I could not believe how many people were at the church. I didn't bother to count but there were so many that they could not fit inside the church; there must have been well over 200. We walked into Bob Marley's 3 Little Birds, his most favourite song in the world; YouTube - Bob Marley - Three Little Birds The service was wonderful even though I felt as though my heart was being forcefully ripped from my body. My cousin Stephen nephew was mistaken for my brother's son Louis which caused a few laughs and red faces all round. I tried my very hardest to be strong that day but it was so hard. A child should never die before its parents and seeing the heartache on my step father's face was horrific. In November 2008 the court case began. In January 2009 my brother's murderer was sentenced to 15 years in jail. Not enough in my eyes but enough for the man to never have a life again. This past year has been very tough on my family and me, and there have been times when I have wanted to chuck in the towel and be done with it, but I soldiered on. Time does not heal all wounds, but you do begin to lead a normal life again. It takes a long time and sometimes I break down, I give in and cry but afterwards I pick myself up, hold my head high and soldier on. I would like to remind you all of this poem; When was the last time you... Had a conversation With the moon? Or made a wish On a falling star? Held hope from a string Of delicate things? When was the last time you... Got lost In an enchanted wood? Or were kissed by a prince Who turned into a frog? Consulted with a caterpillar Or kidnapped a myth? When was the last time you... Had a visit From your fairy godmother Who turned pumpkins into coaches And wishes Into wings? When was the last time you... Cried lost tears? Into the lake of longing? Sipped inspiration From the pool of wonder? Or rose, victorious, Like a phoenix From the ashes? When did you last... Lay your head in the lap of awe And listened to a song From a distant shore Called home? The time is NOW Leap! Soar Explore... Remember your dreams And unseen things Sing with raputre And dance... Dance Dance like a dervish! And when inspiration knocks Open the door! I will never forget you my dear brother, you meant everything to me. I live because you want me to live. I love because you want me to love and I take comfort in the fact that someday I will see you again. Johnathan Derrick. 17/02/1965 - 13/07/2008 Gone, but never forgotten.