Tomorrow is June 14th 2018. It’s my son Milo’s 4th birthday. He’s the 3rd son I helped to bring into this world. He’s the only living son I have. I know he’ll probably not remember this day when he’s older, but I have to try and be happy or pretend to, for the sake of the occasion. Will I manage? who knows. yesterday, the day after the funeral I was full of positive energy that I could go on, and maybe even do something of note in the future to honour Lewis in some way. Today I travelled alone back to London and probably felt as bad as I have felt in the whole past 2 weeks. These 2 days are pretty much how the rest of my life is destined to be. Sometimes alright, sometimes rock bottom, but never ever like it was pre-28th May 2018. I guess the trick is to somehow get more of the ‘alright’ days.
During these past 2 weeks, I’ve seen the two opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of human behaviour. It’s pretty hard to imagine how, when someone is grieving the loss of their child, it’s possible to make them worse by using a few words here and there, but I found out the hard way that it can definitely be done. I certainly didn’t expect that it would even happen during the funeral, but maybe I was being naive. However I’d rather focus on the other people, the vast majority of friends and family who combined to rally round and give me nothing but love. Messages, calls, visits, being welcomed to others houses at all times of day & night. Sometimes talking about Lewis, sometimes taking my mind off of it, even for 5 mins. Its all of you (too many to mention, and I’d be scared I missed someone) who drove me to write this blog post tonight. I’m not sure I have enough words to get across my admiration for the support I’ve been given. On funeral day, the sheer numbers who travelled from far and wide to help see off Lewis was in itself heartwarming. Every word of condolence, every hug, each going on a little longer than the one before, all of it got me through an incredibly tough day and I can’t thank you all enough. I’m not gonna lie, this is not me getting all positive now. This is just the beginning, sadly previous experience has taught me, that it’s now, and weeks, months, years later that there will be more massive lows and the world will have moved on. The messages stop coming in, but the hurt grows, so I’ll be leaning on you all again at some point but I know I won’t have to ask twice. Last September was the 5th anniversary of Dexter’s death and yet it was probably the hardest yet. The milestone of knowing he would have been starting school seemed to bring an extra edge, and it’s going to be no different this time.
The other reason I wanted to write this blog, was that for various reasons, I wasn’t able to truly give the funeral that I would have liked for Lewis. Partly due to it being a catholic ceremony, where they don’t allow other speakers unless you are reading one of the pre-defined paragraphs from the magical book of miracles, and partly due to other ‘influencing factors’. The priest did give a eulogy, which was originally written by myself, but was then edited before being finally given to him. below is the full text from my original Eulogy, with the lines that were removed in red, and one particular line in blue.
You’ll probably note that most (all) of the sections removed, are ones with reference to my own or my family’s relationship with Lewis, which truly isn’t the reason I wanted to post my original notes here. I’m not so vain that I demand to feature more in someone else’s Eulogy!! but it was the blue line that hurt the most. I wrote that line, because I thought it really showed deep down who Lewis was. What kind of person he was. He cared about his family. All of them. And I thought that gesture he made when he was only 14, deserved to be shared with that crowded chapel, so I’m sharing it here instead.
When he asked me that day in London, it both broke my heart and made me proud, and when I thought of this again, it occurred to me that this was a good was of summing up my relationship with Lewis. Many times he broke my heart, but then he would do something to make me proud and I’d realise he was still that overachieving little primary school kid that couldn’t do wrong. Even now the theme continues. I’m now forever broken hearted that he is gone, but I’ll be forever proud that for 19 years I called him son.