Lost opportunities, lost possibilities; chances we can never get back – by Julie Ford

Julie Ford

Julie Ford standing in front of the Botanic Gardens, Uppsala

As I lie at night, trying to get to sleep, I sometimes think back to that cold October evening. I can still see Craig’s face as he appeared at his Grandparent’s living room door after receiving the phone call from his Mum. I can remember feeling confused and numb as I drove Craig and his Grandfather to his Dad’s house to break the terrible news to him. I remember phoning my Mum – I was calm, and emotionless; it was like I was on autopilot. I couldn’t quite take in what I had just been told. But out of all of those flashbacks, there is one memory that I wish I could shake off – the memory of Craig standing outside his Dad’s house screaming. Craig just had to do something that no son should ever have to do – tell their Father that his daughter was dead.

Jane standing in the Botanic Gardens, Uppsala

Jane standing in the Botanic Gardens, Uppsala

Craig and I had only been together for 6 months when Jane was cruelly taken from us. So, unfortunately, I was not given the opportunity to properly get to know her. But what I did get to know of her during that short 6 months was that Jane put her family and art before everything. I remember visiting Craig’s mum’s house on a number of occasions during the summer of 2011, and on each occasion Jane was either standing in front of her easel painting a beautiful scene, baking cupcakes with her little sister, Caroline, or sitting in the living room with Caroline and her mum, Karen, enjoying their favourite soap – Hollyoaks. The last conversation I had with Jane was on my 20th birthday – 12th of October 2011. Here, she told me that she could not wait for Craig to return home at the end of October so she could show him around her new flat.

Jane in Glencoe

Jane in Glencoe

That is why Journey For Jane seems so important to me. Jane may not have been given the opportunity to show Craig around her new flat at The Hub in Dundee, but she has now given him and his Father, Graeme, the opportunity to visit a country, and more specifically a city that she was so desperate to see – Moscow.

I hope that this positive cause attracts a lot of deserved attention and encourages people to donate to Duncan of Jordanstone – the art school that Jane was so happy and proud to be a part of, and to PETAL – the bereavement counselling service that provided invaluable support to members of Jane’s family in the aftermath of her death.

I can’t express enough how much I support Craig and Graeme during this Journey, and I wish them all the luck in the world.

Uppsala Woods

Uppsala Woods

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