Friendship and Loss

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June 25, 2013

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Have you ever lost someone? To illness, to old age, to an accident? I have been pretty lucky so far - I have only lost 3 grandparents and a friend.  This blog is about that friend.

His name was Ian but I never called him that in all the years I knew him, it was just Indy.  That's what we all called him as he was given that nickname as a little boy because he wanted to be Indiana Jones (that want never went away in all his 35 years).

My husband, Scott, has a small and very select group of friends that are very precious to him and he's had them forever.  We have moved around a lot and lucky for me, I have made friends wherever we go! I'm so lucky, but as a people person, I need that.  I like to have mates around me that I can chat too often, bounce ideas off, receive opinions from and laugh until I have to run to the toilet.  Since becoming a mum, a lot of that contact is not as often as I would like but I make time for friends, old and new, whenever I can, as they are my second family.

My hubby's close friends were part of his life when we met and there they have stayed, the inner sanctum.

They have remained his circle from his school and university days and when they catch up, which is not often, it's like they were never apart.  He has no need or want to expand this group - they are there when he needs them, he for them and the fact they have a lot of shared history makes the friendships exactly like a second family.

Indy came along later.

The only close friend that my hubby made since leaving his boyhood town of Ballarat.  So he was also the only friend that Scott and I met at the same time.  He changed the inner sanctum of this friendship group forever.

Indy was English and I hope I won't cause offence to any English guys reading this but he was not your typical pom! Sure he drank way too many cups of tea and was crazy about soccer (sorry, football!!) and in that regard very 'English' but he was a talker, a hugger and someone who wanted to know all about you and what made you tick.  He also wanted you to tell him when you were sad, when you were happy and everything in between...

For my hubby's group, this was a wildcard entry.  I bounced on the couch with joy.  

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Scott, Marty, Indy and Paul

 

I love my hubby's friends and they have become my family too but I am a talker, a hugger and I want to know what makes you tick.  I remember thinking to myself that a very lucky group of men had found the person that could soften them and make them talk about more that the footy scores, the playstation scores and the other kind of scoring (you know what I mean there) 😉 without any oestrogen in the room.

So yes, any girl that met Indy was a fan as he was 'one of us' and the wives and girlfriends of this group approved....I loved hanging out with him, he had great parties, made friends with everyone while we were out and we had some awesome group weekends away. He also fell in love with the most amazing woman, Sam, and so we gained someone else.

Then it was all taken away.

Suddenly, shockingly, leaving everyone numb, none more so than his fiance Sam.

We couldn't believe that Indy's 35th Birthday present had killed him.

A joy flight that was given to him to use when he wished and of course, Indy being Indy, could not wait and booked it as soon as possible. He could barely sleep the night before and was beside himself with excitement because just like Indiana Jones, Indy was a big kid that loved excitement, adventure and doing things that most of us are too scared to do.  He drove a motorbike (I was forever pestering him to sell it and buy a car of course), he dived with sharks, he rode on elephants, he always wanted to fly.....

 

So Sam drove him to the airstrip, waved him goodbye and we never saw Indy alive again.  The plane never came back.

My husband and I at this time had decided to pack up our lives in Brisbane and set off around Australia in a campervan.  Indy's birthday was coming up but we had decided to leave at a certain time so we had an early birthday dinner with him and Sam at a Mexican restaurant in Brisbane and said our goodbyes that night.

We had been on the road for a while and had made it to Port Douglas in Northern Queensland and the very first night we got there, we received a call from Marty to say that Indy's plane had not returned.

We didn't understand or take the full comprehension on board of what this meant, as Indy disappearing did not seem logical. So we stayed positive and said to each other that he would be found.  We hugged together in the back of the van all night, staying awake and when no phone call had come through by 5am, decided to just start driving back to Brisbane.

We were still holding on to hope.  We told ourselves that we would want to see him anyway, that we weren't driving 1800 km back for any major reason, just that we wanted to see he was ok after what was no doubt an awful ordeal. We turned the radio on and waited for news. Many hours passed and we started to get angry with each other, snapping and fighting and then came the long silences.  Being in a van with nothing to look at but the never ending road ahead of you with a lot weighing on your mind is not that great .

I started to think, what if?

Then I started to think of the one and only time Indy and I had argued and how I felt bad about that and then I would check my phone and listen to his voice wishing us goodbye and to have a good trip....

When the radio said that a small joy flight plane had been found in the waters off Stradbroke Island, can you believe, I still didn't think he was gone?

It wasn't until the phone rang that Scott and I knew, it was true, Indy and the pilot had been killed when the plane never made it out of a 360 degree loop the loop but had instead hit the water.

We then allowed ourselves to cry, and we were so glad that we were nearly in Brisbane again so we could be with our friends.

I will never forget what it was like to see the faces of Marty, Sam and Adam when we first got to Sams house.  I think I have never held on to someone as long as I held on to Marty that night.  I had no words for Sam, I just held on to her too.

 

Now why did this plane go down?

Well I'm not in a position to give too much information as the inquest has still not been handed down but I want to share that it has been almost 5 years now.

In that time, Scott and I have done many things.  We finished our trip around Australia.  We lived and bought a house in WA.  We have had 2 babies and lived in Hervey bay and now Brisbane again.

A lot can happen in 5 years.

The inquest is still ongoing and so too is the grief for all who loved Indy.  This is just my version of events and I was only a friend.  For 5 years, Sam, her parents and Indy's family who have had to fly from England to Australia multiple times because we are still waiting for the right thing to be done.

The facts remain that the pilot, unbeknown to Sam or Indy, had his commercial pilot's licence taken away from him as was on medication for black-outs.

That is all I'm going to say but if you would like to tune in to Australian story on the ABC at either - Monday the 24th July at 8pm or Saturday 29th July at midday and see more details of this story and maybe afterwards voice your opinion via e-mail or letter to the appropriate channels, then I would be so appreciative.

Sam, Indy's family and friends deserve the right outcome from this story as there has been no closure for them in 5 long years.  I know people all around the world suffer more than this on a daily basis but these are my friends and I wanted to write about it for all of us.

I hope Australia watches this show knowing that an amazing friend, fiancé, son, brother, animator,  and man was stolen from us and it needs to be said properly. 

*****EDIT - THIS SHOW HAS NOW AIRED  - YOU CAN WATCH IT BY CLICKING HERE*****

I am writing this on behalf of my husband Scott, my dear friend and godfather to my son, Marty and my 'other brother', Adam.

I love you all and I'm glad I have you in my life.

 

Alisha xx


42 Responses

Tash
Tash

July 30, 2013

This story left me in tears :( Sad enough to lose a friend, makes it sadder that 5 years on there is still no closure. So sad! :(

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

July 01, 2013

thankyou Wendy x

Rebecca McIntosh
Rebecca McIntosh

July 10, 2013

Thank you for sharing your story and letting everyone know about the upcoming Australian story – I’ll be tuning in. What a lovely description of your friend and such a tragic loss to your circle. Bec:)

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

July 01, 2013

Thankyou Karen x

Serena
Serena

June 30, 2013

Love the way you describe Indy – sounds like there should be more men like that around! Only just read this so I missed the screenings- do you know if there’s a link to watch on the computer the show? Really feel for you all and know that you were blessed to know him even though he went too soon. Tragic accidents are so sad. Thanks for sharing- it was beautifully written

Have a laugh on me
Have a laugh on me

June 30, 2013

Firstly sorry for the loss to you and your friends and family – such a nightmare when you find someone you loved has died tragically, I can say that has happened to me, I just couldn’t fathom it. I can’t believe they still don’t have answers, so sad. Thanks for sharing, and I want to find out more myself now – xx Emily

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

July 01, 2013

Thankyou Emily xxx

Wendy Parks
Wendy Parks

June 29, 2013

I am so sorry for your loss, and the length of time it has taken for you all to get closure on this tragedy.
The whole time I was reading this I was willing Indy to be okay, the plane to be found, for there to be a happy ending.
We lost a baby last year, so I understanding of loss, and your loss too, was one that should never have happened

Karen
Karen

June 29, 2013

I am at a loss for words. I sit here reading and tears flowing. The heartache and anguish I cannot begin to imagine. I realise as I read your post that it was the time back in Oz for the Sat repeat will have to watch on iview when I return. May resolution come more swiftly following the airing of the program and a gentle peace envelope each of you in your memories of a beautiful friend who graced your lives

Lisa
Lisa

June 29, 2013

I lost a close friend two years ago, to cancer, so this post really resonated with me. I am deeply sorry for the loss of your friend.

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 29, 2013

Thanks Lisa and I’m sorry for your loss as well x

Rhianna (@aparentinglife)
Rhianna (@aparentinglife)

June 28, 2013

So beautifully written. Much love and many fairy wishes and butterfly kisses to you all

Cybele @ BlahBlah Magazine
Cybele @ BlahBlah Magazine

June 28, 2013

So young.I can’t imagine the courage it would take for all his friends and family to face this. Thank you for sharing your beautifully written post

Judy Thornton
Judy Thornton

June 28, 2013

What a great loss…its always much harder when a life is cut short!
I hope there is justice and a conclusion soon as possible for you and his family and friends.

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thankyou Charmaine x

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thankyou Alexx xxx Australian Story is repeated on Saturdays at midday if you are interested in catching it then xx

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thanks LucyLou x

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thanks Kazzi xxxx

charmaine
charmaine

June 25, 2013

Sorry for the ramble, but sending dear thoughts out to everyone who knew him xxxxx

karri ashford
karri ashford

June 25, 2013

Beautiful leashy…… As always X

Sent from my iPad
Lucylou
Lucylou

June 25, 2013

I have read your blog on Tuesday morning, after watching Australian story last night – as I do each week- I felt really sad watching the program and now reading your story I feel it’s so hard to believe it happened to such a vibrant man. I hope the inquest will give you all closure after so long. Hugs to you.

kidsrecipesandorganisedchaos
kidsrecipesandorganisedchaos

June 25, 2013

I’m so sorry for your loss. What a sad story :( Sending love and healing to all his family and friends xxx

charmaine
charmaine

June 25, 2013

To everyone one that knew Indy, i am so sorry for your loss. I just read your beautiful post then i saw the link and had to watch the story. It mad me angry how they were tring to make out that the piolit was not in fault and when his sister came on and spoke about the camara i saw red and wanted to punch her smerk look of her face!!!! All the tribut that was given to the piolit was unfair in my eyes.My heart gose out to beautiful Sam who did so well to hold it together and being so strong, and also to everyone who
helped her withher fight. I really hope that they will make more changes to the rules after this.

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thankyou lovely xx

Alexx
Alexx

June 25, 2013

Tears. I’m so sorry I didn’t see this and catch Australian story. How lucky you all were to have each other in your lives and such a special tribute you’ve written. x

lovelylittlecoconuts
lovelylittlecoconuts

June 25, 2013

I’ve blocked out everything around me reading this. So touching, beautiful and so sad. My heart is aching for you xxx

Triona
Triona

June 25, 2013

What a beautiful, eloquent tribute to Indy Leash. Thinking of you and Scotty tonight and all the boys too xx

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thanks Triona xxx

Mel @ The cook's notebook
Mel @ The cook's notebook

June 25, 2013

I’ve lost loved ones in freak situations to which I also have no answer (and am unlikely ever to get them) and I can so totally relate to that feeling of complete disbelief. I still feel it, a couple of years on, despite being surrounded by memories, mementos and shared loved ones. Sending you, Scott, Sam and the rest of Indy’s family all my love. I hope you get answers.

xxx

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thanks Mel x

Jo
Jo

June 25, 2013

Alisha, what a moving post. Indy sounds like a wonderful person, so sad that he was taken so young. I will watch tonight. Thinking of you. xx

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

thanks Jo x

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thanks Caz x

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thanks Astra, say hi to him for me!! xxxxxxxx

Caz
Caz

June 25, 2013

Oh Alisha, what a moving tribute to your friend. I won’t be able to watch tonight as I’m out for dinner with mums of other ‘not straight forward’ children. Two have them have lost their 5 year old in the last year so loss and remembering those gone too soon with a lack of ‘answers’ will be firmly on the agenda so I will have you in my heart as well. xx

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thanks Bek x

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

He was Brenda x

Astra
Astra

June 25, 2013

Very wonderful account of your dear friend – and I feel him behind me now, smiling and nodding his head!! <3 Gorgeous

Brenda
Brenda

June 25, 2013

Tears streaming. Indy sounds like one hell of a guy. xxx

Author Bek Mugridge (@bekmugridge)
Author Bek Mugridge (@bekmugridge)

June 25, 2013

I am so sorry Alisha.
What a gorgeous tribute your post is..
Thinking of you with much love.XX

Sonia @ Natural New Age Mum
Sonia @ Natural New Age Mum

June 25, 2013

Darling Leash, this is so beautiful. A gorgeous tribute to your special friend. It makes me appreciate all my beautiful friends so much more. Life is short, love lots. Thinking about you tonite. xxxxx

Naughty Naturopath Mum
Naughty Naturopath Mum

June 25, 2013

Thanks Sonia xxx

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