Thomas Shackleton

Thomas Shackleton died on the 19th May 2004, aged 21.

Thomas was a great musician who played the guitar and could make a tune on any instrument. This was one of his songs (click to listen) that we played at his funeral – and on his gravestone we have a guitar engraved into the marble with the words “Sail my ship home”.

Thomas was the singer in a band called the “”Slow Emotion” but this was a song he wrote and performed by himself. We are so very fortunate to have Thomas’ music and to hear his voice seems to bring him to life.

It took some time to listen to his recordings and it still is very emotional but I feel this is all part of grieving. It also reminds us of how fortunate we are to have such a special and talented son.

My husband is making a long-awaited CD of his music to share with friends and family and in this way Thomas’ memory will live on.

Each year Thomas’ friends gather together for a party in his memory and money is raised for the charity. This year was a special event as it was the 10th anniversary of the “”Slow Emotion” and the members of the band held a concert in which they performed some of Thomas’ songs – or Shacky as everyone calls him. It was a fantastic evening filled with sadness but also great joy as we shared memories with family and friends.

When a child dies it leaves such an empty space in your life and so it is so important to keep those memories alive and to continue to celebrate the life of your child. For us, Thomas will live forever through his music, thoughts, words and deeds of those he loved.

We would like to share this song with you which Thomas wrote – “Sail my ship home”. (click to listen)

Rita Shackleton

Books that have helped me:

“The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young

“Lament for a son” by Nicholas Wolterstorff

“The Prophet” by Kahil Gibran


“One By One” song from the musical “We Will Rock You”