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  • Writer's pictureMarcus Kowal

You should have turned 5.

Today, we should be celebrating your fifth birthday. It would have been a strange way to celebrate it since the whole world is on shutdown but it certainly beats not being able to celebrate it at all. Instead, it’s the hardest day of the year and it will continue to be so for the rest of my life. You learn to live with it and you learn to see it through but that doesn’t mean it is not difficult. And fuck does it hurt.

It’s been a tough year in many ways, having the bill that was introduced in your name silenced by corruption and then a complete shutdown of the world but none of it matters in the fight for justice for you. They are roadblocks that will be overcome, just like we’ve had to overcome so many times before and still continue to do so.

Your little sister is one year old now and looks even more like you than your brother. She’s a little more gentle and loves to eat, just like you did. Just yesterday, she played with the “Babblarna” app for the first time. It can still be hard to hear your favourite “Babblarna” song.

Nico is definitely wilder but still very sweet with her and it’s hard not to think about what it would be like if you were here with them. Nico is now old enough to ask about you. He sees pictures of you and asks who you are. When we tell him you’re his brother, he sometimes says he wants to see you. It’s often hard to have to hide the pain, because he doesn’t understand. Your mother often has to turn around to hide her tears to not upset him.

The other day, as I was driving with Nico, we were close to where we used to live and he said: “there’s Liam!” Those moments are hard not to wish that you actually somehow showed yourself to him.

But with all the ups and downs that composes life, one thing remains: the steadfast determination to reach the goals we have set forth in your name. And we will. Not a day goes by without me thinking about you. Pappa alskar dig.

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