“My Brother Hans,” Tambuli, Apr. 1988, C2
I want to tell you about my little brother, Hans. From the time he was born we shared a room, and at bedtime we always played games. He would never just go to sleep. After Mother kissed us goodnight and shut the door, Hans would jump up, hold onto the rail of his crib, and begin to bounce. He would wave and yell at me until we both were laughing hard. I really liked sharing a bedroom with him, even if he was a baby.
Some people think that babies are a bother, but Hans wasn’t. He was fun. He would watch us, then try to do everything we did. He used to go around the house picking up little pieces of trash that no one else saw. Then he would run to the garbage can and throw them in. He always tried to help everybody.
Hans was very adventurous. He wasn’t afraid of anything. His best trick was to climb up our big bookcase. He could get nearly to the ceiling. Mother always lifted him down, but I thought that he was better than a mountain climber.
Once I did something terrible to him without meaning to. He was coming up the stairs, steadying himself with his hand on the wall. When he got to the door at the top, his hand poked through where the door hinge is. I didn’t see him, and I slammed the door on his finger. He screamed and screamed. Mother and Father rushed him to the hospital because the end of his finger was badly cut and he needed stitches to close the wound. I felt awful. But when he came back home, he gave me a hug, so I knew that he still loved me. He was really brave and hardly ever cried about his finger, and he wasn’t even two years old! I felt very proud of him.
When the weather was nice, we used to go for walks together down the street. He really liked to play in an empty field, running on his little legs along the paths. He liked the flowers and bugs and birds too.
I don’t ever want to forget him. You see, Hans got really sick last month—Mother said it was meningitis. Even though the doctor and the bishop came to help, he died.
We all cried when Hans died. Mother and Father hugged each other and cried. They hugged me too. Our neighbors and friends came over and they cried. I’m glad that our friends were there. It helped to talk to my friends. It helped to just sit on the porch with them beside me.
Hans’s funeral was in the morning. My grandparents and all my cousins and aunts and uncles came. Our friends and neighbors were there, too. Mother and Father played a song for Hans on the piano and then talked a lot about Hans and Jesus.
Hans is buried near a little pine tree. I like that tree. Father says that we can watch it grow. It will remind us that Hans is really alive, too, only with Jesus.
I know that Hans will always be my brother because Mother and Father were married in the temple. I didn’t know how important that was until Hans died. Now I do.
Sometimes we go to the cemetery to put flowers on Hans’s grave. I told Mother that it’s kind of like the park where we had our family reunion. She hugged me tightly and told me that when Resurrection Day comes, the good people who have been buried will meet with everybody that they love, and it will be the biggest family reunion that you ever saw. I can hardly wait to hug Hans when he is resurrected. I miss him a lot, but I know that he is happy because he lives with Heavenly Father and Jesus.
When I die, I won’t be afraid, because I will see Jesus, and I will be with Hans again. I am going to try to be as good as Hans was so that we can live together some day.
When I take the sacrament, I think about how Jesus was resurrected so that we can be too. I love Jesus for doing that. Even though Hans is dead, because of Jesus I can feel happy.