With a sad and heavy heart, a week today

It is sometimes hard to realise how quickly things can change.

A week ago yesterday, we were holding Ben in our arms, the first time ever since he was born. It was a wonderful sensation to feel his weight in our arms, and for him to be happy and contented. He had a good couple of days where all his numbers and his appearance had improved. Going home that night, we both had more hope that he was going to pull through.

This time last week, Thursday the 29th of December, we were getting ready to head into Temple Street, as one of the nurses had called and told me that he had not had a good night and the doctors wanted to talk to us about his treatment. It was the first time we had been summoned to the hospital, that scared us. When we arrived, we were told that his condition had worsened since the call two hours ago, and that things did not look good at all. All his numbers had taken a downward turn, oxygen saturation was low even though he was on 100% oxygen, his blood pressure was very low. The poor little man had a pained looked on his face, he was crying his silent cry and he looked as if he had aged overnight. He looked exhausted, as if he had no strength left. Our hearts sank at this, and were filled with dread and sadness.

After a discussion with the doctors and nurses, Ben was moved into a room so we could spend some time with him. Once again we got to hold him, but in such a different way to the day before. These were going to be our last moments with him.

For a couple more hours he tried hard to keep going, but it was not meant to be. He passed away quietly just before 4pm.

The rest is somewhat of a blur in terms of time, but a very vivid blur in terms of memories, and this will remain.

On Saturday, New Years Eve, we were touched and moved by so many of you who travelled across the country or overseas to say hello and goodbye to our son Ben, both in Staffords in Portmarnock, and in Glasnevin for his small service.

We will always remember Ben, he touched our lives in a way that we cannot describe well enough to do it justice, other than to say he was our son, and we loved him greatly.

The following is a poem that was read out at Ben’s service


I’ll be in the breeze that rustles in the trees
When autumn days are here
The first winter snowflake which falls in this place will just be me kissing your face.

When light gentle raindrops fall on your brow
I’ll be whispering I’m with you now
The sunshine that bathes you in its warm summer glow
Will just be me kissing you so.

And when spring comes around, I’ll be easily found
In the flower you hold in your hand
So whatever the season, please don’t be sad.

So grieve awhile for me, then let your grief be comforted by trust that we will meet again.
Bless the memories within your heart, I won’t be far away, for life goes on, and if you need me, call and I will come.

Though you cannot see me, I’ll be near with all my love around you, soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with a smile and I’ll welcome you home


We would like to thank you all, on our behalf but more importantly on Ben’s behalf, for all the support and kindness you have all shown to us in these last difficult seven weeks, for that we are grateful.

Richard & Grace & Ben

We miss you Ben.



  1. There aren’t any words that I could possibly add to the ones you’ve already shared except to say you’re in our thoughts and that your strength is inspirational.

  2. Emily Gallagher

    I am so sorry for you loss.

    Rest in Peace Ben.

  3. Lena Esseen

    I am sure that the love that Grace give you, give you the strenght to be that strong that you are. I am so happy that I came in time to see my little grandson.He was so peaceful looking. I will always have that memory in my head.The cermony in the chapell was so filled with feelings from us all, to you both. Now life has to go on, we have all gone trough a terrible experience, lot of new feelings that you didn’t know to exist.Take care,much much love from Mamie

  4. Our loss is Heaven’s gain as it has a new beautiful angel to watch over his doting parents

  5. Sophie

    Dear Richard and Grace, you can be so proud of that little boy of yours! He put up a strong fight but somebody decided to take him back and that is so so sad and not fair. He was a beautiful baby, and he looked so peaceful and rested as if he was saying “I’m ok now Mum and Dad, don’t worry”. He is now a little angel that will look over you always. My heart bleeds for you both and our families. But rest assured that Baby Ben is happy and well looked after wherever he is. Every time I look up at the sky and see a star I know he’s looking down and will do everything to make him proud if his auntie! Big big hugs and kisses to you both. I love you and will always be there for you

  6. Martins

    I can’t remember when was the last time I cried but this definitely made my eyes wet. Be strong, Richard & Grace!

  7. Bittan

    Now and again I read what you have written Richard, and I think it is so beautiful. I am sure your loss has turned you into a stronger man and I thank Ben for that. He will always remain in our hearts.

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