I read the news today …
Over this past week or so I’ve spent a fair amount of time in tears when reading, watching or listening to the news. I’m a bit of a softie anyway – I blub like a baby at certain films – so this isn’t all that news worthy.
However the news of the injury and death of Phillip Hughes has touched me most deeply. I confess to being a fan of cricket – love a summer Test series, especially an Ashes one – but I’m not a cricket nerd. I’d have been hard pressed to name Phillip Hughes or recognise him as an Aussie cricketer before he hit the news recently. Like many others I was shocked at the footage of him being hit by a fast ball during a match. I remembered other times I’d seen this happen, most recently to Stuart Broad, a ball which left him with a broken nose and two black eyes. So I knew that these things happened from time to time. when he was hospitalised in a coma I thought how shocking that an ordinary day playing cricket could end in such serious injury.
Then I woke to the news that he had died without regaining consciousness. For some reason I cannot fathom a lump came to my throat and tears sprang to my eyes. I felt so sad for the loss of that young man on the other side of the world. Every time it was reported on the news I found myself wiping the tears away, saddened beyond reason at this one death among all the others. The fact that he died on the same day as PD James, who had a long and productive life, only seemed to heighten the sadness.
The tributes began to pour in and each one made me tear up. I could hardly bear listening to the Aussie cricket captain Michael Clarke talking about his ‘ little brother ‘. When his voice cracked with emotion in the funeral address I was in tears again. I’m even finding it hard to type this through tears with another lump in my throat. I was also moved by thoughts of what Sean Abbott, the bowler of the fatal ball, must be going through. Two young men touched by tragedy while playing the sport they loved; sad beyond belief.
So why am I affected like this? Why has this one death touched me so much? I don’t know; maybe it’s his youth, maybe the fact that it highlights the fragile nature of life, maybe I’m getting soppier in my old age. Who knows. But this one death has moved me greatly and I guess I may continue to weep at the oddest things. It’s part of what makes me, me.