Fri | May 24, 2019

Gone but not forgotten

Published:Saturday | June 4, 2016 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell Livingston
Courtney 'Papa Biggy' Porteous mourns the loss of his son.

Conscious singer Courtney 'Papa Biggy' Porteous has run the full gamut of emotions where the loss of his son is concerned. First, it was disbelief, shock, anger, and numerous questions until he finally accepted that his son Vaughn no more.

"It took a while to get to this place in my life as, when it happened, I was numb for days. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep; all I kept thinking was why? Why my son," he shared with Family and Religion.

That day, April 12, 2014, when he got that phone call, will forever remain etched in his memory. He was at a function when the police called to tell him that his son's body had been flushed from Lake Wepawaug in Orange, Connecticut, as a result of accidental drowning. From then, everything was a blur.

"Although I have accepted that he is gone, I am still very much hurt that he never got to fulfil all his dreams. As a parent, I made preparations for my children. I didn't expect to outlive any of them," he said.

It's been two years now since that fateful day, and for the Jamaica-born artiste who now resides in Connecticut, the pain is compounded by the fact that he does not even have an offspring to remind him of a life gone too soon.

"I regret the fact that he didn't live long enough to have kids, although he was married at the time of his passing," he said. Added to his pain is the fact that both their jobs kept them busy and he hadn't seen Vaughn for about two weeks.

"Even though I know my son and I had a great relationship, I still feel a bit guilty that I didn't even get to see him, to have a last conversation before that," he said.

In the midst of his regrets, Porteous is taking the time to encourage others to love hard and make use of every opportunity to communicate and cherish every precious moment with them.

"Trust me, I have learnt a valuable lesson from this. I make sure I use every opportunity to see my remaining children, check up on them, and just be there. Work will not be an excuse for allowing time to lapse before I see them," he said.




His lips quirked into a smile as he shared memories of his late son.

"He had a great sense of humour and he always wore a mischievous smile on his face," Porteous reminisced.

They say time heals all hurt, but for Porteous, there is a huge hole in his life that can never be refilled.

It is compounded by the memories of his son who was quite focused on what he wanted.

"He was never involved in crime and kept focusing on achieving his goals while encouraging others, including myself, to do likewise," he said of his offspring who was born in Tivoli Gardens in Kingston in 1986.

A past student of Excelsior High School, he migrated in 2001 to Bronx, New York.

Porteous, who acknowledges that his life is powered by faith in God, said at one point he was angry, but now he has stopped asking God why.

"One can never truly comprehend the feeling of losing someone close to you, so I would suggest that instead of dwelling on the negative, cherish all the memories of great moments you spent together."