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.