HONOURING HIM: John and Annie O'Connor have penned an emotional letter thanking everyone who has helped them in the days since their 18-year-old son Jack was killed in a road incident. The family is pictured at Jack's Year 12 graduation last year.
HONOURING HIM: John and Annie O'Connor have penned an emotional letter thanking everyone who has helped them in the days since their 18-year-old son Jack was killed in a road incident. The family is pictured at Jack's Year 12 graduation last year.

'We just held each other': Heartbroken parents give thanks

IN A moving letter, heartbroken parents John and Annie O'Connor have thanked all those who have helped in the days since their son's tragic death.

More than 500 people are expected to celebrate and farewell 18-year-old Jack, who was fatally hit by a four-wheel-drive on Eumundi-Noosa Rd on Saturday, November 10.

The Castaways Beach parents say they have been overwhelmed by the support of their friends, Jack's mates and the broader community.

Jack and Annie O'Connor have shared the following letter with the Daily:

The last 10 days for our family and friends have been so very difficult after the sudden loss of our 18-year-old son Jack in tragic accident on Saturday 10th October 2018.

After the initial shock has passed, grief and loss sets in and realisation that he will never come home rocks you to the core. The emptiness in your hearts is almost unbearable. In addition to you own sadness, dealing with the different grieving processes of the other three siblings is so difficult. We went back to basics and just held each other- it's impossible to interpret what each child is feeling.

 

Friends, family and the Noosa community are mourning teenager Jack O'Connor, 18, who was the victim of a fatal incident on Saturday night.
Friends, family and the Noosa community are mourning teenager Jack O'Connor, 18, who was the victim of a fatal incident on Saturday night.

There are so many families that have experienced this and it is something that we wish no other family would ever have to go through, but sadly this will never be the case.

The outpouring of grief and sympathy and the support from family, friends and community has helped our family get through the last week.

The day after the accident some friends arrived with some meals, and although you have no appetite it is crucial that you eat and stay well. These kind gestures made such a difference to our lives in the first week.

 

Jack O'Connor pictured with his peers, the 2017 graduates of St Teresa's College.
Jack O'Connor pictured with his peers, the 2017 graduates of St Teresa's College.

Jack's wonderful friends took our three children to see the beautiful mural painted on a legal graffiti wall at Coolum, which was so special for them and helped with their grieving.

Thank you to the artist who created this beautiful work of art on the 11th November, Remembrance Day.

Jack's mates offered to take our boys to the movies, not only was it a thoughtful and touching gesture which the boys loved but it also gave John and I time to chat about the funeral plans and took their mind off his death for a couple of hours.

 

A young Jack O'Connor was always heavily involved in the community, having played for the Dolphins rugby team since he was in under-sixes.
A young Jack O'Connor was always heavily involved in the community, having played for the Dolphins rugby team since he was in under-sixes.

The teachers, staff and parents at the catholic schools that our children attend have been our tower of strength and have made the difficult task of arranging the Jack's farewell seem so much easier.

St Thomas More, Jack's primary school, allowed us to host Jacks the funeral this Saturday.

Father Mark Franklin, who baptised all of our children is coming up from Brisbane.

The Noosa Dolphins Rugby Union Club, where all of our boys played, has been so supportive. We have set up a fund for a new electronic score board in memory of Jack and he would love donations to go to.

 

A young Jack O'Connor was always heavily involved in the community, having played for the Dolphins rugby team since he was in under-sixes.
A young Jack O'Connor was always heavily involved in the community, having played for the Dolphins rugby team since he was in under-sixes.

One of John's oldest schoolmates, Mark Stockwell, assisted in establishing this fund.

To one of his mates that did the slide show and spent hours and hours finding photos and choosing the music for the wake.

There is no way of thanking everyone for their compassion and kindness, and although it fell of the heaviest of hearts it will for ever be remembered along with our beautiful son Jack.

Jacks funeral will be held this Saturday at 10.30am at the Champagnet Centre at St Thomas More Catholic School on Ben Lexcen Drive, Sunshine Beach with the wake to follow at The Noosa Dolphins Rugby Club.

- John and Annie O'Connor

To donate to the Jack O'Connor scoreboard, visit: asf.org.au/projects/noosa-dolphins-rugby/the-jack-oconnor-scoreboard-fund/