This post is a personal piece to a very dear friend.
It has already been four weeks and still I find it hard to believe that you are gone.
I find myself still expecting you and Tina to call and tell us of a decent coffee place that we should all check out, or suggest we meet at the markets on the weekend or a show in The West End.
Tina and your housemates held a memorial for all of your friends in London the week after your death. It was very moving and I was so glad to see so many people who came to share their happy experiences with you. Listening to their stories, I realise how much you mean to everyone. Tina and your cousins printed out 199 photos and scattered them on the walls throughout your London home.
It was such a fantastic idea and we had a great time reminiscing with Tina, your cousins, your mum and Matt about your adventures, both at home in Australia and around the world. You are very loved and respected.
Even though you left us at such a young age, you seem to have lead such a full life already. The friends you made growing up, in high school, in the army, and on your travels, are all better off for having felt your compassion and kindness.
The notes that your friends are still leaving you on your Facebook wall are full of love. They tell us the story of a great man who helped others realise their full potential and made them want to be better. All of the posts describe you as genuine, kind, generous and random. And they are right.
I remember playing together in primary school, competing for Handball Ace or just hanging on the adventure playground. When I was ten, I remember blushing when the boys in our class told me that the Ouija board had said you would marry someone called Jacqui Moore. Years later, I remember thinking that you looked so mature in your Marist uniform, but then you would say something with your cheeky smile and I knew that you were the same Jacob Scheer that I had a crush on when I was ten.
I remember being 18 or 19 when you walked me home from a party. It was cold and you gave me your shirt to wear, straight off your own back. I was reminded of this when, only five weeks ago, we saw the Wind in the Willows in The West End and you gave your jacket to Tina as we walked back to the Tube station. It was the last time we saw each other, and I will treasure those last memories forever.
I had not met Tina before you moved to London only 6 months ago. But, like you, I knew straight away she was a kindred spirit. I witnessed how Tina made the light in your eyes sparkle even more than before. She was your other half. She tamed your wild streak with happiness and love. My heart breaks for Tina.
I don’t fully understand why you had to leave us so soon. The world is a sadder place without you in it, but we were lucky to have you at all.
Dan, Steve and Ala went to Serbia for the snowboarding trip we had all planned together. They took with them the gloves that you and Tina had planned to wear, and left them, with some happy photos, for you on top of the mountain. As a memorial to your life. We have shared the video on your Facebook wall for you and Tina to see. I hope you like it.
I went to the hospital to see Tina, your mum and your brother. When I hugged your mum I had a flashback to a moment many years ago when she comforted me over something that probably seemed so important at the time. Her smile gave me strength that I didn’t know I needed.
Without intention of seeing you, I was drawn into the room in which you lay. You were so peaceful and beautiful that I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye. I couldn’t think of anything except that your beard was as bushy and glorious as ever and the corners of your eyes had those little wrinkles that you get when you are about to share your cheeky smile. Do you know the smile I am talking about?
It was such a warm and affectionate smile. Everyone will remember you for that brilliant smile. You would grin ear to ear, your eyes would crinkle in the corners and you would have that twinkle that let everyone know that life shouldn’t be so serious. It is such a happy and reassuring smile. Thank you for sharing it with us.
And thank you for sharing your infectious laughter, your kindness and your randomness.
My thoughts are with Tina, Robyn, Michael, Matt, Isaac and Lydia. Always.
Until we meet again,