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Tell Me About Ben


As a parent, particularly a father of boys, and especially over the past twelve years or so as our two sons transitioned to adolescence, and then to manhood, I have experienced more than a little apprehension about my responsibility to set the right example for them.  And I can assure you there are many times when I have fallen short of my own expectations. 

But what I hadn’t anticipated is something that has become, and will now remain forever, one of the great joys of my life – which is that during this period it has so often been my sons who have taught me lessons about what it means to be a good man.

And on that subject, before I go on to give you some insight into who Ben was, from my perspective, I would like to take this very important opportunity to mention our first-born, Tim.  From an early age, Tim has set a wonderful example to his family, his peers, and the world around him about what it means to be a good person.  I have been, and remain an unabashed admirer of all his wonderful qualities – like his exceptional moral compass, his empathy, his inner strength, and that quiet confidence he carries that not once in his entire life, notwithstanding his many talents, have I ever seen descend into arrogance.  As importantly perhaps as any of those things, he has demonstrated to me that it is indeed possible to go through life without ever making an enemy. 

Tim, we are so fortunate to have you in our lives. 


And so to Ben.

This is a photograph of the epitaph that adorns Ben’s grave. 

Unlike many, indeed most of the gravestones that surround it, this inscription does not mention any other person by name.  This was a deliberate choice on our part.  We wanted to devote as many words as possible to our Ben – knowing full well, of course, that no words will ever be adequate to capture everything that he was, and remains in our hearts. 

We also hoped that, over time, people reading this gravestone who may never have met Ben, or even known of him, will go away from this place feeling like they did.

And in the same way, we hope the stories of Ben you read here will make you feel you now know him just that little bit better, and help you to understand why his influence upon those whose lives he touched during his 21 years was so significant.

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