When we lose someone life changes forever. Grief comes calling and brings with it exhaustion and a sadness no joy can lift. We understand the world is still turning and people are busy with their lives, but it is a lonely place to be.
As time passes people move on, and as they are busy with life they sometimes forget. Forget people are grieving, forget important dates and significant milestones.
However, tonight I would like to pause a moment and remember… a beautiful soul who left this world years too soon. A young wife and mother, who is hopefully somewhere not too far away minding her small boy, Ben, who unbelievably died too, almost six years ago, but not before he saved the lives of others through organ donation.
In honour of Elma I’m reposting ‘His name was Ben.’
His Name Was Ben.
This day five years ago a small boy from our village was laid to rest having lost a short battle with unexpected illness. He’d been flown to England in the hope his life would be saved. Unfortunately it was not to be. Five years ago, on October 16th, his amazing mum and dad kissed him goodbye and in their saddest of days consented to his organs being used to save five others. His name was Ben. He was six years old.
As his parents grieved for their small boy, and his sister for her brother, others recognised their bravery. Pa Curran wrote a song, ‘unintentional hero’ for all those who donated organs and made a video to honour them. Ben and his dad and sister featured on that video. The Irish Heart foundation awarded Ben, a child of courage award, praising his determination and strength as he returned to good health following a stroke at three years of age and honouring the happy smiling child he was. His local GAA club remember him as do his classmates every year.
In an incredibly cruel twist of fate, Ben’s amazing mum, Elma, a lady to her core, sadly passed away a year ago.
Today as so many of us remember Ben, we do so hoping he is with his mum and knowing that both Elma and Ben are alive in the hearts and souls of all who loved them, most especially Ben’s dad, his sisters, his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousin’s.
Those of us who watch from the sidelines cannot imagine their grief, but we can salute their courage and wish them continued strength.
Codlamh Sámh Ben and Elma.
This is Pa Curran’s song, Unintentional Hero. A wonderful tribute to organ donors everywhere.