Sunday, May 31, 2009

I have been a little quiet.

Those that know me personally know that it has been a rough week.

Tuesday I watched two marvelous people bury their eldest son. He was 22 years old, in his third year of university, had a beautiful and loving girlfriend and a loving and supportive family. For days now I have known that I had to write about it but it is so hard.

Rhys was one of my students, a number of years ago granted, that as many others have touched my life and changed it. One of the lovely things about being a secondary school teacher is that you watch kids grow into amazing adults. The special ones keep in touch, a process now made much easier through sites like Facebook. Some send text messages, others email, others send messages through younger siblings. My life is enriched by many of these young people. Not just the "good" ones (of which Rhys was one) but also the naughty ones who overcome their issues to finish high school and move on in life. I have cried with them and I have laughed with them.

Rhys died because he was living as he believed was right. A young lady was involved in an argument with her boyfriend early on a Sunday morning in the street. Rhys and a friend asked her if she needed any help. Her boyfrind turned around and punched him. He fell and cracked the back of his head on the concrete. He never woke up.

His mum told me that he was responsive in his coma. At times during the time he spent in hospital he would show signs that he could hear them. She said he looked perfect. He lasted nearly a week before he gave in.

The funeral was massive. With the team mates from his football and cricket teams, his uni mates, his high school mates, family friends and others he has touched, there were hundreds in attendance. So much as it shouldn't have to be, the service was a lovely record of a very special and stupidly short life. The messages were the same. Rhys was passionate and loving in everything he did.

I had to watch my kids hurting. It isn't fair that people so young should suffere such loss. It isn't fair that the world should suffer such loss.

This whole episode is just so pointless and has ruined so many lives. Rhys' family will have the rest of their lives to come to terms with all this as will his mates. Adding to that the boy responsible is now facing manslaughter charges. I am sure life will never be the same for him and his family either. I also can't help but feel for the poor girl who must feel some responsibility in this whole mess. Stupid shit caused by angry beer.

Regardless, wherever Rhys is I hope he realises how much he was loved and how special he was. There better be sport and I am sure if there are others he has already made some new mates.


Amanda said...

That is just so sad.

Alrischa said...

I feel bad for the girl, too, though it's not at all her fault. Hope she left the idiot!

Stitch Sista said...

Oh I have tears reading terribly sad.

I'm sorry for the loss of a fine young man too soon :(.

Kylie said...

Hugs to you during this time - thankyou for sharing this.

sweetp said...

Im so sorry for your loss x

Cybèle said...

I've been lurking on your blog for a while but just wanted to say what a sad story. Such a sad loss.

cartside said...

It's so hard to put such sadness into words, but harder still to have to deal with such huge loss. Something that will be useful in the future may be a memory book for his family and girlfriend. Just a thought.

Kat said...

wow Jacki, that really simply expressed your feelings about this so well as hard as it must eyes are full of tears for someone who I dont know.. but through your writing made the injustic of his dead hard to waste of a promisng young life on many counts.

When you wrote about your students, it really makes reappreciate expressed such passion for what you you do and how you feel about those that you what grow, it makes me think of those who inspired me at school ..I wish all were as pasionate about education in a long term sense as yourself..

many thoughts to all those that knew your young friend Rhys..thinking about him tonight

trashalou said...

Oh. So sad.

Trudy said...

I'm a parent wh, years ago, lost an adult child with a child of her own. It is always traumatic and sad to lose your wonderful, beloved children.

This young man was a wonderful, brave young man, and when his parents have had a long time to heal, they can rejoice in his bravery and love for his fellowman. "Greater love has no man than this..."

Julie said...

How sad. I'm terribly sorry. Please pass this stranger's condolences on to his family. He sounds like a terrific young man and that is darn good parenting.