Martin Janson, a 19-year-old from the Hawkesbury, died in September last year after a suspected overdose on cocaine and sleeping tablets.
However, Martin wasn’t at a local party or at a club in the city, he was in his own bed in Canada; over 14 thousand kilometres away from his loving parents.
When the police knocked on the Janson’s door on September 3, Mr and Mrs Janson were “in total disbelief and total denial.”
“Martin was the absolute treasure of our lives, and we still cannot comprehend how someone as wonderful as he was felt the need to take drugs,” Mrs Janson said.
I was nervous about interviewing Jennifer and Cees Janson about their son, Martin. I’m usually nervous before every interview, worried I’m going to miss an important quote or ask a stupid question, but this was different. This was the first time I was interviewing someone about something so real, so raw.
Jennifer greeted me at the door with a warm smile, something I didn’t expect. I didn’t know what I was expecting really; would she think I was intruding on her personal life? Did I have the right to do this?
It wasn’t long before I came to learn that Jennifer and her husband Cees were more than willing to talk to me in depth about the realities of their youngest son’s death; the realities faced by thousands of parents each year.
In an email exchange before our interview, Jennifer and Cees immediately made clear why they were willing to speak publicly about their son’s death.
“When we first decided to go public about Martin’s cause of death it wasn’t to put him in a bad light. It was to raise the alarm to other parents, Martin’s friends and anyone willing to listen,” they wrote.