Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sam's Eulogy @ Zac and Ben's Memorial Service

I just thought I would post Sam's Eulogy from the service. He stood up and read it out and it was beautiful.

 Life is starting to look a little brighter now for us, the boys are at rest finally and spring couldn't of come at a better time.  Love to all Phil xx

As you all know, Phil & I have come to realize we’re a family-oriented couple, and today marks just one phase in a long journey we have already made to create a family of our own. It’s been a journey of discovery - exploring fostering, co-parenting and surrogacy options both here and around the world.
Meeting families and making friends with some of those who have made that dream a reality has enriched our lives.
Friends went a bit cross-eyed when we explained that Ben & Zac were conceived with the help of an anonymous South African egg donor and an Indian surrogate. While extraordinary, it was only possible given the strength of love Phil & I had for each other.
When the boys came at 27 weeks, amidst the initial grief over Zac’s loss, joy over Ben’s birth and fear about his survival, we experienced an immense pride. Pride in being fathers for the first time.
I’ve always been a fairly self-reliant person, but the last eight weeks have forced me to reach out to friends much more than I usually would.
It’s made me immensely value the love and understanding of both friends and family. Your support and acceptance has helped us no end, particularly in being here today.
Some five weeks ago Phil started a blog to keep people posted on Ben’s struggle. We soon attracted not only our own friends but many dozens of supporters from around the world who had lost babies or were on a similar surrogacy journey - couples from the US, Canada, Sweden, even Israel who followed Ben’s struggle daily, posting messages of hope and empathy.
In Delhi together, there were many times I wished I had more belief in an all powerful God to save Ben. Lying in the neonatal crib, tubes and machines were Ben’s lifeblood. Unable to pick him up, instead we relied on the power of physical touch and our voices. I’ve never had a singing voice but we cobbled together a two-man Philharmonic choir to serenade him with everything from Twinkle Twinkle to Doe Ray Me. We patriotically slipped in Waltzing Matilda via Puff the Magic Dragon and Phil’s favourite Grease track – Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee - as the Hindu nurses stared.
In the short time we got to know Ben, his fighting spirit moved and inspired us. The day before Ben passed away, we were, for the first time, given the chance to kiss him. It was the most magical, rewarding moment of our lives.
After Ben died, Ben’s doctor told us we must come quickly – it was the hot, sticky monsoon season and his hospital had no refrigeration. There was no choice but to bundle Ben up - lay him in our laps and deliver him in our car to the Delhi funeral parlour. We faced an hour-long trip in interminable traffic. As horrific as this sounded, we were in fact comforted. We were finally together as a family, and strengthened by the experience.
In a few short weeks, we learnt the immense responsibility which goes with parenthood, the intensity of love, the sense of helplessness in the face of vast distances and medical problems.  Our struggle with Ben and Zac has at times torn us both apart, but more often its brought us closer together.
I’ve come to believe that all of us have an everlasting spirit. It’s a belief that comforts me at times like this. Ben and Zac’s spirits will live on. They will always be our sons.


  1. Dear Phil&Sam,
    Thank you for sharing these intimate details with us all. We are very sorry for your huge loss. Your always in our thoughts. Renee&Paul

  2. Phil and Sam,
    We think of you and your boys often. We wish for you strength and the power of goodness in your hearts as you continue to heal.
    - Edward & Paul

  3. Thinking of you and your boys all the time. I hope you keep your blog up so we can continue watching your journey and sending you virtual strength at every occassion

  4. Such eloquent beautiful words. You are a beautiful family and always will be. Thank you for sharing your boys, your pain and your joys with us. xxx

  5. I admire your strength and will be praying for you to find peace in the upcoming weeks. What you wrote was true, honest, and heart felt. May your little ones be with angels above.

  6. Dear Sam and Phil,
    I wrote this poem to our twin sons when we lost them through our attempts at surrogacy in India. I hope it gives you some sort of comfort to know that others are thinking of you both and wish that those of us who have gone through the same thing would take it away so it could never happen to anyone else, if we could.

    Thinking of You with Love

    We thought of you both with love today,
    but that is nothing new.
    We thought about you yesterday,
    and days before that too.
    We think of you in silence,
    All we have are your names,
    and your footprints in a frame.
    Your memory is our keepsake,
    with which we will never part.
    God has you in His keeping,
    we have you in our hearts.
    A million times we`ve wanted you.
    A million times we cried.
    If love could only have saved you both,
    you never would have died.
    It broke our hearts to lose you.
    But you didn`t go alone.
    For a part of us went with you...
    the day God called you Home.

    Best Wishes
    x Gemway

  7. Thank you for sharing such a deeply personal and emotional part of your lives with us all.

  8. What beautiful words ... You are constantly in our thoughts. Looking forward to our next get-together ... Lots of love, Trevor, Peter, Evelyn, Gaia and Reuben.

  9. It is only today that I came upon your blog.
    I must say I am really sad reading the story of you and your twins. I had tears reading about Ben. He sure was a fighter. Beautiful post.
    You both are in our thoughts.

  10. Such a graceful eulogy!! I wish you both strength and courage as you figure out the journey ahead. I would like to say don't give up. Our only daughter passed away two years ago when she was 4.5 years old (auto accident on Oct 7th). It is very ironic that for her one-year memorial service I read the same poem Gemway posted in the "comments" section. Parenthood is such a rewarding journey, at least it gave me a new perspective on life. I wished I had 101 years of that experience with my daughter but when she passed, the only thought that gave me strength to keep going is I want another chance at motherhood. We are now expecting twins via surrogacy in India, and I know for sure these babies are meant to be a part of our lives because we would have never gone on this journey if my daughter was around. Best wishes to you both!!