Brian Kennedy didn't tell terminally ill brother Bap that he had cancer too
Brian Kennedy has revealed how he kept his own cancer diagnosis secret from his terminally-ill brother Bap.
It has been a tough year for the Belfast singer-songwriter after losing his older sibling to cancer on top of being diagnosed with the disease himself.
But Brian is comforted by the fact he went to see Bap just before he died, ending a long period of estrangement.
Bap passed away earlier this month at the Marie Curie Hospice in Belfast, but Brian went to see him and has opened up about making peace.
During the one and a half hour visit, Brian didn't tell Bap that he too had been diagnosed with cancer.
Speaking to the Irish Mail on Sunday, Brian told how he made amends with Bap (54) during their private meeting in hospital - the last time he saw his brother. Bap died of pancreatic cancer while Brian was diagnosed with rectal cancer five months ago.
Brian said: "I went to see my brother - and we had a long period of estrangement - and I didn't tell him I had cancer. I just wanted to focus on the fact that he was so sick.
"And unsurprisingly the cancer won in the end, but he was taking all kinds of drugs. He was just so unwell.
"I am so glad that I got to see him and chat with him; we spent around an hour and a half on our own, and it was incredible."
Brian sees his brother's passing as a relief in a way, as Bap was in so much pain.
His discomfort was so great that the two brothers could not embrace properly.
Brian added: "Someone stopped me today and said they were sorry for my loss, but it feels great that people are so positive about him. I don't feel an ounce of negativity about him, and we had a real peaceful time together.
"The last thing we said to one another was: 'I want me to think of you really peacefully and I want you to think of me really peacefully'. Then we tried to hug and he couldn't really do it because he was so sore. That was the last time I saw him.
"I am not a big fan of funerals. I am comforted that his spirit was gone. Because that body was in such pain and now he has gone from that painful place," he explained.
It was back in July that Brian was diagnosed with cancer and went on The Last Word with Matt Cooper to encourage others to go and get checked.
He said: "I was diagnosed on the July 29 this year. I was kind of in shock for a couple of days. I didn't tell anybody at first, and I actually went out that night and got really drunk. Because the minute someone says that to you, it is surreal. You just think 'Holy s***, is this where I am at?'
"I'd just turned 50 a couple of weeks ago. When I got used to that, I asked myself how could I turn it around and talk to other men."
On his own battle, he added: "My next thing now is to have another colonoscopy to see if the tumour is still there - if it is bigger or smaller or if it has disappeared.
"I feel very well. The symptoms are all gone… so fingers crossed."