My thoughts have been filled this past week with the story of little Charlie Gard and his parents, Chris and Connie. My heart has been heavy in knowing that they are, at this very moment as I type, preparing themselves to say goodbye to their little boy as he transitions to be an angel watching over them rather than one whose hand they can hold. They’ve not even had one year with him, yet their journey with a child who has a life-limiting illness has undoubtedly taught them – and hopefully the greater community – about true unconditional love.
For Chris and Connie, I hope many things…
I hope the moment Charlie passes will be one of peace, surrounded by love and light.
I hope they are nurtured and lifted up by family, friends and their local community in the coming days, weeks and months as their journey takes a turn down a different road.
I hope the weeks and months to come will find them able to increasingly embrace the beautiful lessons that Charlie was here to teach us all.
I hope they will carry on his loving legacy in good works for children who also have life-limiting conditions, for there are too few voices amongst our community.
I hope that life will bring to them acceptance of this journey despite the indescribable heartbreak that comes with losing a precious child.
And I hope their relationship as a couple will grow stronger through this storm, and that their future will be one filled with enduring love.
I have been amazingly blessed to have my son Brendan Bjorn for over 12 years now. I understand that one day, some month, some year, I will lose him. I have fought tirelessly for services and proper care for my son – and continue to this day to fight – so I have nothing but respect for Chris and Connie’s efforts as they fought with everything they had in them to see the best for Charlie.
It is not the natural order of things, a parent having to bury their child. I even believe it to be the most cruel of life’s possible journeys because surely there can be nothing as painful.
To Chris and Connie, I would say one last thing:
Hold on to and cherish the beautiful moments; to the endless, unconditional love as it will last a lifetime; to that gift which Charlie brought into your lives. For these are the parts of this heartbreaking journey that enable us parents able to continue, and in time, even thrive as we share the story of our special angel. If I could give you one gift, Chris and Connie, that is what it would be.