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Tuesday, November 14, 2017


A year without Jack

A year ago today, sometime in the early morning, our sonJack died. A year ago, stunned, shocked, uncomprehending we flew out of Adelaide, into Melbourne and a world without Jack. A year on, many tests later we still do not know why he died. Something like 50% of all sudden deaths in young healthy people never do have definitive explanations. The most likely explanation is a rogue electrical storm seized his heart. 

We have been tested for the commonest forms of heritable heart disease that can cause such lethal storms. We are all clear of them, MiddleOne at the very least is free of these forms, and is probably no more likely than most people to succumb to a cardiac storm. 

Can you imagine what it would be like to be a teenager with that hanging over you? Exams, career planning none of that matters when your future could be taken from you in an instant. Now the Damocles sword has been removed and life can move on past the year without Jack. 

A year without Jack. The final anniversary in the dreadful countdown but not the end of the process. There will always be a gap, a space where Jack was. A bus station where he will not arrive, a fencing club he will not go to, a phone number that will not answer. 

We can navigate that space now, rather than tiptoe around it as we move into the future. Our friends and Jacks friends, our family, the Farrago community and the Medley community have all worked together to find our paths around this gap. We will continue to journey on. Jacks friends will branch out into the wider world, continuing to forge their identities, facing new challenges, new successes and failures (for how do we learn if we do not fail occasionally). Possibly wearing pink fencing socks.

His brothers too are charting their own futures in their own ways. They will make their own impacts, whether in music or some other sphere, enriching the lives they touch. Not in the same way Jack enriched others’ lives, but in their own special ways. One year past Jack the future beckons. 

A year without Jack, but a year with his stories. Hopefully his stories, his beautiful powerful stories, will inspire people to continue on the journey started by Brave Ulysses and the world will in fact not be without Jack.

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Hi Ian,

I came to your website via Roger Groom's Aurora page and your post on Jack has profoundly affected me. With two young sons of my own I cannot imagine the pain that you and Peta have been through. I hope it is easier a year on.

Reading through your post from December last year my heart aches at thinking the wonderful times you shared with Jack are the things I hope to share with mine when they are older.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Thank you for your kind and empathetic thoughts. Our healing journey is ongoing, and is made all the eaier by the support we have had. Thank you again, and hug your kids, often and for no reason.
Ian I follow your Astroblog & love those details that have inspired my passion for astronomy.So it is with great sadness that today I read your post 'A Year without Jack'. My thoughts are with you, and your family. I will continue to read your blogs with new insights.
Carole Hazell.
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