Precious son, beloved brother, true friend, ardent lover, wicked prankster, brilliant artist, clever curator and so much more.
On 1st July 2006 we stepped on a landmine and, for us, the world was blown to smithereens. Our beautiful son Nicholas had been killed by a vicious psychopath and things would never be the same again.
“Time will heal the wounds, things will change” well-meaning folk said, but it didn’t.
Only now, after twelve long years, have we summoned up the strength to create this memorial for Nicholas and it is still very hard to work out what to say.
Perhaps, over time, we will be able to say more but for the moment it is best to leave it to that great wise man, WH Auden, who in this poem tells of a boy who flew too close to the sun and fell out of the sky when his wings melted. It clearly describes Nick:
Musee des Beaux Arts
About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
We will always love you Nicholas – Your mother Patricia, your father Patrick, your brother John Patrick, your sister-in-law Clare, your nephew Enzo Nicholas Augustino Padget and all the hundreds of people whose lives connected with yours.