“When you’re going through hell, keep going” – the famous Winston Churchill once said. And what first sounds like quite a strange bit of advice, does make an awful lot of sense on second thoughts. Because, what would be the alternative to “keep going” – not a pretty prospect!


So I’ll keep going in the belief that this will have an end.

(There is a really funny saying in Germany, and I hope you appreciate the delicate humour, that goes like this: “Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei” – Everything’s got an end – only a sausage has got two.)

Second day without Pádraig’s carers, or: PAs (=personal assistants). Second day in a house that is so much quieter, so much less stressful. It’s a strange thing to say because this is not the way it’s supposed to be. We decided that we all needed a break. They’ll be back on Tuesday.

In the meantime, we are figuring out how to use the shower chair. How to use his shower. (The one task that, strangely, the service provider has not problem with.) Pádraig is enjoying the shower so much, it’s wonderful. I’m sure we’ll have the shower-thing figured out within a few days.

A few years back, I was cycling back home from the train station (I had just returned from Limerick), through pouring rain, wind, and cold, listening to music. It was an unusual mix of music. All of a sudden, “Oh Haupt voll Blut und Wunden” (Oh Sacred Head, Now Wounded) with Bach’s music came up on my playlist. It was just before Easter and it made me think of the passion which, as I cycled, became to represent life. A constant fight. Pain. Friends along the way. Strangers who lend you a helping hand when you fall. They offer to carry the cross for a while. They offer you relief, at least for a while. In the end, however, you’re on your own and wonder, why God has forsaken you! You die. And then, you rise. Life goes on. Always.

When I told this, what was quite a, spiritual experience to a friend, they thought I must have been a bit depressed to look at life that way. But I wasn’t.

This is a dark night. I will not stop, however. I’ll get through this. And tomorrow, just in a few hours, it’ll be Easter. The day of our victory over darkness. A new beginning.