The broadcaster Kirsty Young once described in an interview an unexpected after-effect of becoming a parent. She found the tough outer shell she’d developed over years as a journalist was ‘flayed’ by having a child, making her incredibly sensitive to any news story involving children suffering. It eventually made presenting the news unbearable.
As a parent, this sensitivity catches you at odd times, a child’s expression in a TV drama that suddenly reminds you of your own safely asleep upstairs (Broadchurch, The Killing, Spiral), a news report from far away with kids so familiar and yet so different to your own (Syria, Sudan).
I confess that for the past few months I’ve been guiltily but very deliberately overlooking the updates from Eric Meyer’s blog on his daughter’s brain tumour. Surrounded by RSS feeds on everyday football trivia and design meanderings, it felt a wrong and inappropriate place to be reading about a parent’s tale of slowly losing his daughter. But that’s to post-rationalise. I couldn’t bear to read another parent confronting impending loss.
Well, today I finally did read it. All of it. And all I can say is that it is full of love. Full. Of love.