Birmingham Children's Hospital remembers - Day 120
Bloody hell I’m broken again and this time it’s the church that’s to blame. Odd you might think considering the role a place of worship normally brings.
Being more honest with you all now, today was a special day. Every year at St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham the chaplaincy team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital hold a memorial service to pay respects to all those children that lost their lives at the hospital. Clearly that had to happen a little differently this year, and instead the team did themselves proud with a poignant online service, which as expected had me crying buckets.
It really isn’t right you know that Thiago was taken from us so early; nothing is ever going to make me see it any other way than it having been a grossly unfair thing to have thrown at Angelica and I. Elisa is back to being an only child and after everything that happened last year, Angelica and I know that our days of bringing children into this sometimes cruel world are behind us.
I’m actually quite ok with that as it happens. Elisa is utterly magnificent but quite a handful and I don’t imagine that there will ever be another like Thiago. For though his life was tragically short, he showed me the way, and now that I know where the little man was heading, all I have to do is follow the path that he has set for me. A week shy of 44 years I was trying to find my way in this life. In less than ten months he just nailed it. And that ladies and gentlemen is, I like to think, why he decided to check out a week shy himself. Of being just ten months old.
I’m so fucking glad I watched the church service today. It has utterly destroyed me emotionally for now but it has also strengthened my resolve and helped me to realise that a lot of what I'm doing this year is nothing short of remarkable. I am, as the Christian hymn goes, going to ‘fight the good fight with all thy might'.
It’s late afternoon now and I’ve already been upstairs to straighten myself out a bit three times since the service finished a couple of hours ago. Every time I think I’m going to be ok, the tears come flooding back. I don’t mind that, but it’s just so exhausting.
Within that two hours I also had a half hour chat with this fella in the dog collar. This is Rev. Paul Nash – he’s a terrific chap and led the online service that smashed me to pieces this afternoon. After the service I rang him and thanked him for getting the service to happen as it did indeed bring me great comfort, despite reducing me to a crumpled mess yet again. We spoke about this blog and my fundraising plans and the memorial walk.
And before I ended the call, I had to ask him about where he was from. There was a lovely Thames Estuary twang, which for no reason at all, I found quite reassuring. And sure enough he is from Thurrock, an old haunt of mine from my days covering a shocking standard of non-league football in the early 2000s. This lovely distracting chat made me feel much happier and we left it with the plan that I hoped to be sharing a picnic with him at the next remembrance event in Alrewas in September.
By way of signing off tonight I don't need to bang on about the fundraising this time as the link is two paragraphs above this, derr. No it comes from the absolutely sensational black comedy, 'After Life' written by Ricky Gervais, where two grieving adults are sat on a bench at a graveyard. One turns to the other and simply says about life: 'it goes on.' It goes on.