Bad News from the Old School: Miltonian/Eudos

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Hi all,

I know this won't resonate with the great majority of folks still posting here, but my dear friend Matt, who played on TN for around a decade as Eudos and Miltonian, passed away last week after a relatively short but fierce fight with cancer. For those of you who knew him, I shared some words after his service. For those of you who didn't, you really missed out. :) 

He was 37.




Matt was my best friend and brother for most of my life. When living 5 blocks from one another and going to the same school weren’t enough, the Universe threw us into a game night together in the back of the comic book shop where we both spent far too much time to be normal kids. It didn’t take long after that. 

We were the weird kids who hid it better. The football players rolling funny-shaped dice at Dungeons and Dragons every time we got the chance. The only two people straddling the worlds we inhabited simultaneously yet completely separated. “Never cross the streams,” he would always say if talk of gathering school and gamer friends together in one spot ever came up. But there was also a different, deeper set of worlds we kept separate from everyone else. One full of secrets, hardships, and pain that wasn’t something we could seem to share with anyone else. I don’t know how I would’ve survived being a kid without Matt there with me.

In that way, it seemed like life saw fit to continually adapt us for a closer bond. He was a year older than me, and always leading the way - up to high school, out onto the road in his own car, and of to college. He lost his mom, and a few years later I lost mine. When he became a soldier, the weight of his new life began to set in, but a few short years later I had transitioned into being a police officer. Just like that, time and again, we were once again equipped perfectly to be able to talk to one another about all the things no one else was going to understand. All the conversations that might frighten the people we loved could be had between the two of us without worry. 

All the while, because the older and younger brother dichotomy never seemed to settle in, making us some sort of bizarre, mismatched twins, he’d come back with questions. As if I was supposed to know what to do in these situations I’d never been a part of. 

Maybe he respected my wisdom, and thought I might have the answers. 

Maybe he just needed someone to listen.

After he got sick, I did a lot of listening. And just like always, I didn't feel like I was able to come up with the right answers. I listened to him apologize for putting me through something so terrible, after having lost my mom to cancer. Yes, the guy with the actual brain cancer apologized to me, more than once, for his having cancer. 

I wasn’t surprised. It fit who he was.

Matt talked all the time in his teens and twenties about not seeing the point in growing old, usually inside the 3 minutes it took him to reduce a full cigarette to a filter and some ash.

(2 minutes if it was cold outside.)

Chalk that up to one more example of his savage exterior belying the heart within. Because when it came time to fight for every minute he could have with the people he loved, he made us proud. The same way his parents always were, even when he was slacking and coasting on that massive, beautiful brain of his. The same way we were all proud, once we recovered from the shock, when he went off to serve his country. He showed us what everyday bravery looks like, choosing to live and enjoy life, to make plans for the future. To find hope and humor and share it with everyone he knew, no matter what news the doctors gave.

I’ve had a bit more time to think since he passed, and answers still aren’t there. I think figuring out life without Matt physically present is going to be a bit like planning a road trip only to discover a bridge that’s been washed away. Yes, I will find my way, but there is no getting around the fact that it will be different, and more difficult, than the life I had planned. 

There is a void in our universe left behind. A shadow, shaped like a man but infinitely larger, where Matt’s presence once stood. But we’re all better for his having been here with us, in countless, nameless ways. And if you find yourself at some point able to let your emotions flow, never think he would’ve mocked you or criticized the outpouring. He’d be happy to have helped a few more people feel in the way they most needed to feel in the midst of such loss. It’s the same reason he took so much pride in giving the final speech to so many other veterans’ families in just the right way to help them let it all out.

Thank you, Matt.

For never compromising who you were.
For never compromising what you expected of others.
For being my brother.

I love you, and I’ll miss you.




Edited by Daedraug

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