Thursday, January 3, 2019

Freeze Frame: Remembrance

Photo by Nic Jackson
(Little Visuals / Hand on Heart)

During the holiday break, I was looking for New Years Eve images for social media posts. A search for copyright free images led me to the work of a young twentysomething named Nic Jackson, who released a loosely topical mix of interesting images each week. His work was clean, spare, striking...and as I wondered for the 100th time if my love of minimalism is embedded in my Nordic DNA, I wondered if some of his landscapes had been taken in Norway or Denmark, and so I followed a link to his full site and found this shocker:



Those of you who look at Little Visuals and any new visitors will be aware there have been no further uploads for over a year now. Sadly the young man who created this site died suddenly in Nov 2013. His name is Nic he is 26 and we are his family. Nic is one of far too many young adults who’s death comes under the heading of S.A.D.S ( Sudden Adult Death Syndrome ). We are now fundraising in the hope to provide a number of schools or sports areas with portable defibrillators in Nic’s memory. With this in mind we would like to ask if any of you that view his site and download the images would consider a small donation towards the Hand on Heart Charity. We hope to update this site in the near future with previously unpublished photos. 
With thanks, Nic’s family
Nic was bright, passionate and generous with his talent for could such a visionary young person be gone? I stared at the screen and the term S.A.D.S.  Sad memories flooded over me and tears welled as I remembered Jamie Hall, my beautiful friend who had also died of S.A.D.S in his sleep during his junior year of high school. Jamie seemed a man among boys back then...handsome, extraordinarily kind and very talented in sports. I've thought about him often over the years, and it is his example that I think of when teaching my son that it's so much cooler to be kind.  I lost touch with his family after moving away, but I was glad to see that his memory is still honored annually at our high school: 
The Jamie Hall Memorial Awards are presented to a junior boy and girl athlete at the (Governor Mifflin Senior High School) All-Sports Banquet. The awards are presented by Jamie’s parents in memory of their son. The awards are given to a junior boy and girl who have earned the highest number of varsity letters in their sophomore and junior years.
S.A.D.S is well named. Both of these young men were beloved by their families and had a zest for life. We are still bewildered by the mysterious killer teens, it really wasn't a diagnosis that helped us to understand why our friend had been taken from us, and as the parent of a teen now, it is terrifying that it remains a possibility today. 
In answer to their loss, Nic's family has established a U.K.-based charity called Hand on Heart, which supplies portable defibrillators to schools and sports establishments in the event that they are needed to save another young person from S.A.D.S (donations welcome).  
Here in the U.S., there is a slightly different acronym for S.A.D.S, which can be found at, a supportive site for families and friends who have lost loved ones, and for the many who have survived thanks to growing awareness and advocacy. 
As we ring in a new year, I'm realizing that while time moves on for all of us, it freezeframes the memories of our beautiful young friends and family who left us too soon. Thank you Nic and Jamie, for making a difference in our lives....and know that I am #grateful for your time among us, and for your gifts, which continue to give. 
I will be showing more of Nic's photography (and his story) in my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook throughout 2019. Whenever you recognize his work, I hope you will leave a 💗 & ✋ in tribute.
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