Husband’s heartbreaking letter to Jill Meagher
IT WOULD BE difficult to fathom the pain and heartache Jill Meagher's husband has had to endure over the past six years.
But he has bravely written an open letter to his wife who was brutally raped and murdered - pouring out his heart and grief.
On what would have been their tenth wedding anniversary, Tom Meagher penned an emotional tribute to his wife on his Facebook page.
"Ten years ago today, I was lucky enough to marry this incredible human," Mr Meagher wrote alongside a photo of Jill in her wedding dress.
"When I woke up that day, continuously fumbling over the elusive art of tying a tie and nervously downing cheap white wine way too early in the morning, I imagined the seemingly endless stretch of time we would have together."
Mr Meagher said he daydreamed about what their life would be like in five, 10 or 30 years from now.
"We never made it," he wrote.
"Four years later she was brutally and violently taken from this world."
The 2012 killing of 29-year-old Jill Meagher in Melbourne by serial sex offender Adrian Bayley shocked the community both here and afar, and led to reform of Victorian parole laws - he was on parole when he brutally raped and murdered the ABC employee who was on her way home from work drinks.
The state's new parole laws, which make breaching parole a criminal offence, are now the toughest in Australia, the Victoria premier said at the time.
Mr Meagher revealed that not a second goes by where he doesn't think of his beloved wife, saying he still visits their woodland wedding venue in remembrance
"Only five weeks ago I stood in the Wicklow mountains where we were married, looking up at the canopy in the woods behind the grounds, as I have done many times in the six years since her death."
He explained that his words may be too feeble to describe the feeling he got, "but it unlocks something for me - an expanse, where the artificial separateness between me and her, between life and death dissolves effortlessly."
Mr Meagher took aim at his wife's killer, saying the pair represented the extremities of good and evil.
"The arsehole that took her from this world communicates with us through violence, misogyny, hatred and death," he wrote.
"His pallid shadow can never extinguish her light. I carry the scars of Jill's death because that's how I remember to carry her light inside me.
"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."
Mr Meagher also brought attention to violence against women saying: "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."
"In a culture where the death's of most women are not newsworthy, are so commonplace that they are seen as incidental, expected and simply inevitable, he certainly does represent the extremist wing"
The emotional letter ended with Mr Meagher saying his wife was a "warrior for love, life and liberation".
"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."
Bayley was sentenced to life in prison, with a 35-year non-parole period, for the rape and murder of Ms Meagher.
Judge Geoffrey Nettle said that Bayley subjected Meagher to a "savage and degrading" assault in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick on 22 September, 2012 and that his multiple previous attacks on women demanded that he be sent to prison for a lengthy period.
Bayley, 41, was previously found guilty of 20 rapes over a 23-year period, 11 years of which he spent in jail.