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  May 31, 1999



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Reflections of a big brother
By BRET "The Hitman" HART -- For The Calgary Sun
  But the stars are burnin' bright like some mystery uncovered

 I'll keep movin' through the dark with you in my heart

 My blood brother.

 -- Bruce Springsteen

 * *

 I just can't believe it.

 My brother Owen has been taken away from me.

 He was such a wonderful human being and I will miss him so much.

 I've tried and tried to sum up into words what he meant to me. What he meant to all of us who loved him.

 It seems everyone knows by now what a great husband, father, son and brother he was.

 He was, without a doubt, the finest family man that I ever knew.

 His life was centred around his wife, Martha, his one and only childhood sweetheart, and his two beautiful children, Oje and Athena.

 So many times, I remember he sprinted from the door of the plane, his two carry-on bags in each hand, at a full run, worn out and weary, just to clear customs, through the sliding doors, to their outstretched arms.

 A man with no vices. None.

 His only obsession, his family. Always his family.

 And oh, how he loved them all!

 I don't believe anyone knew Owen as well as me, except Martha.

 I recall, so often, in airports, hotel rooms, dressing rooms, long drives on endless highways, his only dream was to come home to his wife and his two children.

 He almost made it, only days before moving into their dream home.

 He worked so hard for that dream. It's all so unfair, an exhausting argument with God.

 A long and sad meditation on fate and purpose and love.

 I'm so sorry, Martha. You and he deserved so much to have all your dreams come true.

 As your brother, if you can hear me, and I know you can, you would be so very proud of her. I understand, even more so than before, why you fell in love with this girl and why your loved her so much.

 As your brother, I promise to watch over Athena and Oje. To be there for them.

 To try my best to make up for your absence. To tell them about you and to never let them wonder what you were like. To help Martha forever and to insure what you wanted the most: that Oje and Athena are raised with respect and love and that they'll be guided by your spirit to have integrity and conscience. That they will make you proud.

 Martha wouldn't have it any other way.

 Neither will I.

 My mother and father, I know what he meant to you, to all of us Harts, and I hope, in our sadness, we can find some way to overcome this tragedy and move on again.

 The Harts are loved and admired for our strength.

 This will be a true test.

 We all have so many wonderful and beautiful thoughts and memories of Owen, I wouldn't know where to start. I can't.

 I've concluded that we can only hold on to all those memories and like our lost brother, Dean, we will laugh and smile and talk endlessly of how you made this world a better place.

 Owen, you were the funniest person I ever knew. I thank you for that.

 I will smile to myself forever at all the funny things you did.

 A prankster?

 Nobody but all of us who knew you will ever understand how hilarious it was to be around you.

 Prank me anytime, Owen, I'll be waiting for your call.

 You were a great man who never, ever lost his heart of a child.

 I will hold dear my memories of all the places, distant lands and people we saw together.

 The sunset in Guam. The breathtaking beauty of Cape Town, South Africa. Our hell ride to the Taj Mahal in India. The serenity and beauty of the Hong Kong skyline. The harsh realities of Hiroshima and Auschwitz, where we paid our silent respect, and maybe more importantly our trip to Jerusalem, the ceaseless wonder.

 For, like Jesus, nailed to the cross, to a grid of paradoxes, you balanced yourself between the torment of not knowing your mission and the joy you took in carrying it out.

 Owen, you have all the answers now. I remember always being your protector. Looking out for you.

 I feel my heartache and my eyes begin to sting when I think, why wasn't I there to protect you in the Kemper Arena in Kansas City last Sunday.

 To question if this was really necessary. Shame on you, Vince McMahon.

 Owen, I loved wrestling with you.

 You were a great wrestler from start to finish and millions of your fans all around the world will never let that be forgotten.

 Maybe it's not important, almost kind of meaningless, but I know you were proud of your accomplishments, as I was, and you were one of the greatest athletes to ever set foot in a wrestling ring.

 Everyone has a song in their heart.

 My families have always been professional wrestling.

 The hardest aspect of it was always the neverending loneliness.

 In reflection of that, both you and I understood from the very start that we were singing a very sad song.

 But neither of us, even at this dark hour, are ashamed at having sung that song.

 For, no matter what anyone ever thinks, Owen, yours will always be the most beautiful song I've ever heard.

 I'm lonely for you already.

 The world loved you very much and we will all miss you for a very long time.

 Your loving brother,

 Bret

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