Alex and Zach
This is a story about alex and his relationship with his brother Zach who died of SIDS
by Shannon Wylie
Alexander 10/4/93 - present
Zachary 8/30/95 - 4/27/96 (Age: 7mo, 27 days)
Joey 3/15/97 - present
reprinted with permission
My son Alex is only 3 1/2 right now, but obviously traumatized about his
brother dieing. He saw the whole thing, from me finding Zach, till the
ambulance took him away. I feel so bad for him. My child should not have
to go through that pain!! Alex was talking to me, and we talked about
Zachary. He started saying he should of hurried! I didn't understand, so I
asked him what he meant. He said if he would of hurried, he could of
saved Zach. He could of made him not die.
Then a little bit ago, when Alex was sleeping, I heard him saying in his
sleep, "No No No" Then he started yelling for me. I ran in there and asked
what was wrong, and he said he thought Joey died. My 3 yr old son should
not be thinking and having nightmares like that! Poor, poor, Alex. It's so
unfair on his part too. He was only 2 when Zach died. It's sad he remembers
and grieves so much for his age.
Alex does have happy memories about Zach. When he's sad, I remind him of
those things. He remembers pushing Zach all around in his walker. Up and
down the halls. He would sneak into Zach's bed when they both were suppose
to be sleeping and play with Zach. I'd catch them two like that a lot, but just let
them play. He would love to help feed Zach baby food. Thought it was so funny
how Zach would make such a mess. Baths were another favorite past time for
them two. They would play in there all night if I let them!! Alex was always real
gentle, and loving towards Zach. He called Zach his "little buddy". It's so hard
for me when Alex gets sad. He REALLY loved Zach!
Zach was just beginning to walk when he died. He got around real good crawling.
Alex would share his toys with him all the time. While shopping, he would see a
toy, and tell me Zach would want that. I'd buy it, and Alex couldn't wait to bring
it home to Zach. You would think Alex really wanted it for himself, but not my Alex.
He wouldn't let anyone else touch it. He would say, "That's Zach's toy!!"
Alex still asks a lot of questions about Zach. "Why did Zach die?, How did
Zach die? Can Zach see us right now?" At night, if we are outside, he'll
look in the sky and see a star, get all excited and say, "MOMMY, I SEE
ZACHARY!" and I'll ask what Zach's doing. Alex will reply, "Playing with
I asked Alex what he remembers about Zach, and he said holding him,
tickeling him, but the biggest one was, Alex use to pretend he was
sneezing, and Zach would laugh SO hard!!!! Alex thought that was the
neatest thing!!! He would also call Zach "Boo boo Bear". They were really
quite a couple!