I was quite startled when this photo came into my inbox earlier this year. I hadn’t seen it before. It was from Megan Rose, my nephews’ step-sister who is the child in the picture. Sadly her cousins Sinéad and Aoife are dead, hit and run and unintentional injury. Naming them and the causes does not ease the pain in any way. I have always been of the view that we are part of a very large coterie of parents whose children die before them.

They die from accident, homicide, suicide, cancer and heart disease. There are populations of young people who die in famine, war-torn zones or refugees. But behind each individual is a set of parents who are left with unspeakable grief and loss.

And so, 1st August is our Aoife reminder day, sixteen years gone this year.

I am always prompted to write something for her at this time. Please read, share and send me feedback.



the time of year again and again


wouldnt you think that after all these years

it would get easier and less of a belt in the gut


but it doesn’t if anything the blow is harder

add a guilt attack for the periods of not remembering


we’re sitting in the heat and high humidity

in a place that was largely of her getting


she directed pearse to show us the location

we fell in love with it and came back to buy


so now sixteen and fourteen years on

we perch, swelter and are grateful


not grateful for her unintentional injuries

not grateful for the big hole and ache her absence leaves


grateful for having her as part of us for that time

grateful even for the irritations and blowouts


grateful to see how she grew and blossomed

grateful to have loved her so dearly


Peter Clarke

30th July 2020