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On memorialising the young dead

By johnboy - 30 March 2011 24


I went to a funeral yesterday. It was for a young woman called Jacky Clark, she was just 26.

Considering all the news we get about memorials on Clift Crescent, or Canberra Avenue, or the Woden Bus Interchange I think it worth noting the tragic passing of a young person that didn’t require police action on their memorial.

I never got the chance to know her in life. But her husband had asked that a group I’m in attend, so I was there.

Rows of plastic butterflies had been strung from the ceiling of the chapel, which was full to overflowing.

The speakers tried to celebrate her life, but it was desperately sad for having ended so soon.

Having been to the funeral I really wish I’d had the chance to get to know her in life.

Afterwards the butterflies were taken down and everyone was asked to take one home.

I’ve chosen to take my butterfly and put it on my fridge. (My fridge, not anyone else’s)

Every time I see it I’ll remember that Jacky Clark once walked amongst us, and was very much loved by a very great number of people.

I would humbly like to suggest that this is a better form of memorial than a scrawl on the door of the toilet in the Woden Bus Interchange.

What’s Your opinion?

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24 Responses to
On memorialising the young dead
EvanJames 12:04 pm 05 Apr 11

Suicide among young people IS an epidemic, in that, when a kid kills him/herself, there’s often a ripple effect, other kids start committing suicide too, or trying to. Boys are generally more effective at doing the deed, so more of them die.

There was a well documented problem in Kyneton in Victoria a few years back, there was a suicide epidemic among the young people.

If a kid kills himself/herself, start watching their friends, closely.

p1 11:42 am 05 Apr 11

johnboy said :

cars are safer, childbirth is safer, compared to even 50 years ago death is comparatively unknown to us now.

I would like to draw people attention to AIHW’s Australia’s health 2010: in brief report, which gives nice simple trends form many of the more important health impacts on Australians (there is a “not in brief” version for those interested in numbers).

It shows some pretty interesting things, for example this would seem to be at odds with a lot of A Current Affairs episodes which would have you think we are all in danger of becoming extinct.

As JB said though, this might just make it harder for us all when we do have to deal with a death, as we are not used to it.

johnboy 10:58 am 05 Apr 11

cars are safer, childbirth is safer, compared to even 50 years ago death is comparatively unknown to us now.

Not saying we can’t do better, just that with a bit of historical perspective you realise how astonishingly good things are.

Which probably makes it harder when someone dies anyway.

KCL 10:54 am 05 Apr 11

johnboy said :

Less die young now than ever before in human history.

Hi Johnboy firstly i just want to say what an awsome job you do and i think (in my humble opinion) that you must be one of the most interesting and well informed people in A.C.T. opposed to the mindless robot journo’s at the Canberra Times or the manufactured drivel i hear on the radio news.
But to get back to my point on the young dead, and i’m not a health professional or expert, just your average 30 something citizan, but i think that only reflects infant mortality rates I KNOW that suiside amoungst the young male population of the A.C.T. is in epidemic proportions and then there is cancer which i have lost three friends to that were all around the age of 30 and then there is the epidemic proportions of diabeties and kidney disease amoungst the indiginous population and im not too sure what the road toll reflects…

rottweiler 8:31 am 31 Mar 11

It’s not just the young that can be remembered in that way, Mid last year & early this year I lost an uncle and grandmother so people had a small memento I made ribbon pins(much like cancer pins) in their favourite colours to hand out at their final goodbyes.

johnboy 8:14 am 31 Mar 11

Less die young now than ever before in human history.

KCL 5:12 am 31 Mar 11

what a beautiful way for her to keep living on in peoples hearts -but we MUST respect how everyone chooses to grieve. I, myself have lost 11 close friends and my twin brother and it is so differant everytime. Perhaps its the topic of why so many good die young that we should be addressing?

fun size 12:45 am 31 Mar 11

I knew Jacky, but not very well. I’m not surprised that the chapel was so full, and I dearly wish that I could have been there. Thanks for your kind words.

EvanJames 3:11 pm 30 Mar 11

I fervently hope that normal, decent people like Jacky are still the norm, and that the law-breaking anti-social bogans are in the minority and abnormal.

blowers 2:47 pm 30 Mar 11

Someone needs to get a Journo to publish this story! It is an excellent way to remember someone without upsetting others. Thankyou for sharing

carnardly 1:42 pm 30 Mar 11

and so say all of me.

p1 12:54 pm 30 Mar 11

When my Grandmother was buries, we all tossed a handful of gum nuts into the hole (she was a fan of such this, real ones, and ones depicted in various works of art). The sight of similar gum nuts now reminds me of this, and then her. A powerful remembrance, and not a bus interchange in sight.

georgesgenitals 12:53 pm 30 Mar 11

Good taste is a wonderful thing.

Fiona 12:10 pm 30 Mar 11

We lost a 26 year old colleague to cancer at Chistmas. I didn’t atend the funeral, but we’ve planted a tree at work in a nice place, where we can sit and be quiet, reflect, take time out. It’s quite a lovely spot away from everything else.

JessP 12:08 pm 30 Mar 11

Here here. Memorials should be in peoples hearts and minds and not anywhere else.

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