It's odd somehow how some things seem to go in cycles; everyone’s getting married, children all over the place or a run of deaths.
Today is the 6th anniversary of my brothers death, he had cystic fibrosis and caught a bug on a plane trip to Australia from which he never recovered. He had been doing well with the new treatments for CF, so well in fact that they felt he could fly without the oxygen he usually had. This trip was also a first for him by himself, always an anxious time when someone has a learning difficulty as well.
What makes matters more difficult at these times is the distance and not being able to do things quickly. There is also that tension between letting children go and wanting to keep them safe that never goes away. It is a paradox that I have tried to help many parents of people with learning difficulties over the years, but it is never easy. My daughter is currently working in Egypt for the summer in a Red Sea resort, her destination was changed just before she went and in my rising anxiety I couldn’t remember if she had gone to Dahab or Abu Soma. Fortunately it was the latter and thanks to mobile phones we were soon assured she was safe. The mobiles didn’t work so well when the tsunami struck in Asia, when my sister was there, but again new technology helped with the site quickly set up by the BBC to help track people (again she was found safe and sound up in the hills.
With this sort of thought in my mind, an unusual request from a father a couple of weeks ago that prompted me to help out. He had just lost his 6-year-old son to meningitis. His son had been ultra keen on soldiers and Ferraris, so he wanted one in the funeral procession behind an army truck carrying the coffin. A friend offered me his Testarossa for the day so I volunteered to go, I am glad I did, but there is not a lot worse than the funeral of young children and, seeing his mother, I now have a new definition of inconsolable grief .