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Taking Flight - You Don't Know Jack

Today I smile for the first time in a year

by Jack Adams @J_Danglefest2 / Special to

Right wing Jack Adams was drafted by the Red Wings in the sixth round, 162nd overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-5, 204-pound Boston native, is one of four Red Wings prospects writing for our Taking Flight blog series, which chronicles the players' ups and downs as they work their way to becoming Red Wings. Last season, Adams was a sophomore at Union College, which is a member of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Here is his eighth blog entry of, 'You Don't Know Jack.'


  • You Don't Know Jack - Entry 8

    by Jack Adams

Early each morning, I ride the stationary bike at rehab in downtown Boston, next to a window overlooking a variety of city views: the State House, financial buildings and hundreds of people. However, what usually grabs my attention are the beautiful trees in the park. Lately, I've been seeing the trees change. From a sheeny green to a dull orange, the trees are always different. It's kind of like the rhythm of life - always evolving. That's what my life has felt like for the past 365 days.

I'm unfortunately a member of the club that no one wants to be in. Today, September 18th, marks the one-year anniversary of my role model's passing. My brother Roosy's unexpected death is truly the tragedy of a lifetime. The power that grief possesses is insanely potent. The death of a loved one consumes you from the first breath you take in the morning, all the way until you fall asleep at night. It's so powerful. But, like the trees, I'm changing, evolving.

Someone told me that it takes a while, but one day, you'll smile again. For me, that day is today. Grief can consume you, it can ruin you, and it can tear families a part. There's one way you "beat grief." You beat grief by how you live your life. I beat grief by making my brother proud every single day. My proudest moments came this year, with the scores of people who've approached me simply saying, "Hey, your brother really helped me." And what's even more humbling, Roo did all of these selfless acts of kindness with no one knowing. Roo, you've taught me so much this year, pal.

You learn so much about yourself during this process, but honestly, you learn more about other people. You don't fight this battle alone, and when you need help, go get it. I've been fortunate to have so many amazing people to lean on. There've been multiple times where I've called friends and family, just to talk, just to tell them I need to cry. And every time, they've been so understanding. People might not know what to say, but people are always willing to listen. The ones that aren't - you have to walk away.

I was at your grave recently, on a dark, miserable kind of afternoon. I honestly thought I couldn't live like this much, much longer. And like you always do, you came through. The sun poured down, just like it did the day you passed and I realized you're still here. I still have you. I have everything you taught me. We all have you, just in a different form.

I'm learning that life really is always evolving. Like the trees, with how the leaves are constantly changing, falling. And when one leaf falls, another one grows back. Life all together is one big circle. You don't just die, you move into a new phase, just like the trees, just like the leaves, just like Roo. I can't wait to see Roo in that new form some day.

Love you, Pal. We miss you more each day.


On June 29, the last day of Red Wings Development Camp, Adams tore his ACL and MCL on a seemingly harmless check during the Red and White Game. After surgery, he is now on the road to recovery, but he will not be playing for Union College this season. With Adams in an intensive rehab regimen, his blog entries will generally focus on his recovery as he continues to pursue his goal of someday being a Detroit Red Wing.

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