In Memory of Lachlan

On Monday we went to Lachlan’s funeral. A small number of us from our Mother’s Group decided that we would head down to Melbourne for the night so that we could be there for our friend Julia when she buried her dear little boy.

It was a beautiful service. I am not sure that there is anything more heartbreaking to see than a small coffin. With his little teddy resting on top. It was enough to break your heart clean in two. There was a chance before the ceremony to gather together before we all headed into the chapel. When I saw Julia and hugged her and she sobbed into my chest I could feel her grief. Her heaving horrible grief that she now has to live with every day. It was palpable against my chest and I wanted to take a little of it away to make it not so terrible for her. When we asked her what had happened – how this could happen she explained that they put him down to sleep for his afternoon nap as they always do and he stopped breathing. For no reason. He just did. The breathing monitor that they had in his cot went off but it was too late. By the time that Angus was able to resuscitate him the brain damage was done. They tested him at the hospital for every imaginable thing – to see if it was a virus, a hidden sickness they didn’t know about anything to give them an answer. But there are none. He was perfectly healthy. No history of this in their family. It just happened. After 2 days they had to make the decision to turn off his life support. To just hold their little boy while he died in their arms. I cannot fathom their pain. It’s too much. Just too awful and unreal.

During the service they showed photos of Lachie, they showed a video taken the night before this happened – he was laughing away eating his dinner – full of life and joy and all things that 16 months old are. They played some of his favourite music – the theme song from Antiques Roadshow that he loved to dance to. A friend of theirs sang somewhere over the rainbow and their parents and friends spoke of the strength that Jules and Angus have shown and the amount of joy Lachie bought to all of them in his short life. It was a beautiful, terribly sad service that I was lucky enough to be a part of. They had this reading. I have heard it before but never before has it struck such a chord.

May this little boy rest in peace and may the road ahead for his parents not to be awful. I will try my best to help in any way that I can.

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W.H. Auden