BBC Radio 4 has kept me company for countless hours over the last 6 years. My son called it ‘old people’s radio’. Cheeky monkey. When Gardener’s Question Time came on, I often teased him about it being his favourite programme, which was highly unlikely given how urbane he was. We loved to listen to ‘Just a Minute’ together, without repetition, deviation or hesitation. 😉
‘The Listening Project’ is a series of conversations between friends and family members who have been through difficult times together. It captures a range of human emotions and is an absolute joy to listen to.
This evening Rachel and her best friend were on it. Rachel lost her 19 years old daughter to septicemia a few years ago. She spoke about getting through that difficult time with the help of her friend. She said something that completely resonated with me. “As a parent I felt like a complete failure because I could not keep her alive.”
It is an implied commitment we make to them when they are born, to take care of them in every way so that they not just survive but flourish.
Keeping something alive is the hardest thing ever, be it love or commitment.
That feeling of ‘failure’ stayed with me constantly for the first few months but now it is an occasional unwelcome visitor.