October 5th, 2011

by

For those that know me well enough, you know that this is the day my brother passed away. This page is private and can only be accessed via a link. I would appreciate it if it is not shared.

I don’t know how to begin this without saying that I honestly have no idea where this is going. I think it’s time I opened up a little bit about what happened that day. It was actually a night, and I was in New Zealand, enjoying the world cup. I’ll never forget that call. My Dad is an ex-cop, so you can imagine that he has indeed seen his fair share of horrific things. But when he called, it’s incredible how intuition works… before he even told me, I knew something terrible had happened.

But I had no idea that it was that.

Mark had been killed in a car accident. He was the passenger as his friend, Christian, lost control and hit with a telegraph pole. People say that time slows down in an accident. Well, thing slowed right down for me during that phone call. I was already in Auckland, thankfully, and was able to board a flight the next day (it was too late in the evening to get a flight that night). I’m not sure how I would have handled getting into a car and travelling to an airport after hearing that.

I don’t remember much about that day, or the flight. I do remember 2 people I did speak to at the airport, though. I sat next to Feleti Mateo, a rugby league player, at the airport when waiting for boarding. We talked about some random stuff, and of course I didn’t ask for a photo or an autograph. Even back then, I couldn’t care less about that. But when he asked why I was going home early, I told him. He was genuinely concerned and troubled by it. I never really got an opportunity to thank him but that conversation lifted my spirits and for a brief period of time, I forgot about what was going on. It had nothing to do with him being a professional rugby player, but everything to do with him as a human being.

There was another person I had met at the airport, this English girl. She asked if she could use my phone so she could log in and check her facebook. I let her, and she added me. We talked for a bit, but I don’t even remember what we spoke about. I’ll get to her a little bit later.

I remember seeing my parents, and not saying anything. We just hugged (and I mean really hugged, for minutes, although it may have only felt like minutes. I don’t know) at the arrivals section of the airport. What could we have said? I can’t think of anything now, 2 years after. That silence carried over to the rest of my relationships. I was very, very careful in who I told. I don’t know why I did this. I never lied about it, I just never went out of my way to inform anyone. A major reason was it wasn’t anyone else’s business if they didn’t know Mark. What good would me telling them do? Gain sympathy or attention? If you know me, you know that is not me. I hate that kind of “look at me” mentality that exists in my generation.

So instead, I kept it to myself.

I also kept my emotions in check. I felt I had a responsibility to set an example to everyone else, that if I could be strong and composed, so could they.

Now, before I go any further, I’m not saying how I reacted or responded was correct. But it is how I did. Look, there is no right way to respond to a situation like this. Whatever makes sense to someone going through it, then it makes sense. Everyone is different. But in hindsight, I probably should have been more open and engaging for my own sanity. But it’s hard to acknowledge or accept something that you don’t understand, and I had no idea what was going on. The mind accepts what it wants to accept, and yes, I know he is gone, but if your subconscious hasn’t come to terms with it, then you’re helpless to move on.

After the funeral, I notice that girl that I met at the airport on my facebook. I sent her a quick message, saying hello and asking if she had settled into Australia well. I can’t remember what she said, but I do remember how she quickly pointed out how “odd” it was that there was nothing on my facebook relating to it. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and explained that I spoke to everyone that I wanted to know about his passing via phone or in person. She said that it was still “odd”, to which I snapped and sarcastically questioned if I should have checked in at the funeral? Before she responded I called her a whore (attention whore) informed her to go fuck herself for implying whatever it was that she was implying. I never got to find out what it was because I blocked and deleted her. Maybe I should have been more tactful to find out, but seriously, fuck her.

The more concerning part was had this been in real life, I was so offended and I guess unstable, I probably would have spat in her face. If she was a guy, and this was in real life, Jesus Christ man, I have no idea what I would have done.

And that was scary.

But what it did do was really limit who I told and when I told them. It went from, I won’t bring it up but I won’t avoid it philosophy to I will do anything it takes to not talk about it. That included in some cases completely lying (like when people asked how I was going, for example)

This was not the best route to take, I know. But I did not want to risk snapping and doing something like kicking someone’s arse or spitting in their face if they offended me with Mark’s passing. I was pretty unstable, and I wasn’t proud of it.

In time, I learnt to trust certain people with it. People I knew that cared about what happened. I have come to realise that Mark’s passing shouldn’t shape my behaviour or restrict who I should or shouldn’t trust. I still see him in my dreams occasionally, and we talk. It might be my subconscious messing around with me, but I don’t care, I’ll take it. I’m in a good place, I really am. And if you’re reading this, you’re obviously one of the few I am trusting with this story and my thoughts, so I thank you sincerely, from the absolute bottom of my heart. Had you not been so receptive and trustworthy when I needed you, I might not be the engaging and overall happy place that I’m in now. If you were like that girl, then maybe I would be far more reserved and resentful towards everyone else.

That’s not who I wanted to be.

What I wanted to be is who I am now.

So, once again, I thank you.