I thought it only fitting to try and put into words what the passing of Graeme means to me, and share my thoughts and feelings on who Graeme was to me. I'm sure we all have varied experiences of him, and have all been touched in some way by his warmth and loving nature, but here is my take on him.
Meeting Graeme some ten years ago now, first impressions were a curious little fella, but at the same time, someone who oozed character and happiness. It wasn't long before we started finding common ground and a bond formed. As the years have passed, so we hae drifted back and forth, in and out of each others day to day lives. Whenever around each other we would usually part company with another memory to look back and smile about. From heart to heart conversations, to crazy behaviour, there was always something to remember about each encounter.
To me Graeme was one of my closest and most trusted friends. In the times of Nicci, he was the one I turned to for comfort and help thinking straight. When that all ended we made a pact that if anything happened to the other, it would be the remaining one who would let our mutual friend Nicci know the news. So naturally I feel bad for failing in this, and for her hearing through someone else. But I must not dwell. We have spoken, all is well.
Other times together have included various days over Xmas and NY's, where we both rejected the celebration of just another day, once joined by Andy Lobo, and other times joined by the masses of the old Cruise-South at random locations around London and the UK. We shared a common interest, and that was to try not to take life and people too seriously, and while the world throws crap at you, smile, rise above it and make the most of the hand you were dealt. Coming from someone dealt such a cruel hand from birth, this has been a very valuable lesson and experience for me, and I am blessed to have shared so many moments with such an amazing man.
Nothing will ever replace the hole left by the passing of Graeme, he was unique, and precious in so many ways, he is impossible to replicate or replace. I'm sure we all share the same sentiment.
In the last few years with the battles with other ailmentsI feel that my relationship with Graeme went from strength to strength, becoming profound, and realising he was so important to me. He always joked calling me dad, saying I was like a second dad to him, old and always giving advice and there for him. Whilst a very lovely comment, and one that gave me a great sense of responsibility towards him, there is no way I could compete with the sheer awesomeness of his mother and father. For all they have been through, I feel privileged to have spent time with them, and having got to know them a bit. You are two wonderful people, and I can't imagine the pain you feel at this time. Hold your heads high, as your other sons should, and be so very proud of the life you gave my friend and your son. Blessed!
Life after Graeme, well he is one of the few people who I will never forget, and will be in my daily thoughts for an eternity. Having lost John Littlebury back last July and now Graeme, I have lost probably 2 of the closest friends a man could ever hope for in such a tragic and short space of time. It feels so unfair right now, and its hard to make sense of it. But I cannot dwell, while I can never replace them, I can do my best to live every day to the fullest, in their honour.
So I sit here now, in the sunshine in the garden, with the dogs Graeme battled allergies to meet, and was so proud to be photographed with, wondering what's next, and what I can do to make sure that he always remains by my side. My words will live on, and I can re-live this moment over and over, but I need something else. I am sure I will find what I need.
My goodbye to Graeme is a simple one. Thank you for blessing me with such a true and deep friendship. For your trust and honesty with me, and for being there when I needed a friend. Please watch over me, and guide me the way you always have. Through trouble and tough times, I will stand strong knowing I have my friend Graeme Breen by my side as always.
I love you forever, as my brother, and as your nominate second father. Farewell for now Graeme, Rest In Peace.
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