Missing You Evan

Missing You

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For You

‘Missing You’ is dedicated today to you – and the special person or persons you’re missing!

My Best Ever Birthday Gift

Just over 44 years ago, my best ever birthday gift arrived … my brother, Evan!!!

We didn’t get to meet Evan until three months after his birth, on my 11th birthday, just after my parents adopted him. I still miss Evan – though not like I did when I wrote this poem almost 22 years ago.

Evan’s Adoption Story

Evan knew we adopted him. We told him from an early age: he grew in another lady’s tummy, but she couldn’t look after him and Mum and Dad wanted another boy. As they already had four daughters and a son, we could adopt him because of minor health issues.

Evan was born with a chest muscle missing and didn’t tolerate cow’s milk at the time of his adoption.

No Time to Say Goodbye

Exactly 22 years ago, Evan died – at a vulnerable time in my life. Only a month earlier, I’d come close to an emotional breakdown – grieving changes in my marriage, especially a decision with my husband not to plan children, due to his concern he might follow the abusive example of his natural father.

That Sunday afternoon, my parents rang to say Evan was injured in a car accident in Townsville (Queensland, Australia).

We had no time to say ‘good-bye’ to Evan physically.  He died soon after in Townsville Hospital, too far away for any of our family to be by his side.

Evan was 22 at the time. A day or two before, he decided to join his flatmate and girlfriend in Townsville over the weekend. He wanted to make sure they got home safely.

Missing You Evan 1995-10-08
Missing You Evan: Photo taken a few hours before he died 1995-10-08

Soon after he began driving them home on Sunday, a four-wheel drive vehicle’s tyre blew out. Evan took the full force of impact from the out of control vehicle. It split his flatmate’s car in two, next to where he sat.

Evan’s wish granted

Evan’s friends did arrive home safely! His flatmate in the front passenger seat ended up with a scratch and his girlfriend, in the back seat, with a broken arm.

My grief journey

The time I spent writing ‘Missing You’ helped me through the first four months after Evan died. This poem was my personal grief therapy through very difficult times. It took me 100 hours to write, usually after work and on weekends.

Missing You

So many times today
I saw familiar frames
many more
than any day before –
I even stopped
and watched,
wanting each one to be you,
waiting to see
how similar each stranger could be,
wishing he was you.

And not just that
But those potent memories
evoked unexpectedly –
the way I embarrassed myself
late one afternoon
when weary from work
and searching for you,
focusing on you in the distance
walking towards me,
turned out to be a friend I knew.

Much more poignant
that overwhelming hour in the airport lounge
exactly three weeks ago –
bathing in the sight
of someone moving like you,
profile identical
except the touch of tousled hair –
sadly I struggle to picture his face
even though,
for those few courageous moments,
I shared with him my pain
refusing to lose the opportunity
desperately wanting
to gently explore a potential connection.

Friendly and unperturbed
(again like you)
he introduced himself
felt so strange to take his hand
freckled and pale like yours.
Agonising then
our hearts soon filled with hope
for we’ve found out
you have a half-brother his age…
perhaps he is your natural brother
perhaps one day
he’ll be my brother too.

It’s been four months today
since you went away
how I miss you!
I wish you’d come back again
wish I could tell you all I meant to say
wish you’d come back to Sydney to stay –
even so
I believe it’s best for you this way
I miss you
Mate, I love you.

Original Dedication

Dedicated to my (adopted) brother: Evan Bruce Doyle 19.6.73 – 8.10.95
Colleen J. Golafshancolleengolafshan.com

Copyright 1996*

‘Missing You’ Online

‘Missing You’ is published here with breaks for easier online reading. The original poem had one verse only.

‘Missing You’ With Thanks

I’m missing you, Evan, but I’m glad to have this poem to remember you and share my love for you.

Thank you, dear reader, for helping me acknowledge my grief for Evan.

Praise to my God and Father for:


Have you experienced similar situations missing someone in your life?
For example, have you recognised a face or figure that reminds you of someone you’re missing, then realised it’s not them? Tell us your experiences in a comment below.

*You’re welcome to share this poem in this article, but please include the background information about my brother and my name and website.

8 thoughts on “Missing You

  1. Thank you for letting us see inside your broken heart. For every time we lose someone we love, our heart cracks a little more. But it will never completely break.

    The love you have for him comes through loud and clear. Thank you for sharing.

    And you asked if I had ever seen someone tho looked like a loved one. You’ll have to read the account of when my heart broke a little. For I don’t think I had ever had an experience like that one before.

    I’m so glad that we only have to miss them while we are here. Because when we step into glory, there will be no more veil between us and our loved ones. We will get to embrace and never let go.

    1. Thanks, Anne! Yes, I love Evan; also I miss him, though much less than I did when I wrote ‘Missing You’. After 22 years without him here, all the memories are so far back. Both my children were born after his death, so I can only share my memories of him with them, though he loved children and would have enjoyed being their uncle.

      Where is your account of where your heart broke a little? I’ve read a few accounts of yours that involved heartbreak, but probably not that.

    1. Thanks, Leslie! We were blessed to have Evan for 22 years and to continue to have memories of those years together. I plan to share more of these in memoir, though I plan to start with my earliest memories first, up until I was eight years old. 🙂

  2. I feel your grief, Colleen. Even if grief wasn’t fresh, I would be able to feel yours from reading this. You capture the reality of fresh grief in your poem. Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

    1. Hi Nancy, I appreciate your comments, as one who has experienced fresh grief recently.
      Yes, my grief was fresh and raw at the time I wrote this.
      I’m so thankful for the poem now. It’s a link to Evan which continues to help me and which I can openly share with others – perhaps in a way that’s helpful.

How will, or are, you using this to be loving and living to your fullest :)