It's now 8 months since, on the eventful evening of 13th September 2008, we learnt our dearly beloved son Kieran had died and left us.
I am sure that we do not have to tell you how we feel, only that he along with his surviving sister Sinead, they were our very reason and purpose for living and were driving forces in our lives.
In writing this and recalling our circumstances regarding Kieran, we as parents – despite our agony and despair at losing Kieran – must not forget that he was 50% of our lives and that Sinead his sister is alive and with us and is going through her own agonies, concerns and struggles every day and continues to need our love and support.
I had taken Kieran to Stansted airport on the Wednesday and dropped him off just like I had on so many previous occasions, as he loved to travel and had been to over 14 countries in just one year – and this after all was just another trip. He was off to Ibiza for 4 days having worked really hard in his new job at Nationwide Building Society. He had just been interviewed for a job promotion at work and was confident of success on his return from Ibiza. He had everything to live for and was so very excited. We as parents were anxious about him but no more than on any of his previous trips.
While he was away Sinead was due to start at the University of Central Lancashire in her first year and we travelled up and settled her into her new accommodation and eventually I was able to get my wife into the car and travelled for 4 hours with her crying because her daughter was not going to be living at home and wondering how she would cope.
We had not heard from Kieran all day which was unusual but sometimes he would forget to charge his phone and I assured my wife that there was nothing to worry about as we were collecting him that night from Stansted airport.
We live close to the airport and we got back early so went home for a coffee to await his return flight from Ibiza. We had just settled down when there was a knock on the door and there standing at the door were 2 police officers who eventually told us that Kieran had died in Ibiza that morning.
At that stage the world stopped spinning and there was this big black hole where nothing seemed important and the future without Kieran seemed bleak and pointless. I had to find the strength to tell Sinead by phone on her first evening at University that her beloved brother had died – thankfully a friend from college had gone Preston as well.
As he had died in Ibiza the complications were even greater as I had to deal with the Foreign Office, British Consulates and Insurance companies all during that night while struggling to make sense of what had happened. The immediate conclusion was that it was a drugs related death as it was in Ibiza and to our horror the following day it appeared in some of the national papers clearly naming him and stating it was drugs, we had not even been able to tell all members of the family.
I am still not sure where we found the strength during that night and indeed the following six weeks while we at first struggled to find where he was taken, then negotiate with insurance companies only to be told we had to wait for a post mortem and the courts to release him.
While still trying to get his passing into our heads we were told by the insurance company that it would cost £5,000 to get him home.
We of course had no choice but to pay it and after a week we flew him home – a day I will never forget, receiving him at Gatwick Airport Cargo hold. Because it was a suspicious death we were given just 5 minutes by the coffin before he was taken away again as the Coroner needed to carry out further tests.
A further 5 weeks went by as they did tests and finally the interim report declared that he had died from Acute Cardiac Failure and Cardiac Hypertrophy (it was a relief in some ways to us that he had not died of drugs) and the coroner released him to the funeral director and we were finally able to see our beloved son after a long 6 weeks but at least he was home and now at peace.
Those 6 weeks they were the longest period of our lives, we had to arrange things but could not as we had no dates or any idea of when we could put him to rest.
His friends were brilliant and we utilised Facebook to create a page in memory of Kieran but also as a point for friends and family to get the latest news etc. It was also a great place for getting photos, memories and messages about Kieran.
This site still exists today with over 500 members.
On one of his many travels they wrote on the side of a tent "We are not here for a long time, but we're here for a good time" …………how true is this statement?
We used this saying as the Group Name on Facebook and it has brought us many happy memories and shown us just how loved and respected our son was.
We did not, like many others here, get a chance to bid him farewell, to give him hug and a kiss, or tell him how much we loved him and always will. He brought us so much love, happiness and so many memories and the 3 of us miss him so much, but get so much comfort from seeing, reading and hearing about him and how he managed to touch and influence so many people's lives from so many different walks of life during his short stay with us.
He was totally unaware of how he affected people or how they looked up to him and it is only due the these circumstances that his true strengths and character came to light but we always knew there was something special about him with his sense of humour, cheeky smile and infectious laugh.
It is an honour to be his parents and to have watched him grow into the person he was and everybody thought the world of him.
He is no longer with us and will not be a Nationwide Branch Manager or get married, have a family and be a comfort to us in our old age but he will forever be young, remembered by many and hopefully as we start to fundraise in his name there will be fewer families having to go through the loss, agony and despair that we along with other families are going through.