This is no obituary. An obituary encapsulates the entirety of a life in a few short paragraphs. Instead, these are simply words to give physical form to the roaring grief twisting its way through the hearts of anybody who knew and loved John Hinds (@docjohnhinds).
It has only been a blink of a week since we left Chicago. At #smaccUS we had found a new hero to revere, because we found the embodiment of the anti-hero. John represented all that was good about the world of Social Media and Critical Care. He managed to make us all question our motives, he inspired us to examine the self-congratulatory fiesta into which we are all at risk of succumbing, and he showed us how to make the very best decisions we could, for the very best of reasons. Those talks will live on, and they will do so now in perpetuity, for generations of people who desire to find ways to become better versions of themselves.
John was irreverent, impossibly funny, devastatingly incisive, and was one of the most authentic speakers to have ever graced the SMACC stage. Through his talks and his accomplishments, we knew that here was a man who would change the future.
But now, his day is done. He will speak no more at SMACC. He will no longer race behind motorbikes, mopping up the injured within moments of their mistakes. He will not be relentless in his push for better pre-hospital care for Northern Ireland. He will not see the sun set again.
No one can second-guess the dead. But we can be sure that the legacy of John Hinds will scatter like sand across the oceans and continents. And we can be confident that he would be quietly pleased that his influence will continue to inspire countless clinicians to do better, to be as honest as possible in their actions, and that an army will gather to push for better pre-hospital trauma care, galvanised by this unlikely leader in his death.
John, your memory will be honoured by every person who has ever heard you speak, anyone who has listened to your words, and seen your deeds. The future will be changed. You can lie easy, knowing that you have thrown a mighty stone into a willing pond, and the ripples and the wake will not end.