Last night I was catching up all my last weekends newspaper reading when i was stopped in my tracks by one article ‘our last adventure ‘. As soon as I started reading it ,I knew I’d read it before and the outcome wasn’t good .There have been a few journalists who have written poignantly about the death of their child and Thomas Harding is one of them .
In July 2012 ,Thomas ,his 14year old son ,Kadian ,and some friends were cycling in the Wiltshire countryside .They got a bit lost ,Kadian cycled ahead ,took the wrong turn, cycled down a very steep track ,both his front and back brakes failed ( even though he’d picked up his bike from a service ,earlier that day ) and he careered into the path of a van – unbeknown to any of them the track led onto the A4. He died instantly .It is just tragic,sad,awful .In a nano-second I felt that father’s pain .
Thomas ,then had to phone his wife, Kadian’s Mother,Deb, who was in America ,ironically working for a bicycle company.Then I get to this paragraph .It is a day later and Thomas is meeting Deb and her friend Dom ,who has travelled with her .
”At the airport I sit in the middle of a row of moulded black plastic chairs.Then the large double doors swing open and there is Deb,with Dom.Our eyes meet,her lips wobble, all the strength I have flows out of my legs .I can’t move .Her being here makes it real.She is still on the other side of the arrivals barrier,then we are holding each other.
”I can’t believe it” she is saying
”I’m so glad you are here ” I say
”What are we going to do ?” she asks
”What are we going to do ?” I say
”Is he really gone?” she asks
”I can’t believe it” I say ”
And this took me right back .For a second I was in a moment on one of the days following Rosie’s death .I saw myself at the front door, the house was full ,the garden was full – there was soup ,flowers ,bread ,people ,tea,coffee,wine ,tears,laughter,chat,photos , and don’t get me wrong ,but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way -having all those people here was a testament to Rosie .But ,I was at the front door ,and for once I opened it ,it was a dear friend .I fell into her arms and said ”What are we going to do ,what are we going to do ?”
and she just held me and said ”I don’t know”.
and then she let go off me and I slid down the wall .
The pain was just too big .