Cathal’s death has also prompted the writing of this book.
Perhaps it will help some bereaved people. If it does, then his
death will have added significance and meaning.
I was glad as I neared the end of the writing of this
book. Despite its healing effects, I am not a proponent of
inflicting further pain on myself or on my family. I also
believe in living, and investing in the future. Just as we must
make an effort to grieve, we must also make an effort to live.
Life goes on. We have only one life, and it must be lived. It is
normal to feel hopeless in the midst of loss, it is normal to
want to die at times, it is normal to feel suicidal; but
ultimately it is normal to want to live as fully as possible.
Perhaps it is a choice. We choose to live, or merely to exist.
We choose to be eternally morose or we strive for the recovery
of hopefulness and joy.
That does not mean that we return unscathed to normal
life. The loss will be there. The wound will never heal. The
future is affected, and for men there is a sense of loss in the
broken lineage. Children take their father’s name and the loss
of a child means a break in the family tree. It is not a major
factor, but it must be recognised. I suppose I was vaguely
conscious of it as an only child, with few male relatives.
When a Child Dies. Footsteps of a Grieving Family. Published by Veritas