Perhaps because of my own capacity for self-pity, it never ceases to amaze me when I see people I know transform suffering into something more powerful. Perhaps you never know how you will react yourself until faced with a similar tragedy and perhaps it’s precisely because there isn’t anything more powerful than suffering that we have to transform it? I don’t know. Today, however, once again I’ll be joining a few people in a fun run in memory of Alice Rose. I didn’t know Alice but every year Sean her father, alongside family and friends, celebrate her life and commemorate her passing by organizing this fun run in St James Park, Walthamstow. I always feel nervous talking about someone else’s tragedy, as if I could ever understand or know even for one moment the pain and sadness such an event would cause. So I hope Sean won’t mind me saying that for his family and close friends of Alice, I believe the run not only keeps her memory alive but continues I’m sure, to give continued meaning and value to her tragically short physical stay with us. If that itself wasn’t enough, it also helps to raise much needed funds for the bone marrow transplant units at Great Ormond Street Hospital where Alice spent a lot of time.
It’s incredible to me how this family’s personal loss is now impacting so many people who never knew Alice. Alice would have no idea the effect that her life and her death was to have and continues to have to so many people that never had an opportunity to meet her when she was alive. Although perhaps, in retrospect, if she is anything like her father, she did. It’s impossible to know these things.
Alice would not have known that I have been largely housebound this week with a stinking cold and have been missing my runs and being able to get to the gym. Today for the first time in a week I’ll run a leisurely mile in an effort to rehabilitate myself. Thank you Alice and thank you to the Carey family and their friends for your courage, your compassion and your wisdom.