Family and friends of much-loved Brisbane dancer Jamie Wood have farewelled him at a funeral service in Fortitude Valley.
Jamie tragically took his own life in Bowen Hills in late August after a long battle with mental health issues.
On Thursday (September 9), mourners gathered at Brisbane bar Cloudland for the service and heard moving eulogies from Jamie’s loved ones.
They said the exuberant “born performer” had lived “a hundred lives” in 31 years.
From the moment Katy Perry noticed Jamie in the crowd at a concert and pulled him up onstage, he had told his family he wanted to be a backup dancer.
Jamie went on to work on concert tours, in nightclubs and travelled as a cruise ship performer.
His partner of a decade, Nick Skein, described their relationship as an “adventure” as they travelled the world, working together.
“We created memories that most people don’t ever get the opportunity to have,” he said in his eulogy.
“We lived several lives in just a handful of years.
“You were my partner-in-crime, my ride or die.
“At this moment, the one thing I’m grateful for is I finally gave you a kiss on the lips, the last night we saw each other.
“I’m going to be a lucky boy having a guardian angel like you.”
‘You were a ray of sunshine to everyone’
Jamie’s sister Sam Wood said in her eulogy she and her brother were incredibly close and her “heart has been shattered into a million pieces.”
“You were a ray of sunshine to everyone who had the opportunity to cross paths with you,” she said.
“The world has immediately gotten darker since you left.”
Sam spoke of Jamie’s struggles before his death, after his diagnosis of borderline personality disorder six months ago.
She said she doesn’t want “any other family to feel the immense pain that we do since losing you.”
“We’re going to drive change in mental health and the system that failed you,” she said.
“To everyone who loved Jamie, I beg you, please tell loved ones that you love them more.
“Please reach out to your friends, your family and all the resources that you can if you’re not okay.
“Do it for Jamie. You’re not a burden, and you are certainly not alone.”
Friends write final messages to Jamie Wood in rainbow colours
After the eulogies, family and friends wrote their final messages to Jamie in rainbow colours on his coffin at the service.
Jamie’s funeral fell on R U OK? Day on Thursday, a day encouraging Australians to connect with each other.
The funeral celebrant encouraged everyone to reach out when they’re struggling.
“Mental illness is a genuine condition and there is no shame, none,” she said.
“So please talk about it. It’s okay for you to talk about how you feel and to talk about Jamie as well.
“Say his name. Because for every suicide there are tragic ripple effects for everyone. For friends, for families, and for the broader community as well.”
If you need support, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Suicide Callback Service on 1300 659 467, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.
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