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Hail loss and sadness, and Farewell!

By Mike Cunningham On April 15th, 2018

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.

 

 

 

Thomas Gray. Elegy in a country churchyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a father, and a grandfather. I have known loss, which comes more bitter than the sourest lime or lemon. I have lost a father and mother, an eldest brother and a sister, who died when just sixteen. I have lost, as many of us have, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends and longtime best friends. But so far, I have been lucky, I have not tasted the bitterness of losing a child; so I cannot speak or write from first-hand knowledge of what it must feel like.

So I write as a spectator, when reading, discussing or even attempting to understand the savage pain when facing the truth that your son is not just dying; he is really already dead. The specialists have conferred, the readings off the Electro-Encephalograph and all the other monitoring devices have been studied, and the best medical minds have attempted to tell you the truth: that the body which is lying on that medical bed, sustained by machinery to breathe, with artificial means of pumping his blood through his arteries, is no longer capable of life.

They have pleaded with you to let him rest with dignity, they have stood and given their solemn words upon oath that they can do no more. They, those medical professionals, have travelled through the Courts, have watched as you have battled against accepting the truth, the final verdicts from those wise and learned Judges have been pronounced.

It is time to let go,Tom Evans and Kate Jamesto leave that tragic bedside, and let tiny Alfie’s body commence its journey towards a gravesite which has probably already been allocated and prepared!

11 Responses to “Hail loss and sadness, and Farewell!”

  1. A compassionate post a rarity a beauty an orchid in the dung heap. Bless you mike

  2. Mike – we are often at political loggerheads. But I must say you’ve written here one of the best posts ever on this site, and expressed a non-judgmental yet firm position as effectively as can be. Well done.

  3. My ten month old niece literally died overnight with meningitis. The pain, grief and sorrow were so much for my brother that it led him to eventually take his own life.

    I still vividly remember seeing the small lifeless infant body in the hospital. A sight no one least of all a parent should have to endure.

    A good, thoughtful post Mike.

  4. I totally agree with what Mike has said. To prolongg the suffering of poor Alfie, will just prolong the Misery for his parents and family.

  5. I have not tasted the bitterness of losing a child; so I cannot speak or write from first-hand knowledge of what it must feel like?

    The pain, and devastating grief never, ever leaves you, it’s there’s when you go to sleep, and when you wake up..

    Even after 20 years the pain and mental grief subsides to a very small degree, but your life changes forever.

    Maybe this is why my own faith in any God, is zero.

  6. Mike.

    A truly wonderful post.

  7. Mahons, on April 15th, 2018 at 1:47 PM Said:
    Mike – we are often at political loggerheads. But I must say you’ve written here one of the best posts ever on this site, and expressed a non-judgmental yet firm position as effectively as can be. Well done.

    high praise and true, well done.

  8. Why should the opinions of the hospital prevail over the wishes of the parents? According to the linked Daily Mail article the parents have arranged for further medical care for their child at another medical facility. Why should they not be allowed to pursue further care for their son? Be wary of giving hospital personnel power over life and death.

  9. //My ten month old niece literally died overnight with meningitis. The pain, grief and sorrow were so much for my brother that it led him to eventually take his own life.//

    My father’s brother died of the same thing in their cottage in Cavan when both were young boys. The brother died in bed beside him, and the next day my grandfather hammmered a coffin together, which he and my dad then carried over the hills to the village below.

    Even when he was an old man, my father’s face would go red and he’d leave the room if anyone ever mentioned it.

    Once again: most heart-felt commiserations, Harri. (though your lack of quotation marks changes the meaning). I hope that in some way at least the experience also made you stronger.

  10. Once again: most heart-felt commiserations, Harri.

    Let me also again echo that H.

  11. Yes a good, thoughtful post;

    NY I agree with your comment. The hospital/ doctors should not have absolute power

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