• Dalya Shaw

Life is a Gift

Updated: Aug 18, 2019



I watched a movie called The Childrens Act. Great movie if you haven’t seen it. I would recommend keeping a couple of tissues handy though … or maybe that’s just me. I have been known to cry at the opening of an envelope or as Ben’s dad used to say ‘at the arrival of the postman’ 😊. I feel like I have changed so much over the last few years but perhaps in some ways I haven’t changed at all.


The movie highlighted a pertinent point for me in how valuable and precious life really is.

I have had the opportunity over the last year to share my story and discuss the topic of organ donation with several school groups. I heard once that sometimes we teach the lessons we need to learn.


Whilst organ donation is a sensitive topic for me, and a discussion for another day, Ben is definitely not. I will happily admit to taking any opportunity I can to speak about him, wherever and to whoever will listen. Apart from the obvious reasons, I share because Ben valued life and demonstrated it. As a side, I am intrigued when people say they ‘don’t want to bring him up’ as they don’t want to make things worse. Hmmm... I am always grateful for those that don’t feel that way.


On the basic topic of life and death though, the emotions here are pretty clear. Usually, when we hear that someone is having a baby, we celebrate the new birth and it is a happy occasion with lots of love. It is such a joyous event that we are inclined to celebrate it every year thereafter on their ‘birth day’ reinforcing the significance of this ‘special’ occasion. On the other side, we are devastated when we lose someone we care about and frown or punish those that intentionally take life away from another person. With all this in mind, I wonder why we do not place more importance on our own lives despite knowing that we are running on limited time?



One of the things I say to the kids is that life is so precious and as humans we will naturally preserve it at all costs. I am confident there are no terrorists or religious extremists reading my posts, so I am not expecting any arguments here. What was made clear in the movie was how in some cases, religious beliefs are rated as equal to life or higher, with followers choosing these beliefs over saving life …


Not being religious myself but having been exposed to more than one growing up and having experienced losing the most important person in the world to me, I feel I am somewhat justified in my opinions on this subject. I suppose it comes down to one simple fact. We would have done anything to keep Ben with us, and I mean WHATEVER it would have taken. Absolutely nothing would have stood in our way. Knowing this, is also the strength behind what we will make happen in the future in honour of our Ben.


It has come up more than once in conversations over the years, that I have very ‘strong’ views on our children and the importance of them. I place huge value on our next generation, and I have repeatedly said, and do, learn so much from them. I also believe that the fact that we decide to have them in the first place means our relationship with them should be a binding one (not relinquishing responsibility) until WE depart this world, not until they turn 18 or when they move out of home!


I have never proclaimed myself to be the world’s greatest parent and never would. I know that my style is not the same as many others and I am very comfortable with that… and so was my son.

Of the many things Benny continues to teach me, is that life is a gift and we have choices as to how we use it. Regardless, it should be lived deliberately and not by default. We can encourage, empower and support those around us improving our world one community at a time. And if we had this support and encouragement from others when we lacked belief in ourselves what an amazing world this would be!


Much Love

Dalya xx💙

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Dalya Shaw

Speaking Services | Writing Services

e: dalya@dalyashaw.com

Brisbane, Australia

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