My friend, Paul Murray and his wife Sian, farewelled their baby, Leo, today.
Paul and Sian are not those lets-hang-out-every-weekend kind of friends, but I’ve shared a fantastic working relationship with him and one that has extended to joining the pair at Paul’s annual ‘birthday bowls’ arvo; we have a laugh and catch up on the phone and on his talk show desk; and I am usually in awe of his knowledge of just about everything. So you get the picture. He’s a genuine pal.
I met Paul in my working world (he’s the ridiculously clever bearded guy with a career on Sydney radio and a nightly talk show on Sky News) and I’ve always been humbled and ever appreciative of the genuine support he gives to everyone around him. Myself included.
Paul and Sian lost their much longed for baby a few weeks ago due to birth complications that I needn’t go into. Suffice to say, their last few weeks has been a nightmare of which, I can only imagine, there doesn’t seem to be a happy end.
But what I just saw today, at the ‘celebration’ of Leo’s short life – on this sparkling blue day and on warm beach on Sydney’s north – was a mix of sympathy, of compassion, unspeakable grief and incredible love.
The Murray’s, their family and their friends came together to mark Leo’s life, Paul telling us every nuance of their son’s being while he and Sian stood in front of an exquisite picture of their son. It was sad. It was powerful. It was love. It was also beautiful.
While so much ‘stuff’ goes on in everyone’s lives, and we make big deals out of not much, this midday tribute to Leo was truly humbling. And, yet again, was something that puts all other menial crap into perspective.
Even though Leo’s time on earth was short, and making any sense of why he died is hard, I’m sure everyone there went home and reflected on what really matters. If one of the reasons Leo was put on this earth, even for a finite amount of time, was to snap any of us out of self-importance or complacency, then he has done it and left an indelible mark.
Thank-you exquisite Leo. And let me say, you have really awesome parents too . . . . #GoYankees . . .
(By the way, Paul and Sian said the family has had so much help from the organisations below . . . many who just survive and exist on donations, so if you can, please help them out . . . .
Heartfelt : www.heartfelt.org.au
Humpty Dumpty Foundation : www.humpty.com.au
NETS – Newborn & paediatric Emergency Transport Service : www.nets.org.au
PRaMM – Perinatal Research and Maternal Medicine : www.pramm.org.au/pr/site/Home.aspx )