The mother of the teen killed in a tragic gym accident remains filled with grief and pride on what would have been her son’s 18th birthday.
The mother of the teen killed in a tragic gym accident remains filled with grief and pride on what would have been her son’s 18th birthday.

In her words: Mum pays tribute to son lost in gym tragedy

WE live our lives according to time, clocks, calendars and to some extent, milestones.

We remember dates and periods based on where we were, what we were doing and who we were with.

Most of us remember the year we finished school, moved into a new home, or got married and of course those milestone birthdays, these are never forgotten.

But what of those whose lives have become timeless?

Those who have passed and whose memory is continued in the milestones created by the people left behind?

Ben Shaw.
Ben Shaw.

At 8.47am on Tuesday, July 9 2002, Benjamin Sam Shaw was born.

You may have heard his name.

Perhaps you know his story.

On Saturday, September 30, 2017, then 15 years old, Ben was officially declared as passed.

These dates mean nothing to Ben today but they mean everything to the friends and family he left behind.

Today is Ben's 18th birthday.

For any parent who has lost a child, these milestones come with an overwhelming sadness.

You wake up on the birthday of your lost child and your breath is literally taken away.

You are somewhat transported back in time to another place.

Grief affects us all differently but there is a "breath taking" moment that we all experience at some point, as we try and comprehend our loved ones not being here anymore.

While this is definitely the case for me, on this birthday I am also filled with love and pride at the legacy Ben left behind.

Ben Shaw with mum Dalya.
Ben Shaw with mum Dalya.

I am filled with joy and gratitude for having had him in my life physically for 15 years.

And I am passionate along with so many others in making sure that his memory is continued.

We know through Ben's life the importance of making time count.

We also know the difference little things in life can make.

Living in the now is the most powerful tool we have as humans and yet one that is so infrequently used.

Some of the often-insignificant moments we have now, become the most significant moments we remember in the future.

Facebook image of Ben Shaw who died from an incident at the Pine Rivers PCYC gym. Image from the Pine Central Holy Spirit Hornets Facebook page.
Facebook image of Ben Shaw who died from an incident at the Pine Rivers PCYC gym. Image from the Pine Central Holy Spirit Hornets Facebook page.

We cannot change the past and there is no value in obsessing about what might or might not be in the future.

What we can control is the level of gratitude we feel in every waking moment for what is right now.

As we remember Benny on his birthday today, I think of the intelligent, cheeky and gorgeous young man with a drive to make the world a better place.

Instead of mourning what could have been or what I have missed, my focus is on what currently is, and how I can continue his legacy.

In honour of Ben and as a happy 18th birthday, foreverbenshaw.com is launched at 8.47am in his memory.

He will forever be in our hearts and he will never be forgotten.

Originally published as In her words: Mum pays tribute to son lost in gym tragedy



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