Rocking The Foundations
had just walked in to my place of work when someone told me to phone
I immediately rang my wife who answered the phone in a near-hysterical
state. She informed me that her brother had been found dead
that morning. He had apparently died of carbon monoxide poisoning
in his car.
What a blow!
I drove home immediately and took my wife over to her parents
house. Her father was at the hospital formally identifying
his son but her mother and sister-in-law were there and the
grief was tangible to all there.
If Salvador Dali could have written the script for this
part of my life he would not have done his surrealism justice.
I felt totally helpless in this situation so, after doing
my best to offer comfort to the bereaved, went to break the
news to my children and then take them to their paternal grandparents
for the night.
It was not an easy task to explain to a 12 and 9 year old
what had happened and little did I realise how much it would
affect the elder of the two, Claire. She had come to think
of her uncle as a brother and they were very close. How do
you explain how a 27 year old had decided that this life was
not for him? I think the words I chose to tell the kids, and
the subsequent care I gave them, was totally inadequate but
I cannot change that now.
I went to see Ian at the chapel of rest, he looked peaceful.
I went on my own as I felt a bit of an intruder in the pain
that the family was going through.
Yet I was sincerely bereft by his departure. I shed a lot
of tears for that young man - more than I shed at the subsequent
death of my mother. That will be explained in due course.
My wife and I were the last people to see I an alive. He
had come along with us for a few drinks and then driven off
home - but he never arrived.
I had worries that people may attach some of the blame for
his death on us because of this but he was never happy on
He had attempted to kill himself via an overdose previously
and was diagnosed as being serious in his attempt by a psychiatrist.
He was at peace now but he had left so much pain behind.
To this day his father is suffering and is prone to bursting into
tears. He was a man that had solid foundations but these had been
undermined by his sons' actions. And he loved him so much...