My mother called my godmother on the morning of February 2 nd, 2005, trying to get a hold of me. As soon as I realized what time it was, I knew something was weird. My mom knows that I’m not a morning person and for her to call me at about 8am, although not unusual, telling my godmother that she absolutely HAD to talk to me. I was still very much mentally asleep. I got on the phone with my mom and she was very hysterical sounding. In fact, I had never heard her sound as emotional as she did that day. My cousin Matt died that morning. I actually went back to sleep praying inside that it was a dream. I realized that I was wrong after I woke up and saw that I had voicemails from some family members that I wasn’t even aware had my phone number. I didn’t even know what to think. Family members were calling to see if I was okay, if my mom was okay, how we were taking the news. I was totally at a loss for words. I wasn’t until his funeral that I was actually sure that all of this was real. He was only 21…
My cousin Matt was one of the greatest people I have ever met in my life. He was someone that I admired. He knew where he was going and he had everything he needed to get there. So many times when I was younger, I wish that I could be more like Matt. He always made everyone proud. He was always the nicest person to everyone. He treated everyone he met like an equal. He discriminated against no one, not for creed, color, sex, age, weight, nor hair color. None of that mattered to Matt. He looked at everyone equally. The smallest and weakest kid around would always feel just as important as everyone else if Matt was around, because he made sure that they would.
Matt’s death shocked the family, and raised some questions. What, exactly, had happened? Why was it him? Had he been suffering before he actually died? We shall never truly know the answer to the first question, only those that were there would know everything. For everything that Matt had accomplished, it was all taken away from him because of something so trivial and downright childish as hazing. But, like all other deaths in history, we could not change it. It was an inevitable fact that our family would never see Matt again. Not another Thanksgiving with him, no more Giants games, no more playing catch, no more playing video games with him, no more seeing him just walk around without playing a video, and never again being able to shake his hand.
My family has suffered an immeasurable loss with Matt. My aunt Debbie will never be the same, and my uncle Greg and cousin Travis are still very shaken. I also know that Mike, Matt’s father, is never going to be able to hold his son again and tell him that he loves him. The whole family is hoping that the individuals responsible feel as empty inside as we all do and that they will pay for their crimes justly.
Matt Carrington was one of the greatest people I have, or will have ever, met. His personality was sparkling, and his love for all people was always showing. He was THE responsible one. I don’t think he would have done what he did if he knew the consequences would have been. My cousin, whom I always admired, is gone. And a hole has been left inside a part of all of us. I’m sure anyone of our family would give anything to spend one more day with the guy who made us all feel good. We will not forget you Matt.
Matt’s Cousin – age 20