November 29th. A day without significance in my life for over four decades, until five years ago when it became the day when the force that was young Daniel left this life, hopefully for adventures somewhere new.
Since then time has continued to tick by. My own children have grown up, some have finished school and gone to college. We’ve celebrated birthdays and Christmases. But at so many of those milestones we paused to remember the boy who was missing.
Five years can seem like a long time, but for those at the heart of grief it’s a mere moment. In that moment Daniel left secondary school after only a few weeks to begin treatment. He missed major sporting occasions, his Junior Cert and Leaving Cert and in June of this year he wasn’t there with his classmates as they graduated, no longer thirteen year olds, but young men of eighteen with all that life promises ahead of them.
Every year since 2013 has been hugely difficult for his parents and family, but this year, marking what should have been the end of school and the beginning of college and a new life, has been particularly poignant. Throughout it all his family have held their heads high and shown strength and courage beyond what anyone should have to.
My friendship with Daniels mum spans three decades. I was there when Daniel decided to make a rather dramatic entrance into the world and hard as it is to believe I was there when he left it. During all those years she’s been by my side as much as I have hers. Friends every step of the way. It’s been so hard not to be able to take her pain away. Tomorrow, I have little doubt she will stand strong, but tonight, before Daniels anniversary this is my wish for you my friend. Not all the words apply but the sentiment is true… ‘I wish to mother you.’
I’m here to mother you
To comfort you and get you through
Through when your nights are lonely
Through when your dreams are only blue
This is to mother you
8 thoughts on “When all you can do, is just be there.”
Like you, I have friends who have lost children. I never know what to say, or how to help, or what to do…..the deepest of all possible pains….
Yes it’s heartbreaking. A lifetime of what might have beens. Daniels parents are amazing though as I wonder if I could be half as good under those circumstances.
Only being able to follow Daniel’s journey through your blog, I can’t believe it’s been five years. His ‘cheeky’ grin has touched me and I believe in that force that he was (I love that phrase). ❤
That is beautiful Colleen. I know, five years! It is so long and yet no time at all. As they say themselves, they are over the sudden trauma and now are living with the everyday reality of his loss. Hard to imagine living that reality.
Thanks Colleen, for always being there.
You’re welcome Tric ❤
each year gets harder in some ways as you see his friends from long ago, continuing on through iife, and reminder of what could have been. not that you do not wish any of them the best, just wish he could have continued on along with them. i just had this conversation last week with my brother. hugs and love to all of you who care so much for daniel.
Yes Beth, I often think of your brother and the amazing legacy he is leaving in memory of his son. But it must be impossibly sad to see others move on while they remain forever children.
Thanks Beth, for in so many ways your experience has helped mine.
And I feel the same about those who have left your life way too early in Ireland