November 2002 This month has gone bye like so many I used to count the months now I count the years. The month of all souls they tell me but I can never look upon it as that anymore. I can never look upon Gary as one of the old souls. They are old people who died years ago and that's what I shall tell myself. I was so lucky to have that idea before Gary died. What do I think now. Well I believe Gary is free now from a lot of the turmoil he suffered in his short life. I know I can say that now but it is true. Gary did have a lot to contend with from others who looked upon him as different and tried to put him down but we know why he shone out. It takes me longer now to add to these pages and I believe that to be a good thing. Life as I have said before has returned somewhat. I say that not being disloyal to the memory of Gary but as a tribute to him. I have a friend who I can talk to even if though sometimes my heart aches when I think of Gary not living in Wexford with us as we had him for fourteen years. I keep thinking if I were to read my previous years thoughts I would see a big difference but I am afraid to revisit the pain of those three years gone bye. I hope if anyone reading this are not offended by any of my thoughts or remarks. My thoughts are with you if you have found yourself on this journey without a map to guide you but have you fear I think we shall all arrive at our final destination one way or another. Take care.
November 2001 This month we went to Dublin for Stephen's second "trials" for the Ireland soccer team. I remember Gary's dream was for Stephen to play football for Ireland and Gary could commentate at the game. When I think of those times the boys kicked football at the end of the street shouting and taking it all so seriously and how simple life was then. I hear myself sounding like an old man thinking back over the years to " the good old days". I know that those memories shall bring me joy and comfort in time but for now I just want Gary back here doing all the things he loved to do and our family together again.
It is the month of "all souls", I find the words so very difficult to accept when it comes to a young child who has passed on. To me all souls describes and old person who has lived their life and perhaps committed a few indiscretions along the way and may be in need of our prayers to help them on their journey into the next life. Gary was an innocent boy who lived a simple life, he asked for little from us. I feel that he already makes a good "soul" because of the love he shared with us and the joy he brought into our life.
November 2000 Where do I start a lot can happen in a year and six months or it can feel like nothing has changed from that day on 22nd May 1999. When asked that question " how are things and how is Christine and the kids " my reply is usually " not too bad but we still can have the odd bad day ". That is the simple answer, one which requires no great explanation to most. But that simple answer to the question can and is usually far from the truth. When you say things are not too bad I wonder to what do I compare such and answer is it before Gary died or after Gary died. Compared to our life when Gary lived amongst us it can at times be (excuse the term I us ) bloody shit. I imagined a broken heart must be just a stage in life and you'll grow out of "it". I used the word "it ", through ignorance in the context of lack of knowledge. I now know what its like for a person to have a broken heart. But any person could be excused not to know or feel the emotions that flow within your body and torments your mind when your own child dies. Even to use the word dies a year and a half later I must pause and think about using to the term " passed away ",I never minded using that phrase and said it a thousand times without a debate in my head to say " passed away or passed over , has died " how ignorant I know I was.
People have used the term " letting go " to me a lot. For a long time I could not understand the letting go just what that involved. Some say the pain you feel, others say Gary himself, he would not want anything of our life now , others just say it because isn't that what you say at a time like this to broken hearted parents. I still wonder what does "letting go" mean. We do know that Gary will never come back as our Gary that is clear from the beginning, the books may talk about the stages of grief I am not sure if I fitted into the relevant box at the appropriate time but I always knew Gary would not come back in the form I loved. Maybe the letting go is the realization that life goes on regardless and that means continuing without Gary. But when you stare into a photo or close your eyes and see the Gary looking back its such a reminder of what you are missing in your life. They say to bury your parents you bury your past but to bury your child you bury a part of your future, your hopes, dreams , the reasons why you live. Because we are human and I feel to be a decent human being you must have those feelings that tells us about ourselves. Gary's death continues to tell me a lot about myself and about life. The letting go part is so hard and I feel I'm stuck temporarily in that box.
I shall finish with my thoughts of Gary for this month of November. The dark nights that approach. Gary loved to play on his computer on these long windy nights. His favorite game was CM3 a football game. or to the general public it is known as Championship Manager Three. He played that game forever. A game of managing a football team through a league or cup. And now he plays and is the manager of the greatest team ever and no doubt we still play our part. If we could play such a game here on earth it would be great to have a friendly against Gary's team. We must face life as we know it and the imperfections in this world. There are so many good things in this world and I know that they have being given to us for to use and to make a better place to live. To quote Gary " I'm entitled to play here if I wish " and so we all are entitled to live life to the full and enjoy what we have being given. The greatest gift is the love of our children and although we knew Gary for only fourteen years, it has been one of the best gifts I know I shall ever receive. Thank God and thank Gary .