Hail loss and sadness, and Farewell!


Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.

Thomas Gray. Elegy in a country churchyard

I am a father, and a grandfather. I have known loss, which comes more bitter than the sourest lime or lemon. I have lost a father and mother, an eldest brother and a sister, who died when just sixteen. I have lost, as many of us have, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends and longtime best friends. But so far, I have been lucky, I have not tasted the bitterness of losing a child; so I cannot speak or write from first-hand knowledge of what it must feel like.

So I write as a spectator, when reading, discussing or even attempting to understand the savage pain when facing the truth that your son is not just dying; he is really already dead. The specialists have conferred, the readings off the Electro-Encephalograph and all the other monitoring devices have been studied, and the best medical minds have attempted to tell you the truth: that the body which is lying on that medical bed, sustained by machinery to breath, with artificial means of pumping his blood through his arteries, is no longer capable of life.

They have pleaded with you to let him rest with dignity, they have stood and given their solemn words upon oath that they can do no more. They, those medical professionals, have travelled through the Courts, have watched as you have battled against accepting the truth, the final verdicts from those wise and learned Judges have been pronounced.

It is time to let go,Tom Evans and Kate James, to leave that tragic bedside, and let tiny Alfie’s body commence its journey towards a gravesite which has probably already been allocated and prepared!

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