Paying tribute to a beautiful soul: Ben Stanton

Posted Thursday, March 12th, 2015. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

Last week my son texted from school to tell me that a young boy died at his school that day. The rumours going around and on the news is that he had a peanut allergy that turned into an anaphylactic shock. I even thought it sounded like an epileptic episode.

It was very traumatic considering this is the fourth death this year. I think the incident happening in the school and around students and staff made it even harder.

The parents released a communiqué letting the students and parents know that their son, Ben Stanton, died of heart failure and there was nothing that anyone could have done to prevent this.

One week later was the funeral. The school allowed and encouraged his fellow students to attend and asked that parents join their kids. My son said he wanted to go so myself, son, two friends and their mothers attended the funeral. There were somewhere between 1500-2000 people there. There were four rooms filled to the limit and then standing room. The hallways were also full of people. We watched the funeral service from a screen. It was a little weird but it didn’t lose the sentiment.

In fact I found the funeral beautiful. The school my son attends is a sports school for elite or high performance athletes. You have to compete to get in. In the year of my son there were over 1100 applicants and just over 400 people were accepted. Ben was one. He was in my son’s gym class. Isaac described him as quiet and shy. The day of the funeral these attributes were mentioned. However Ben Stanton was more than that. He was a confident, fierce sports player (soccer and volleyball) and excellent student. He spoke with respect and when he wanted to challenge a coach he did so privately. He was a loving son and brother to Simon. He was a quiet leader. What really stuck out for me was how he strove for excellence and lived his life to the fullest. He didn’t waiver. From the words spoken about him from his coaches, to his teacher to his uncle, he was a boy of 14 who accomplished all that he set out. Of course his life was taken too quickly and there was so much for him still to do. Even the day he died, he had challenged his gym teacher to a volleyball match. Supposedly Ben was an incredible volleyball player and he won the challenge.

As the funeral came to an end the parents of Ben asked to meet all the kids and have them walk by the casket so they can say thank you. It was so touching. Unfortunately the line up to meet the parents and brother was an hour wait and we had to leave.

I left the funeral thinking how Ben Stanton, even in his short 14 years, lived more than most people. Think about that for a moment. I know the energy this week is crazy and you may be feeling off however it will pass.

If you feel the days just pass you by and you don’t know what you have done or where the time has gone then maybe you need to step it up — try something different, do something different, try a course, read a book, take on a new activity.

For me, I have been ‘creating’ new programs and projects that I want to slow it down. I have been existing for a while now and I want to get back to living.

From last year to this year much has improved. In fact there is much to be grateful for. Mostly, that I am alive and healthy and I have the opportunity to create what I want, unlike Ben who does not. So in honour of Ben Stanton and his family when I think things are not going well or I am down or sad, I will remember Ben and pull myself up and remind myself to live life to the fullest.

To all my readers, I ask that you too do the same.

I want to wish you a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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