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For Brady

I’m told in the Greek language there are several words for love. That unlike English—a language with such limitations that the same word a man uses to describe his deepest feelings towards his lady, he awkwardly uses towards his mother, brother, father, friends, dog, and, Saturday morning coffee and donut—Greek affords words that hone in on such sentiments more specifically, truthfully, and, in essence, comfortably.

Nevertheless, I wonder if the Greek language has a word that pertinently describes the fondness between two grown men, who, although knew each other well, never met in person. If so I would unreservedly use it towards my good mate Brady Thomas from Hamilton, Alabama.

Brady and I met through an online Writer’s Editing Service a few months back when I was looking for an editor to give a grammatical once-over to my manuscript. Even from his first email, his warm and personable nature—and fiercely intelligent sense of humour—towered over that of the other editors I was liaising with.

Over the next few emails and phone calls, we realised our mutual love for playing music, and the uncanny similarities of our musical journeys—that he, like me, had on occasions packed up his conventional life and focused entirely on his music dream—his path having taken him from Hamilton to Nashville, mine having taken me from Melbourne to London.

As for our original point of contact, the writing, I sent him the first three chapters of my book, towards which he felt such enthusiasm he came back to me stating that he didn’t want to be my mere editor, but my agent with mind to take the manuscript to as wide an audience as possible.

Over the next few months we talked over the phone and exchanged countless emails during which our business relationship was turning into that of two great friends in the making.

He continued to support me at every writing turn, thinking in and outside the box as to how best we build my online writer profile, how best to materialise the book, and he would encourage each new article I wrote by pointing at it large amounts of online traffic.

But the biggest piece of news, received just a few days ago, was that he had an imprint of a major American publisher interested in my book. The news was as uplifting as imaginable, and Brady was waiting on my return from London to put himself on a plane to Austin—where I live—so we could finally shake hands and have that beer we so fondly talked of having. He was to arrive in two weeks.

But yesterday I got a Facebook message from a lady I’ve never met, informing me that her beloved friend—46-year-old Brady—had passed away earlier that morning. My heart was a cocktail of emotions as I read the text and I asked if it would be ok to call her. She agreed, whereupon we discussed our mutual disbelief, our gut-wrenching loss, and the cruel and all-consuming takeover of his gaping absence being as large as that of his kind-hearted spirit we had the honour of knowing. I asked her, too, why she’d contacted me specifically, to which she replied that he’d regarded me as a close mate.

I hung up the phone and cried over the loss of a man who although I never met in person, I connected with in a way that I know was real and precious. Along with the loss, I’m still wondering if even a language as sophisticated as Greek has a word that aptly embodies the “love” between two male friends-to-be.

Although an amateur spiritualist, I’m the least religious person that ever drew breath. I find most religions nothing more than bumbling belief systems struggling to understand the one consciousness from which the universe and all life stems. But the crushing loss of Brady Thomas—and the agonising reality that I never met him—truly puts me in a spin where I wished I believed in heaven—or something of the like—in which there was a pub in the clouds where we can one day have that beer we so looked forward to.

Wherever you are now mate, know that your impact on me was such that I didn’t need to meet you to know that I (loved) you, or whatever our word should be, and through all your support and encouragement, undeniable is the fact that I felt it from you mate.

Until lastly we meet, let the light swirl around you.

#BradyThomas #DavidKerrigan

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