By Jimmy Rhatigan
THOSE pushed inside the gates of Hell on Earth will vow never to go there again.
That does not include a doting local mother whose life was left in tatters when her beloved six year old son was cruelly snatched from her in a road accident.
Roseann Brennan, a mother of three, is an exception to any rule, but not because she wants to prove that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, a line from a 2014 American play of the same name.
She has chosen to take a trip down a memory lane that is laced with pain to help make life more bearable for anyone who may be in the same boat as her grieving family and so that someone, anyone will think twice before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
With the help of brilliant ghost writer and journalist, Kathryn Rogers, she spent six months recalling her years with the Jake she loved so dearly, right back to the time she was pregnant with her first baby, a beautiful baby boy she called Jake.
Sadly, the highlight of a book called Mammy I Don’t Want To Die will be a horrific accident near the then Brennan family home at 15 Lintown Grove on the periphery of Kilkenny City.
The name of the book recall the words that Jake, who had been struck by a car, uttered as he was cradled by his terrified mother.
The book is the story of Jake’s life, love and legacy and displaying real courage his mother’s has decided that the launch will be at the Ballroom of Langton’s Hotel where she and her husband, Christopher from Castlecomer held their wedding reception.
It will be a poignant and quite emotional launch at 7pm on April 18 as four year old baby Jack was among the wedding party.
Roseann writes about what happens when a child dies. She will touch on her broken marriage, now thankfully happily repaired and of the time she spent at the Department of Psychiatry at St Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny, an experience she described as very positive.
“I want people to think about the seriousness of driving before getting behind the wheel and remind that no one should be afraid to talk about mental health. I took an overdose I never planned.
“After all the trauma and tough battles, I am now an open book following Jake’s death. If I can help even one person through the book, then I can endure any negatives.”
Roseann remembers the fateful June evening when the life a loving Brennan family was wrecked. It was on June 12, 2014 at 6.25am that the accident happened.
‘Mammy, can I cross back over to the green,’ Jake asked his mother as he wanted to return to the patch of grass beside his home where he loved to play with other children.
“That was to change our life forever. I thought we were safe in a cul de sac,” said Roseann. “We lost our little man who was born on April 2, 2008. It was an awful tragedy.
“My husband grabbed our other son Kaelem who was three at the time. In my arms was my little girl, Savannah who was four months old.
“Following our loss I used to spend a lot of my time crying. I felt I had to write something but I was hard to put my emotions on paper.
“I tried to write down memories of Jake but it was very difficult when anxieties arose. But for all of our sakes I had to write Jake’s life story.
“I talked to my husband and a few other people. I then met Kathryn Rogers and I knew she was the person
to guide me.
“When Kathryn and I eventually sat down together, sometimes for up to five hours at a time, I would read a few lines and tell myself if you got through that you can get through today. It was theraputic.
“I am not worried about sales. The idea is to get the story out there. I know I will have great family support. I have seven sisters and four brothers. Even if one person only gets something from Jake’s book, then that will be enough.
“The great plus for our family is that our little man will still be touching hearts even though he is in Heaven. And I am happy too that Jake will always be part of our family for the rest of our lives.”
Roseann and Christopher are issuing an open invitation for all to join them at the launch which begins with a drinks’ reception at 7pm and continues with what should be a touching chat between guests Anne Marie Cullen from Bennettsbridge who lost her daughter, Clodagh 11 years ago, Rita Moloney from Clare whose young boy was seriously injured in an accident.
The main speaker will be hurling hero, Henry Shefflin whose little boy was also involved in an accident.
Guest of honour will be Sinn Féin leader, Mary Lou McDonald, who, Roseann said, has been hugely supportive of the family.
A discussion will be chaired by local radio journalist, Eimear Ní Braonáin.
“The focus will be on accidents and loss of life but also on accidents where children and others are left seriously injured for the rest of their lives,” Roseann explained.
A wonderful local choir called Soulful Spirits, led by Claire Kilkenny will provide entertainment.
The Brennan family now live at 13 Manor Walk, Rosehill, Kells Road, Kilkenny to where they moved a year and four months ago.
“I would have run from Lintown on the day after the accident,” Roseann admitted. “I was not in a good place. I had lost my dad when I was aged five. But I was advised by doctors and psychologists that if we moved so suddenly it would have been too much for my son Kaelem. So we took our.
“Kaelem’s question when I told him we were moving to a new home lightened up our lives. ‘Who will carry my big bed,’ he asked.
“I will get four strong men to bring that for you,” I replied.
“I enjoyed a laugh and please God we will all enjoy the launch which will be a celebration of Jake’s life. I want people to be happy and I know my little boy will be with us in Langtons.”
The circa 350-page book with colour photography will be on sale at 15.99.