If words are un­spo­ken

Tell some­one what they mean to you or live a life of re­gret

Life & Style Weekend - - MIND -

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Francesco Marchetti was a keen and ex­pe­ri­enced moun­tain climber.

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