• Dalya Shaw

The Wounds That Time Can Never Heal


On 30th September 2017, I lost my only son Ben. He was fifteen years young.


I have learnt much over the last three years. Things I am glad I know, but now cannot un-know and other things I wish I never knew and don’t want to remember either.

Time goes by and with it, life changes. This big world keeps spinning regardless of people’s circumstances. It’s the grand nature of it all. I heard once that ‘time heals all wounds’, but I know it doesn’t. There are some things that no number of weeks, months or years will ever mend. Sometimes the smallest things, a memory, a passing comment, a little act of kindness, or an involuntary emotion, is all it takes to lift the scab again. With its lifting, the pain is sharp and immediate. And so, you just learn to live with it. It becomes ‘normal’ knowing that you must guard your wound and no matter how careful or how much time goes by, you never forget it’s there.


I think of those people that have lost a limb. The journey they go through from the beginning as they try and come to terms with what has happened and the process of accepting what is, and what is no longer. Do they ever fully accept? It’s not something they can ‘get over’ or ‘get better’ from, so they do their best to make life work around their loss. They become grateful for the little things.

I am sure if you asked an amputee three years later, they would tell you they were ‘fine’ and getting used to the fact they no longer had their hand, arm or leg. Some would have even gone on to do great things, defying the odds, becoming elite athletes and maybe receiving accolades and massive respect for their achievements despite their loss.


But regardless of the admiration or source of inspiration they become, and I have no doubt it helps them find purpose in their circumstances, I wonder if they ever feel whole again? They know they once had this limb, there are photos to prove it, yet now they no longer see it. They can often still ‘feel’ the missing limb as if it is still there but when they look down, they see nothing. The limb is no longer there but the pain is real.

The world has changed in the last three years, the world around me and the world within me. I have met some amazing and beautiful people, and I have been blessed with opportunities. I have realised the meaning of doing something purpose full and I know what it feels like to know you’ve made a difference.


Perhaps I am one of the ‘lucky’ ones. I am constantly reminded ‘We’ve got this’ despite panic and doubt frequently trying to take up residence in my mind.

My words to my son today are these. Benny, you and I have always had a unique relationship and it is far from gone. But it is different. Through you I have felt and shared extraordinary love that feel so unlike what I thought love always was.

Some days I feel guilty because a part of me is grateful for where you are now. As a mother, I knew you would have to come into your own and feel the pressures and emotions of grown-up life as you had your own adventures and experiences. Today part of me is glad you will never feel pain, suffering, anxiety or loss. Is that an awful thing to admit?

Is it a horrible thing to want to protect your child from anything that will cause them to feel emotions other than positive ones? And yet I know, the worst thing a parent can do is deny their kids the struggle. This is the sacred place where strength, confidence and resilience are grown.

There is so much I want to say to you, and nothing at all. You already know everything anyway. I still catch myself picking up my phone to text you and the immediate feeling I have when I realise what is, can be suffocating.

But, yes, overall, I am grateful and I feel lucky. Lucky to have known you and had you in my life physically and even more grateful to know you never left me. So many of your friends have now become ‘my kids’ and I adore them all. They are another connection to you.

I am lucky because you found a way early on to show me that the veil between your realm and mine is whisper thin. Your messages and signs have come through when I am open and looking for them. The ideas, random thoughts, and emotions physically and energetically are real, and I feel them.

And every now and then late at night, when I feel my bed sink as if someone is sitting on it, you take my breath away and make me smile in my half sleep and whisper ‘I Love You Buddy’.

I don’t know what the next twelve months holds but I know whatever it does, it is meant to be. You have presented me with numerous project opportunities, and I will do whatever I can to complete them with love, compassion and kindness. I will trust that you are guiding me and that the Universe also has my back.

You are a real part of everything I do and always will be my Benny and you are my inspiration and the inspiration to so many others.

Thank you for choosing me to be your mum. Thank you for sharing your friends with me. Thank you for never leaving me and for always loving me - then and now. Thank you for everything you have helped me be and thank you for what is coming.

Today Benny I feel sad as if I have lost a limb, tears flow, my heart aches, but I know you are always with me. Even more so, I feel at peace and so much love for you, what we have together and what we will build moving forward. You are the most incredible young man gorgeous boy and I love you beyond the words that can describe it.

Stay close buddy, you are needed by so many right now…

Much Love

Mum (Dalya) xx 💙

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Dalya Shaw

Speaking Services | Writing Services

e: dalya@dalyashaw.com

Brisbane, Australia

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