These days, as December 31st approached, I thought a lot about Shane, on this sad first anniversary of his passing.
We have never met in person, but he had become part of my life in such a fun and overwhelming way, that he immediately became a dear and precious friend. The first time we spoke I was convinced that Shane was a woman’s name and he never stopped joking about that!
I have thought a lot about his story in these days: his pain, his courage.
I thought of the tragedy he went through, together with his brothers and sisters, and how much pain and injustice inhabit the world. A lot of children, adolescents, young innocent victims.
I admit, I felt overwhelmed.
But I also read Shane’s poems. I thought back to his words: “I deserve better than this”. And again: “Reach out, speak out and live your life“.
Shane has been an ambassador for the rights of the most vulnerable children and care leavers in Ireland and all over the world. Always kind, always smiling even though the pain inside of him had perhaps never gone away.
Today, more than ever, we must collect his legacy and continue to let his light shine for care leavers like him, around the world.
We owe it to you and I promised you, Shane.