One day my father, he told me
“Son, don’t let it slip away”
He took me in his arms, I heard him say
“When you get older
Your wild heart will live for younger days
Think of me if ever you’re afraid”
He said, “One day you’ll leave this world behind
So live a life you will remember”
- Avicii, The Nights
IT’s around this time of year that you begin to feel your age.
The TV weatherman said on Wednesday night, the day loses three minutes of daylight each evening.
My definition of gloom, in a racing sense, was best put by Alastair Down when he wrote: I have seen more Cheltenhams than I will see.
At this stage I have the numbers of many dead people still in my phone. Some sad, one or two tragic, but I left them there, carried from phone to phone.
The word ‘heartbreaking’ was in the trending box on Twitter over the weekend as all the racing and sports accounts became aware of the tragic news that came from Kerry on Saturday evening. Why? How?
There could be little said to make sense of such a tragedy. No vibrant child of 13 should lose his life so suddenly, go out and never come home.
When Honeysuckle hopefully goes for three in a row in the Champion Hurdle next March, Jack de Bromhead won’t see it. It’s something you find difficult to accept even as you get older and more times of sadness filter into your life.
Racing circles were united in grief and sympathy but it went far beyond that as people far and wide shed a tear for the cruel loss of Jack.
There was no Twitter trawling for some witty lines this week. Instead, a sad spin through the messages left on rip.ie reflected the shock, sadness and sympathy with the de Bromhead family.
Anonymous condolences from so many people who had felt an instant affection from Jack’s few appearances on TV, and then tales shared of his life from all over Ireland and beyond. A Sligo mother, a Louth dad, a Cavan family, a racing fan, so many saying – ‘I’ve never met you but’...
It’s no comfort but a tribute in itself that over 13,000 people took time to join in the final celebration of Jack’s life via the livestream and how wonderfully Henry and family shared the joyous moments of 13 years together.
The innocence and excitement of diggers, tractors, hunting and sports, wanting “to go at silage” with the Kents. With the neighbours, “hours just sitting up with Richard, James, Sean, any of them, sitting beside in the tractor. I said to James, he was in the tractor for four hours, what would you talk about?” “You’d only get to answer the third question,” was the reply, recalled by Henry on Wednesday.
While you would be forgiven for thinking the modern world is full of mad, evil, conniving people, the aftermath of this week’s tragedy gave you hope of goodness, support and love among us.
And the words of the Avicii song The Nights played during communion were so perfectly fitting to take away too.
There are simply no words to now fill the lasting sadness. To end with a message, as it was written, on RIP.ie in appreciation and memory.
Jack u where one of my best friends for the last number of years
I’ll always remember the craic we had while riding the horses together
u where the best friend anyone could ask for
I’m heartbroken and shocked to say my best friend grew his wings yesterday
love you forever x