It was Easter 2002, myself and my brother had travelled up from Dorset to Yorkshire, to visit family. Little did I know, when I woke up that morning, that this was going to be the day when my world would stop.
Both myself and my brother were bikers. It had been arranged that morning that we would travel out to the bikers café in Sherburn in Elmet. This is a big meeting place for bikers. As it happens I had urgent work come up so I couldn’t join the others. Ryan, my brother, moaned on at me about taking five minutes out of the ‘rat race’ but I wouldn’t budge. So they set out without me. As normal Ryan expressed his normal setting out speech which was ‘if anything happens guys look after the fuzzball over there’ nodding towards me. I playfully punched him and waved the six of them off.
Not five minutes into that journey and my brother was dead. About 40 minutes after they set out I had a phone call from one of our friends. He was very upset and to be quite truthful was not making a lot of sense. All I really understood from the phone call was that Ryan had had an accident and was in the hospital. I called my Dad and the both of us went down to the hospital. I was fully expecting Ryan to be badly knocked about, but death had never even entered my head.
When we got to the hospital we were escorted to the ‘family room’. Two of our closest friends were in there too, and I knew at that moment that Ryan was gone. I suddenly felt as if the room had gotten really very small. Like Alice when she ate the cake. Our two friends where looking at me, red eyed not being able to speak. I sat down and stared at my feet while we waited for the doctor.
It seemed like forever but the doctor probably arrived some five minutes later. He sat down and explained gently that he was very sorry but Ryan had died at the scene before the ambulance arrived. I can remember asking the Doctor why he was sorry since he didn’t even know Ryan, so what did he care? My Dad gripped my arm tightly when I said this, and one of our friends started crying uncontrollably. The doctor said that we could go and see him. I can remember wondering why the Doctor would think we would want to see him now, he was dead, he was not here anymore.
I can’t really remember the following week, it was all a blur of arranging a funeral and getting the death certificate. The only thing I can really remember is talking to one of the policemen who had arrived at the scene of Ryan’s accident. As luck would have it they happened upon the accident just as it happened. It had happened at a roundabout, Ryan had right of way but a car shot out of the junction in front of him, with out even looking and hit Ryan head on. I was so angry, some idiot had cheated me of my brother. I couldn’t function properly because the hurt and anger at losing him was crippling me.
The day of the funeral came around and I decided I wasn’t going. I had a huge row with my dad and sister about it and was virtually frog marched to the funeral car by several of my friends. I sat through that whole funeral simmering in anger, but at least that got me through it. I went to see my mum straight afterwards who had died a couple of years earlier, and completely broke down. The funeral was at 10am; I was in no fit state to go home until 8pm that night.
It took me a long time to let go, and I still miss him, but it’s not a horrible empty feeling anymore, more of a ‘I wish you were here to see this’ kind of thing. I would say time is a great healer, I just wish it could heal a lot quicker than it does.A1103329