Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rest in Peace

It has been a terrible couple of days, and I am still reeling. Joel Brimble, Riyani Lowen and Anja Miler all students from my school, died at 1.30am Sunday morning an an absolutely horrific car accident.

Rest in peace wonderful children.

Joel's death has affected me quite a lot as I taught him in 2005, when he was in year 10. I had him for ten hours a week. The school's way of ensuring that relationships were built. Today I wish that hadn't happened. I have wonderful memories of Joel, he pushed and pushed and pushed, trying to convince me that he was 'dumb' and couldn't do things. So I pushed right back. He wrote essays he never thought he could. He dressed up and laughed while studying Shakespeare. He told me of the dreams he had about becoming a fitness instructor (did that happen?- I don't know). He told me that he had to babysit his two younger sisters, the youngest of whom was 3 at the time and drove him nuts like all three year olds do. He spoke of his girl friend and about how he and his friend Terence would go out together with the girls. He was excited about life, and I know he grew up to be a wonderful person. He would get passionately angry, and wonderfully animated. He was intelligent and insightful. He was absurdly naive about so many things. I remember clearly the day he reached out to touch a pendant I often wore around my neck, He just wanted to touch it, he thought it was beautiful. He was so surprised when I jumped back a mile as I thought he was reaching for my chest. We laughed about it then, and his friends teased him. Every time I wear that pendant I think of the time I was freaked out by him, and I know that now that he is dead, I will remember him even more.

Children should not die. 19 year olds should not die. 15 and 16 year old girls should not die.

I wish I wasn't so hurt by my past so that I could cry.

I can only hope that the part I played in his life was positive.

Rest in peace Joel, Riyani and Anja


  1. Joel lived next door to me and my kids for several years, back here in Adelaide. Those same qualities you describe in him were so apparent from an early age; the paradoxial coupling of innocence and wisdom encapsulated in a charismatic charm. A determined, intelligent young man, who often doubted his immense abilities. Someone who could always make others feel good about themselves, sometimes at his own expense, but all in good spirits. All in love.

  2. Thanks so much for commenting John ... and so the tears begin again. I hope that you and your children are travelling ok through this time.

  3. I am Joel's uncle and just wanted to say thanks for these comments - it has meant a lot to read such nice words about him.
    Thanks again.

  4. A beautiful insight into Joel at school, and how wonderful of you to write it all down. I know what reading this blog will mean to Joels Mum and Dad - they will get great comfort from it, as I have. Thanks for putting down your thoughts - from Joels Aunty Sharon.

  5. Hi Greg and Sharon, I am very glad that you have found some comfort from what I have said about Joel. I honestly didn't think that anyone from his family would see this, so it is nice to know that what I have written has meant something. I hope that you and all of your family can heal in time, and I thank you very much for your comments; I am truly grateful.

  6. Hi, Chris. I'm actually visiting from the Nathan Bransford Posting. I did enjoy your post from the competition, but this one moved me far more. I'd encourage you to memorialize your friends through your writing. For one thing, it's good therapy for you and others. What you displayed here was real grief and look at how it helped his family. If you can do that in a novel, think of the catharsis you'd provide to those who have loved and lost as you did. (Obviously I'm not speaking of eros love, but love in general.) Just a thought, but I think you'd find it a powerful outlet and tool, IMHO. It would also honor the memory of Joel, Riyani and Anja.

  7. Thanks for looking past the post linked to the Nathan Bransford blog. I think that you're right, and that it's important to remember people and share their lives with others through writing. I will definitely look at taking up your suggestion, and would love to offer a catharsis to others through my writing. I know that it helps me tremendously.