If words are unspoken
Tell someone what they mean to you or live a life of regret
Every person with whom he connected is mourning the loss of a genuinely lovely man who was a quiet contributor to his community even while he was a keen adventurer.
THIS article is written from the deep well of sadness created by the news of the death of a close friend, someone whose enthusiasm and energy built hope and opportunity into people’s thinking. It was infectious.
The pain of his death while doing something that he loved is echoing across our community and will forever be a marker for his family and friends who will have to learn to live with his absence. It’s devastating.
Frank died retreating from the heights of Everest while suffering from altitude sickness. His fourth visit and second summit attempt. That simple statement may give you a sense of the character that he was and yet would give little insight into the depth of that character.
Every person with whom he connected is mourning the loss of a genuinely lovely man who was a quiet contributor to his community even while he was a keen adventurer. This last climb was only one of several which he has taken over recent years, often with Sandy, his wife and partner, in most adventures.
So while this may appear to be a eulogy for a wonderful friend, wise mentor and genuine adventurer, it is more. I am introducing you to a person who has had a major impact in many ways on a whole community and many many people beyond that in the realms of his work, his role in the defence force and more. We are only finding out the depth of his connections and friendships as the news of his death echoes through the communities he was in and the media, social and otherwise. When I returned from a disastrous trek in PNG (the Black Cat Track upon which our group was attacked) Frank was the first person, and in fact initially the only person, I could speak to about the experience. His compassion, care and honesty helped me to gain perspective.
We all have people like this in our lives and communities and, if you are like me even a little bit, you’ll have told yourself that one day you’ll tell that person what they mean to you, what a difference they make, the impact they have on people. You will ensure that they are aware of how important they are to you. That’s a great conversation to have in your head and will mean nothing but regret if the words are never spoken.
I told Frank what I thought of him the day before he left and I am so glad that I did. Who do you value and would talk to? Vale Francesco Marchetti. Our love to you and your family.
Francesco Marchetti was a keen and experienced mountain climber.