Bereavement due to traumatic death

Jocelyn - Interview 33

Male
Age at interview: 65

Brief outline: In 2002 Jocelyn's son, Edward, was killed in the Bali bombing. Jocelyn was deeply shocked and saddened, but decided that Ed would want him to get on with his life. He was supported by other family members and by Ed's many friends.

Background: Jocelyn is a Company Director. He has 2 children (1 died). Ethnic background/nationality: White British.

Audio & video

One Sunday morning in October 2002 Jocelyn saw a headline in the Sunday Times about a big bomb that had gone off in Bali. He immediately thought of his son, Edward, who was in Bali at the time. Jocelyn feared that Ed might have been killed and flew out to be with Ed’s mother, who was in Thailand. By the end of the week they accepted that he must be dead.
 
Assuming that Ed was dead, the family held a memorial service in a village church in Ireland. Two weeks later Jocelyn flew to Hong Kong for another memorial service. Ed had been living in Hong Kong before he died. Jocelyn was sailing in Hong Kong harbour, when his mobile phone rang. An official from the Foreign Office told Jocelyn that Ed’s body had been found and identified by DNA testing. Jocelyn arranged for Ed’s body to be flown home to Ireland. The UK government paid for this. Ed was buried in the family graveyard. His Godfather contributed a lovely gravestone, which bears the inscription “A smile and memories that bring us roses in December”
 
A police liaison officer kept in touch with the family and gave Jocelyn information whenever he could. Ed’s inquest was held in Hong Kong. Jocelyn did not attend it. About two years after the bombing Jocelyn went back to Bali and visited the site of the bombing.
 
Ed’s death brought Jocelyn and his other son closer together. Ed had many friends who have supported the family. They have all contributed to a website, edwaller.com, which was set up by Ed’s brother, Tom, and some of Ed’s friends. The website has about 700 tributes to Ed, pictures of Ed, a film made by Tom, and Jocelyn’s eulogy. The website has been a great comfort to Jocelyn. It brings laughter and tears to his eyes, and he thinks it is very important.
 
Jocelyn was asked to chair the UK Bali Bombing Victims Group. He helped to organise a beautiful memorial for those who died. The memorial is in St James’s Park on Horse Guards Road, and was opened by Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall. It was made by Gary Breeze, lettering sculptor.
 
After Ed died Jocelyn did not get any professional counselling. He was supported by friends and family. He decided that what ever happened he would never forget Ed, and that he would keep him in his life, and think of him every day. He thought that Ed would want him to get on with his own life, so he made a positive effort to move forward.

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