The murder and rape of ABC journalist Jill Meagher was one of the worst to rock Australia in recent times. While many Australians still can’t comprehend how a young lady could be so cruelly killed, her death is something her husband Tom has to live with every day of his life.
Over the weekend, Tom took to Facebook to remember his wife on what would have been their tenth anniversary. In a lengthy post, Tom explained how he felt on July 28, 2008, when he was getting ready to marry the girl of his dreams. He imagined the long future he was going to share with his wife and wrote of how he day-dreamed about what they’d be doing in five years, 10 years, 20 years and 30 years. Sadly, the pair never made it to their fifth anniversary.
“Four years later she was brutally and violently taken from this world,” he wrote. “Jill’s life is not defined so simply as over, even though her body is no longer here, and the cretin who took her from this world cannot be defined so easily as alive, even if he still breathes and takes up space in this world.”
Adrian Bayley brutally attacked and killed Jill in a Melbourne alley when she was walking home late at night in 2012. Bayley was sentenced to life in prison for the horrific crime and convicted of three other rapes. Sadly, Bayley had previously been convicted of a number of attacks on women when he murdered Jill – and her murder occurred when he was on parole.
Tom said that Jill still connects with him and the ones she loved, before praising her for her compassion, laughter and positive energy – while he insisted Bayley was the opposite.
“The arsehole that took her from this world communicates with us through violence, misogyny, hatred and death,” Tom wrote. “His pallid shadow can never extinguish her light.”
Tom explained that he carries the scars of his wife’s death with him and that doing so allows her to guide him and give him strength through life.
“The polar contrast between Jill and her killer are so clearly bookends of the extremity of good and evil that it sometimes feels like an ancient tragedy played out in real life,” Tom added. “But it’s the gaping spectrum in between those two opposing ways of living that chills me more than the red-faced, steroid-riddled, dead-eyed individual misogynistic rage of the man who killed her.
“In the war on women, this man exemplifies the extremist wing of the hateful and pervasive ideology of male sexual terrorism, but it’s the everyday spectrum of male violence that disturbs me even more.”
Tom wrote about how the deaths of women are now seen as expected and inevitable, but ensured Jill was still at the heart of his message.
“Slainte Jill. You were a warrior for love, life and liberation,” he said. “Thank you for consistently and persistently teaching me how to live, how to think, how to embrace love wholly, and to bear witness to the fire you lit in me and so many others in your short time on this earth. You are loved at every moment of every day.”