Yesterday would have been my son David’s 33rd birthday. When he was killed, ten years ago last February, some said, “Time is a great healer“, I only wish it were so.
As the world he knew grows ever-distant, his absence results in an ever greater number of unanswerable questions about how his life would have been. On a mundane level it seems almost unbelievable that he never handled an iPod, let alone a smart phone. He never knew that London was awarded the Olympics or saw their fruition. These are but two, I’m sure that with a little thought one could easily add many more inventions or events that have changed in that short time.
In ten years the world has advanced beyond recognition, yet, as his father, the most striking difference has been his absence.
Most societies acknowledge the role of a mother in grief. In many parts of the world little old ladies wear nothing but black, show public tears and are often seen wailing in grief.
As a father, it is my perceived role to carry the family forward. However, as any grieving father knows, it is often family and close friends that not only carry him, but give him the will just to survive day to day. Pity the grieving father cut off from his kin.
Yesterday, my wife and I hid ourselves away, as we do for all painful anniversaries. The morning was bright and sunny but for all we cared the day could have been night. Without any warning we suddenly had guests. The unexpected appearance of David’s beloved sister and the niece he never knew (yet shows a few of his traits and mannerisms), was beyond description. That it ever happened and wasn’t just part of a wonderful dream or movie still leaves me breathless. Instead of having a day of mourning we had the sort of day that not only David would have truly loved, but a day that fully honoured his memory.
Time may never heal, but family and friends can make life worth living.
© Baldock Bard 2013
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