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A little piece of Tim with us, forever and always.

I’m not a massive jewellery person but I’m big on sentimentality. The few pieces I do have on rotation connect me to those I love most - a delicate gold necklace with my two daughters’ initials on it, a simple diamond band from my parents, a dainty gold ring from my partner and now, my most recent addition is something that makes me smile every time I look at it.

In November last year, we tragically lost my older brother Tim at just 37 years old. Since his passing, my family are always looking for ways to keep him close to us. In June this year, we decided to get sibling tattoos of Tim’s initials on our left wrists. To add a super special touch, we decided to get it in his trademark left-handed scrawl, so off the three of us trotted to the tattoo parlour. I never thought I’d be getting my first tatt at the ripe age of 34 but here we are… I’m so happy to be a part of the club and I’m already planning my second ink (they do say it’s a slippery slope).

Around the same time we were planning our tattoos, my sister and I came across the Stevie and Sol Instagram page and it sparked an idea to get one of their bespoke gold bracelets to go with our TB tatts.

Tim wasn’t the designated birthday card writer in our family, with that job usually falling to our little brother so trying to track down a piece of his recent handwriting was no easy task. But we were determined, especially because his left-handed handwriting was so unique and such a quirky part of who he was! I could remember a wedding card my brothers and I had organised a few years prior for my sister and Tim had penned a really beautiful note in there. The only problem was, my sister wasn’t sure where she’d stored it in her house.

After turning her whole upside down several times over, she finally unearthed the card and inside it was a moving message from Tim, signed off ‘Love Tim’. Boom, there it was! When you lose a loved one, finding a new relic of them is like unwrapping the most precious gift in the world. For that brief moment you’re reading their words on the page, you can hear their voice in your head as clear as day and it feels like they’re alive again.

‘Love Tim’ is what we’d get turned into a bracelet. My sister took the reins and did all the legwork but the process was very straightforward and seamless - she emailed over a close-up of Tim’s left-handed sign-off, measured my wrist to make sure the bracelet would be the right size and liaised back and forth to sign off on the final design.

A few weeks later, our Love Tim bracelets arrived in the post and they were better than we ever could have imagined. They are incredible quality and the gold detailing perfectly complements our TB tattoos. I get so much comfort knowing my brother is always going to be close to me, guiding me every step of the way as I navigate this terrifying world without him.

I have fond memories of wanting to wear my mother’s jewellery when I was little and I hope that one day, my girls want to take it in turns to wear this bracelet, too. The power of this bracelet means there’s a little piece of Tim with us, forever and always.

Bella Brennan is a Sydney-based writer who is on a mission to normalise conversations around grief.

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