Keep in mind while reading this post that we live in a very small town of approx 300 people and the next 'bigger' town has approx 5000 people, for this reason and for the privacy of the families I will not mention specific names or locations.
Over the past two weeks we have lost 3 young lives in our area in seperate incidents. About two weeks ago on a warm summer evening, a 19 year old local man lost his life after jumping off the town's bridge into the water below. Young people often gather on the bridge during the warm summer months to have some fun jumping into the clear, deep, turquoise water below with their friends. Apparently this young fellow was doing somersaults from the highest peak of the bridge and landed on his face when he hit the water killing him instantly. Jumping off the bridge has been discouraged by local police for years, since the accident, the local council have now banned jumping off the bridge - so the police are now able to stop people and fine them rather than just warn them. It is a terrible shame that it has taken an accident of this magnitude for them to finally do something about it.
Only four days later an 18 year old man was killed in a horrific head on car accident with a full milk tanker. The roads around town are quite steep and winding. The last time I travelled along that particular stretch of road where this accident happened we had a car coming from the other direction cross the double lines onto our side of the road too, thankfully we didn't have an accident. As you can see from the photo below, the 18 year old man had no chance.
The most shocking to me personally, was yesterday when Jade brought home the weekly school newsletter. The newsletter announced the death of our former local policeman. This came as a huge shock to my husband and I. Jade was best friends with his daughter during kinder and year 1 before they moved out of town and their kids to a different school. Last march the policeman had some sort of virus which caused him to have a small heart attack. By June he thought he was fully recovered, the family were moving to a new town as he had taken a position at another police station.
Jade was devestated that her friend was moving away - her friend was just as devestated to be moving away and was crying at school because she didn't want to leave. Since they moved away last June, Jade and her friend have spoken a few times on the phone - except we haven't heard from her friend for the past couple of months. Only last week I was wondering why she hasn't phoned Jade... well now I know.
In Spetember last year her father the policeman discovered he still had the virus in his body. There are many details I am unaware of but he was put into the intensive care unit in need of a heart and kidney transplant because of this virus. He waited 6 months for a transplant and spent the last 5 weeks in a medically induced coma.
Last Friday, he finally got his transplant... on Saturday due to complications from the surgery he passed away. He had only just turned 38 years old.
Even as I type this right now, I just cannot believe it, he wasn't someone I knew well by any means, but our girls played together and spent time at each others house. In the times that I saw him he appeared to be fit and healthy. I sit here trying to think of words to express how I feel but I still can't full comprehend that it has happened. I feel incredible sadness for his wife, but the thing that I find most difficult to deal with is that his 3 children who are only 6, 7 and 12 years old have now lost their Dad.
Life is to short, we need to make the most of the time we have.