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Sam Stynes reflects on the life of Jim five months on

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 22 August, 2012 - 1:11 PM
Neil Mitchell Sam Stynes

Sam Stynes, the wife of the late Jim Stynes, has opened up to give a frank and personal interview of her life without Jim and the effects cancer had on their relationship.

Speaking with Neil Mitchell promote the release of Jim’s book ‘My Journey’, Sam said that five months on since Jim’s passing, it was getting harder to cope but she felt well supported.

WATCH: Sam Stynes' interview with Neil Mitchell:

”It just gets harder because death is abstract. I'm sitting here looking at a picture of Jim on the front of the book, but he's not here,” she said.

”I'm living our life, most things, not everything, but most things are exactly the same. It's just strange that life does just go on.”

Sam said her relationship with Jim struggled to compete with his commitments with Reach and the Melbourne Football Club, and she had had to fight to connect with him. Sam described Jim’s personality as ‘assertive and controlling’. "We'd clash a lot of the time,” she said.

WATCH: Neil Mitchell's final interview with Jim Stynes

”He's so fantastic with working with young people and other adults, yet he didn't look at himself because he was just distracted.”

Sam recounts a time where a steroid Jim had been taking during his cancer battle had made him so aggressive to the point where she asked him to move into his parents’ house.

"It broke my heart, you could almost liken it if you were a parent and you had your beautiful young adult or teenage child addicted to drugs on the other side of the door, begging you for money to buy heroin,” she said.

”At the same time I knew I needed to do it for Jim to stop in his tracks, and think, and look and start to reflect and recount.”

LISTEN: Tributes to Jim Stynes on the day of his passing

Sam said cancer was the catalyst for Jim focusing on himself as a person, and that writing his book had therapeutic benefits of dealing with his illness.

”Sounds like a stupid thing to say, but the cancer was fantastic for Jim personally,” she said.

”I think it completed a whole round circle for Jim in this lifetime that he needed to do to find peace and have closure and to think I've done all I need to do in this life.”

Download the Neil Mitchell podcast to hear the full interview with Sam Stynes

3AW Mornings with Neil Mitchell

Neil Mitchell Neil is one of Australia’s most experienced journalists with success in newspapers, radio and television. He was one of the youngest editors of a daily metropolitan newspaper, The Herald.


Blog comments Your Say

  • Mark, are you never meant to smile again when someone dies? My brother died, I loved him very much and I can smile. Also no one is perfect. We all have flaws.. it is part of being human. so recognising the good and bad that is in each other is important. No human being is perfect.Sam does not seem to be disrespecting Jim.. she is just expressing the good and the bad that was in their lives... that is life.. as the saying goes life is not a bed of roses.When people are in a family there will be love and conflict between us because we all have different personalites and are very different people but it doesnt mean we are not close to each other. I have arguments with my husband sometimes when difficult situations occur.. it does not mean I do not love him .. in fact I love him with all my heart but their have been times where he has made me angry and I am sure I have done the same to him so by saying that now does not mean I disrepect him. Where there are high pressure situations there will be a mixture of laughter, tears, arguments. This is my last time posting as I think there will always people out to critisize.. get on living and recognise that life is a mixture of highs and lows and when people are open about it they are only expressing how they felt at a certain point in time... and I think everyone is entitled to have their own feelings about situations... and we are entitled to express those feelings if we wish.

    AnneMarie Wednesday 28 November, 2012 - 9:19 PM
  • I didnt know this family..other than I had heard of Jim's name via football. But you know what .. in many mariages you find one or both people focusing on their work outside of the home and it becoming a 24/7 obsession which excludes close family and then an illness or difficult time occurs which makes people take stock of their lives.. makes them re-connect with each other.. like a road to damascus moment.. The journey of life is a long and winding one in which we hope that we learn about ourselves as people.. Lets not be caustic in making comments.. Look up the poem Myself by Edgar Guest and the Desiderata.. worth reflecting on those words

    AnneMarie Wednesday 21 November, 2012 - 10:04 PM
  • Cindyhawk, of course both Jim and Sam would have preferred that Jim was still alive and didn't have cancer, buts that's not what happened. All they could do was deal with life as it was dealt to them, and for Jim it was clearly a time to stop and examine his life and take stock ofwhat was really important in life, and that's how he explained it in the book. Who better to speak for him than the woman who has been closest to him for most of his adult life. Mark, you are confusing the sight of a competent, articulate, strong woman with 'happiness'.

    Ciara Thursday 30 August, 2012 - 11:15 PM
  • Sam is happy it is obvious, look at the picture, Neil Mitchell looks sad, Sam happy, maybe she is glad she has unloaded the burden, even so she does not need to make it public. she wont be alone for long. and I dont respect her for disrespecting Jims memory.

    mark Tuesday 28 August, 2012 - 5:38 PM
  • I think the comment "the cancer bought us closer etc..and I wouldnt change a thing" is really dumb. I reckon that Jim wouldnt have minded if he didnt get cancer and die - in fact there might be a thing Jim would like to change...CANCER...Sam might be keen to bury the dead and move on but Im not so keen for her to speak for him.

    cindyhawk Monday 27 August, 2012 - 7:01 PM
  • A beautiful, honest, unguarded interview Sam and Neil. Thank you. I'm loving the book! I worked very closely with Jim and got to know Sam closely in that time too - both massive hearts and souls and always honest and open and giving to others. I am saddened by some of the ignorant comments below who have taken Sam's interview in the wrong vein and are way off with their assumptions of their motivations. They never really liked the limelight - Jim knew his fame could help others and that's why he was out there in the media. They are far from money driven and gave in ways many people will never know about. Jim would back everything Sam said in that interview and would have said all those things himself. He wasn't afraid to 'own his shadow' and speak truth in the face of scorn. I am truly blessed to have had the experiences I did with both Sam and Jim and their beautiful family and forever remain grateful. Big love to you Sammy xoxoxoxo

    Tabby Sunday 26 August, 2012 - 10:29 PM

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