Hi. It’s July 31st and fandom is celebrating the birthday of Harry Potter and JK Rowling. But I’m remembering the birth and life of someone who had this day long before either of them. My father.
For those of you following my videos for fan theories to Fantastic Beasts, this is not one of them. I've been wanting to share this message for a long time, but it's taken me eight months until I could talk about it.
I used to tease my dad about sharing Harry Potter's birthday. I wish I still could. For me, my father was the original Harry Potter, even if not by name. Because he was a man who always knew the power of love and always spread that magic freely.
In Order of the Phoenix we read how Harry could see Thestrals following the death of Cedric from the last book. When Rowling explained this delay due to it taking time for death to sink in, my initial reaction was skeptical. But having experienced it close hand, I understand much better now.
However there’s an aspect within Cedric’s death that isn't talked about much, and in reflection of my own father’s passing, I’d like to speak to it here.
Harry was right by Cedric’s side when he was killed. Harry touched his body. Harry claimed his body. He took his body home to his parents for burial.
I had experienced death before my father. But not as personally. Although I was in the hospital with my grandparents when each one died, I was in a waiting room far away while doctors and nurses in the ICU cared for them in their final moments.
With my father, we were fortunate enough to do things differently. We knew death was approaching, and as it was my father's wish to go home from the hospital, we honored that request. My father spent the last four months of his life at home, surrounded by friends and family, cared for by those he loved most. Until the very last breath.
We would not have been able to do this without the excellent care and support provided to us by Palliative Care and Hospice. Hospice staff are loving, caring professionals and volunteers who face Thestrals every single day. They do this so that your loved one can make their final journey from a comforting place of love and safety.
Death is perhaps the greatest binder of humanity. We all face it. We all experience it of those we love. Seeing Thestrals is a beautiful metaphor for the change in life that death brings. Although not always possible, how fortunate are those who can meet it by the side of those we hold most dear.
So I dedicate this video to the man who taught me throughout his life, even unto death, the magic of love, and to the people who helped me and my family give him the love and support he needed into his next great adventure.
Jo once said that Harry’s story would not have been the same if she’d not experienced her mother’s death. So I think it fitting on her and Harry’s birthday, as well as my dad’s, to remember those who ride fearlessly upon Thestrals, guiding others into the beauty of love’s final gift.