Making sense of Phill Hughes

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December 2, 2014 by Dadinator

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense.

I think about the future. I think about explanations to my growing children. I’ve mentioned it before, many times. Why do people do bad things? Why do bad things happen? Why do we die? Where do we go?

I don’t want to lie.
I don’t want to traumatise.
I don’t want to dwell on the ills of the world.
I don’t want to cover-up.
I don’t want to evade.

It’s a fine line. I’ve written about Robin Williams. I’ve written about Eliot Rodger. I’ve written about the question I fear. I’ve even written about Plato.

Today’s post will be harder to write. Today I’m going to write about Phillip Hughes.

Phillip Hughes was a cricketer playing in an interstate game in Sydney. He faced a pretty bouncer (which means it was up at his shoulders/head), and was trying to play it. It was a typical delivery, especially in Australia. It was fast and high, but it was nothing too venomous.

He missed and the ball struck him where his neck met his head. It went up and underneath his helmet and face guard, missed the hear guards and made contact directly with the underside of his skull.

And, 2 days later, he died. A guy playing cricket. A ball hits him in the wrong spot. Just an accident. No rhyme or reason. No sense.

I guess that’s why this death has hit the public so hard. It shouldn’t happen. A 25-year-old playing first class cricket. And yet it happens. It has happened before. It will probably happen again. It can also happen outside cricket.

Try as I might I can’t make any sense of it. The nature of the accident just seems so pointless, such a totally and utterly random occurrence. Where’s the lesson? Where’s the message? Where’s the conversation this opens up? Where is that “at least one good thing that came out of this tragedy”?

Sorry kids, there isn’t one this time. It was just an accident. And sometimes in spite of helmets and rules and safety and all that, accidents still happen.

There’s still solace to be taken out of it all though. Clearly Phillip Hughes was loved. He was playing the sport he loved. The outpouring of support, shock and grief shows how well he was loved. Not just support for him and his team mates, but also for the bowler Sean Abbott who delivered the ball – like he’s delivered thousands before it – and stands blameless.

The messages, the tributes, the #putoutyourbats campaign, the minutes silence, the games delayed. Marks of respect, marks of condolence and marks of sympathy from within and without the sporting community.

Is that enough? Is that the sliver lining? Is it enough to make sense of the accident?

Sadly, sometimes it just doesn’t make sense.

So kids, there’s the lesson. And its a lesson that sucks. Sorry.


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