i'm quite young, in anyone's terms. i had three older brothers, and an older sister as well. all of my brothers enlisted in the army, and were deployed when I was 10. i just remember my teacher telling me that there'd been an emergency and I had to go to my sister's school. we were taken to a quiet office and told that our two eldest brothers (who were twins) had died serving overseas. it sounds terrible, but I don't think I really felt it. i didn't really care until years later when I realised that I wasn't going to get them back, ever. just 2 years after that, our last brother died. he'd been shot, and died in intensive care later the same day. i felt his loss a lot more, and I don't know if it was because I was older, or if it was because I was closer with him than our other brothers. but I've had this sort of empty feeling in me whenever I see people with their siblings, or my friends talk about their brothers. I've never told anyone outside my family about it. it's too painful. once one of my friends told me I should get a brother, and I burst out crying at school. i keep getting flashbacks of all of us together, doing piggyback rides or stealing icecream or go kart rides. i just don't feel like anyone would understand. losing one sibling, maybe, but three? my sister has seemed to be fine, as bad as it sounds. she's never cried about it to my knowledge, and doesn't seem to be affected when anyone talks about their brothers or the army or war. i can barely hold in tears when that happens. we learnt about world war II in history and all I could think about was the hundreds of thousands of families who would never get their son or father or brother back. my four male cousins, who I am very close with, are all active members of different armies and I'm so terrified that I'm going to get a phone call one day telling me that they've passed away. I'm so scared I've begged them to quit the army but they don't seem to share the same fear. they were all devastated when my brothers died but they don't seem to ever consider that it could happen to them, and what it would do to our family. it's so painful writing this out, it just feels like there's a big hole in my chest that gets heavier every day. i miss them all endlessly.