Thoughts for Friday – 5th December 2014

Australian+Cricket+Team+Portrait+Session+f9aI5tLMz-_lThe death of cricketer Phillip Hughes came as a huge shock to the sport, making major headlines here in the UK. Cricket is a national game of ours and not readily understood by our cousins across the Atlantic. To Americans, cricket seems like the quintessential English game, played by gentleman where never a cross word is spoken between the players.

Well, that’s a complete lie. Cricket is a game full of intimidation, mainly through the short-pitched bowling whereby a bowler attempts to strike fear into a batsmen by aiming the ball squarely at his head. Although batsmen are required to wear helmets, this provided Hughes little protection when he was struck at the top of his neck by what is known in the game as a ‘bouncer’.

Hughes had swiveled to play a hook shot and missed the ball which subsequently hit him on the back of the neck. He paused for a few moments with his hands on his knees before collapsing face-first into the ground. Players rushed to his side and medics were on scene almost immediately. Hughes was taken from the field and administered CPR before being transported by helicopter to the nearest hospital.

He underwent 90 minutes of emergency surgery before being placed in a medically-induced come but died a day later of his injuries. The cause of death was reported to have been a split artery in his neck, which caused catastrophic bleeding into his brain. Phillip Hughes never regained consciousness after collapsing to the ground on that fateful Tuesday afternoon.

putoutyourbats-628Cricket is a game played mainly in post-Colonial territories such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and Pakistan and the death of Hughes was felt keenly by anyone who had even a passing interest in the game. The overwhelming support that Hughes and his family have received shows that, despite old rivalries, cricket is a family and one that supports those who play it.

While sympathy has been overwhelming for Hughes and his family during this difficult time, players and fans alike have also rallied around Sean Abbot, the man unfortunate enough to bowl the ball that caused the death of his good friend Phillip Hughes. It is incomprehensible to even begin to understand what this young sportsman is going through, knowing that he played some part, however unintentional, in killing a fellow player.

Sean Abbot’s intention was not to hurt Hughes when he bowled that ball, it was just a freak set of circumstances that resulted in Hughes’ untimely death. If Abbot had not bowled a bouncer, if Hughes had not miss-timed his shot, if the ball had hit his helmet instead of his neck…. All of these variables could have resulted in a different outcome and one in which Hughes would have lived to tell the tale.

But fate is a fickle mistress and we may never know why she chose to take a man who had so much to offer, not only as a sportsman but also as a decent human being. We cannot question fate, merely accept it for what it is: a stark reminder that nothing in this life is guaranteed. If Phillip Hughes’ death teaches us anything, let it be that we should never assume that there will always be a tomorrow. When life presents you an opportunity, you must grab it with both hands and live every day as if it is your last.

Though I cannot claim to know the pain and suffering the Hughes family are going through, I do know what it feels to lose someone close to you so unexpectedly. Though I still miss my cousin every day, I try to live my life in a way that honors her memory and I will never forget all of the good that she brought into my life.

My cousin, just like Phillip Hughes, was taken from this world far before her time. Though I still don’t understand why she was taken from us, I am forever thankful for the difference she made to my life and I will love and miss her until I finally meet up with her again in Heaven.

RIP Phillip Joel Hughes 30/11/88 – 27/11/2014



Filed under Thoughts for Friday

15 responses to “Thoughts for Friday – 5th December 2014

  1. This is an awful tragedy, Heather B. RIP Phillip Hughes. American sports fans should add their prayers and condolences to his family and friends and the network of sports lovers around the globe in general. We lose one sportsman like this, one man or woman participating in athletics that they and we love, and we all lose a part of us. Thank you for sharing this tribute so we can learn of it here. And sorry again for the past loss of your dear cousin. May you continue to heal from that sad day, my friend.

    • Thanks Mark ❤

      I have to admit that the death of Phillip Hughes affected me quite significantly and I found it hard to come to terms with the loss of such a young sportsman.

      The rivalry between England and Australia is fierce when it comes to cricket, yet Phillip Hughes death came as a huge shock to our whole nation. It is times like these when nationalities and rivalries are forgotten when we mourn the loss of a player who had so much more to give his sport.

      If there is any consolation in his death, it was that he died doing something he loved. How many of us will be able to say the same thing?

      Thank you also for the condolences re my cousin, it would have been her 33rd birthday on Dec 24th and we are planning a small memorial service in her honour on Christmas Eve.

  2. This is very sad. You’re right – there are no guarantees in life. I know how deeply you cared for your cousin. She must have been a remarkable young woman. She would be so proud of you, my friend ! 💜

    • She was, Kate.Perhaps a far better person than I will ever be. What hurts the most now is that she’ll never get to see the changes I’ve made to my life and how I’ve moved on from what was a pretty bad past.

      I hope she’s in heaven watching down on me though ❤

  3. Beautiful and passionate, Heather. Funny thing, I JUST added some thoughts to a draft post on second chances. I’ve been fascinated this year with the complex dynamics in competitive sports and in a different context (the military) caught a TV interview this summer about a soldier who was killed accidentally by friends on his side of the line. The guilt the accidental offenders lived with was tremendous. What if, what IF? We ask. We have only this moment to seize for an answer.


    • Thanks Diana ❤

      It's been a tough time for me recently, but I need to keep reminding myself that I am still here and that i should be grateful for that. Some people are not as fortunate as we are.

  4. Being on the other side of the ocean (in NEW England) I must admit I know nothing of cricket nor of the death of this young athlete. Thanks for educating me. And for reminding us that it’s so true – we should enjoy each hour of every day, because we don’t know when ‘our time will come.’

  5. Oh wow, what a tragic story. The regret and remorse that Sean Abbot will have to live with for the rest of his life is unthinkable. You said it so well Heather, ‘nothing in this life is guaranteed’ and ‘we should never assume there will always be a tomorrow.’ I’m a big one for living in the moment. That really is all we’ve got.
    I’m sure it must still be tough to ponder the death of your cousin Heather. So tough indeed.

    • Thanks Staci ❤

      I always struggle at this time of year as 24th Dec would have been my cousin's birthday and it hurts that she's no longer here.

      In regard to Sean Abbot, he has returned to playing the game he loves thanks to the support of the worldwide cricket community and has just taken his best figures in his career. He'll never be the same player, but it's heartening to know that he's been able to continue playing.

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