I’m very sorry but I won’t be sitting in the coroner’s court on Monday to support you. I’ve given this a huge amount of thought but I just can’t bear to go back into that room again.
I am still in pain at the thought of that room and the memory of Nico’s inquest still holds such power. So, knowing that, what words of support and comfort can I possibly offer you?
The simple answer is – none.
I wish I could. I wish I had those words and if I did have those words I would wrap them up in gold and wrap a silk bow around them and hand them to you on a silver plate– or more realistically, I’d write them down here. If I thought that there was anything I could say which would bring you comfort I would say it – I would scream it. But what I can do is write to you from my heart and perhaps there will be some small comfort in here somewhere.
You and your family have waited 2 years and 3 months (to the day?) since that phone call shattered your world into pieces and you lost your laughing boy. Those 2 years and 3 months has been filled with trauma and horror beyond most people’s comprehension. It’s almost impossible for most people to imagine what it would be like to lose a child and then to have the might of two great megalith organisations turned on you in spite and malice. Oxfordshire County Council. Southern Health NHS Trust. Yes – I name you. I know you and I see what you have done and I do not forgive you. I am one of many.
Do you think that you can make what you have done go away? You cannot. It does not matter what cheap tricks and legal jargon you and your vast wealth can throw out in that court room. I know you already and I am one of many. But I know more than most for I have already sat in that awful room and I have seen your tricks. I have heard your lies and sugar coated deceptions.
I know how much money you spend on winning. Yes, winning. That’s all that matters to you isn’t it? Your legal team is engaged by you at vast expense to win. If during the course of the inquest you have to batter the family until they can barely hold their heads up, that’s fine. You don’t care. We are just collateral damage in your scramble to ensure that you do not lose.
Because you have so much to lose don’t you? You lose your reputation, you lose the case. I can’t think of anything else you have to lose. You lose people’s trust in you, but I’m actually not sure that you can technically lose something which is already lost. So really you don’t have that much to lose.
Whereas we – the families. We have a great deal to lose. And we have already lost so much.
When you lose your child that is a loss almost too large for your heart to bear. When you are told that you are delusional, a liar at worst and a pitiful obsessively grieving mother at best, then your heart cracks and is lost again. Southern Health NHS Trust, do you sleep well? Do you fear that all that you throw out into the world, all that you do and all that you have done to us and all that you have done and will do to the Ryan family – do you fear that it will come back over and over again to haunt you?
So Sara, my words are this. This is one part of the struggle for justice. Just one part. It’s a big part because you’ve waited a long time for it, but no matter what happens it will end and there will be life beyond it (and probably the fight will go on) even though it doesn’t feel like it now. No-one is more committed, more prepared, more ready for the fight than you, your family and your team and if they have the smallest grain of sense they will quake in their boots when they see you coming.
Anyone, any fool out there who says that the inquest is a “non-adversarial process” was clearly not in my son Nico’s inquest, and clearly is not going to be present at Connor’s inquest.
Do not fear them Sara. When you sit there you may think you can count the supporters you have around you and compared to the legal team of Southern Health they don’t seem many. But also sitting with you too will be a vast invisible army of supporters. Maybe not physically present in the room, but we will all of us be with in our hearts and in our souls and we will stay with you, come what may.
With my very best wishes
Rosi Reed (who waited 2 years and 4 months to sit in the same coroner’s court last December for the 3 day inquest of her son Nico – so I really do know). X