“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” St. Therese of Lisieux
In the days following Matthew’s death, there was barely a moment when I wasn’t thinking about him. It will soon be five months and not much has changed actually – I’m still shocked. One would assume that the waves of such a bombshell would dissipate but they haven’t.
But I have a theory. Yes, he was my little brother and I mourn him. But if he had been a bad man, would the grief be the same? No, probably not. (I doubt Jeffrey’s Dahmer’s mum was inconsolable and boozy for months and months after hearing her little boy was beaten to death in prison – but what do I know). The fact that the pain of Matt’s loss for me and others is so overwhelming is the result of him having been a good man, a very good one at that – a testament to his magnificent heart.
Did he hold some honorific position which by its nature would command attention? Not at all. Had he achieved something singularly unique which made him remarkable – where admirers would simply migrate to him to bask in his fame? It would have been nice, but no. Was his wealth a magnet? He’d laugh at that, his relationship with money was adversarial – he didn’t have any. So, from a worldly perspective, not so special. However …
A man’s greatest treasure is his soul grafted to God. And with that comes the grace of humility, character and a giving nature (love). One would hope then that he is measured by who he is and not what he has. If these are the standards as I see it, then my brother – and I’m clearly biased – was blessed.
I’d like to share the following comments about my brother from people who knew him and were affected by his death. I could have included so many more, but these selected sentiments have been very comforting. They present a theme, a narrative of a good soul who impacted his world.
“I am devastated. Matt was one of the most generous men I know, with his smile, his kind and complementary words, and his genuine concern for how you were doing. He was also one of the most fit men I knew. So very unfair.” Mark
“Matt’s Christ loving attitude towards others will never be forgotten. I will miss Matt.” Sean