It has been nearly a week since the passing of my brother Marvin and I have thus far made no public comment. I'm sure that all of my peers' facebooks and twitters have no doubt been abuzz with "RIP Brain Damage" and so on, but I have been doing my grieving privately up until now, as is my preference. The only reason that I choose to write this now is to go on the record as yet another voice echoing the sentiment: "Marvin Lambert was one of the nicest guys that you would ever have met."
For those who didn't have the pleasure, you have my sympathy. My friend [Drew Blood] said it best: "If you wanted to meet someone who truly embodied a 180-degree shift from his wrestling persona to his personal life, that was the man I'd point you to." There were only a few times while he was alive that I broke kayfabe and commented on it, for the sake of keeping his persona intact, but whilst 'Brain Damage' was one of the most terrifying and formidable opponents one could have the displeasure of being paired with, Marvin Lambert was a human being of incredible kindness and decency.
I realize that everyone memorializes friends who have passed with cliched proclamations of their sainthood ("...he would've given you the shirt off his back..."), but--while I will never claim Marvin was any sort of saint--it comes from the bottom of my heart and is one of the truest statements I can make when I say that Marvin was one of the nicest people I ever was lucky enough to know. I will tell you truly that very few people who have ever done as much physical damage to me as he has will ever be eulogized as lovingly. We battled in the ring and were brothers outside of it, and his passing leaves a hole in my heart that will never be filled.
I don't think I'm revealing too much, given the nature of his passing, to acknowledge that he had his issues, and his demons. Don't we all? I'm very, very sorry that I didn't know the extent to which they obviously seeped into his soul. I have had many deep conversations with him over the years and truly believe that I was among his closest friends, but I did not see this coming. And for that, I apologize to those that knew and loved him, specifically his family, and of course--most of all--to Marvin himself. Hindsight is 20/20, they say, but that's of no consolation when you lose someone you love. I wish I had done more. I just don't know what it would have been.
I have made dark jokes in the past about wrestlers..."We Die Young" by Alice In Chains always seemed a fitting theme for the men in this industry...but I have never found any real humor in the reality, gallows or otherwise. I've lost two of my best friends now in the last few years...not just "in tha bizzness," but people who truly transcended that workplace relationship and I came to count as members of my extended family...and I'm damn tired of it. Not to mention the passing of people like Trent and Larry Sweeney, with whom I was not as close but certainly considered among my friends and peers.
I don't know exactly why I feel the need to write this. I abhor the scene that the internet has created in which the public needs to know everything that anyone is thinking or feeling. My grief is my own and I will mourn in my own way, among those with whom I'm truly close. But I also recognize the reality of the world we live in, where people seem to think that if you didn't post something online or re-tweet something that you must not care...and as much as I hate that reality, in some ways I must submit to it, and I never want it said that I didn't love Marvin Lambert as a brother. I did my best to help him through some hard times, as he did for me, and in the end, I'm just sorry I couldn't do more.
I always feel like a hyprocrite writing "RIP..." messages, as an aetheist, but even if it's just for me...
I love you, Marv. You were better to me than most and I will always carry your memory with me. Rest well.