A Eulogy For A Friend And A Lesson For Life

This has been a rollercoaster week of emotions for me.  First was the final separation of my partner and me and leaving my two dogs for this extended trip.  Then it was the high of reuniting with my family I hadn’t seen in almost 3 years.  Then the big low came yesterday with the death of my good friend and former colleague Mark Dailey. 

I have known Mark since 1993 when I began working at CITY-TV in Toronto as a news writer for the 6 o’clock and the 10 o’clock news.  Mark was the anchor of the 10pm newscast and we hit it off right from the start.  He was approachable and had an amazing sense of humour… more often than not ‘inappropriate humour’.  He would put you at ease and you realized quickly that he wasn’t the ‘unapproachable star’, but just another member of the team.  I am just one of many people who could call Mark a friend.  Everyone he met genuinely felt that they had a connection with him.  He was one of the most grounded people in the industry, never putting on airs, and making everyone who worked in the newsroom, from the cleaners who came through every evening to the producer of the show, feel equally important.  I was also the producer of the show for about a year, and during that time Mark would, more often than not, drive me home after work.  While we would occasionally talk about the show, the good and the bad, and discuss new ideas, but mostly we would talk about the things that were most imporant to us, and for him it was his new wife and teenage daughter.  He loved being a dad and adored his wife Kim.  We also shared an intense love of dogs – he had a big old German Shepherd that had been the centre of his life until he married Kim.  And when his buddy died, it was like he had lost a child. 

I learned a lot from him, not just about the business, but about life (and it seems I still am learning from him).   His death has reminded me again about why I’m doing this amazing journey.  It isn’t just about the travel (though that is a passion of mine) but this is also about taking a time-out to reconnect with the people who mean the most to me – my family and friends. 

While Toronto mourns the loss of a television icon, I am remembering my friend and his final message to me – that life is precious and very short.  You never know when it could be taken away from you, so you had better enjoy it as much as you can.  Remember what is really important to you (is it really your job or is it the people you love?) and make time for that.  Take the time to tell those you care about, what they mean to you. Create memories that you can carry with you until the end, and let your legacy be more about the person you are, than the accomplishments you have made.  I know I will.

Goodbye my friend and thank you for being a part of my life journey.  I’ll never forget you.

Here is a link to a CITY-TV tribute to Mark Dailey: http://www.citytv.com/toronto/citynews/news/local/article/102653–a-legend-lost-toronto-mourns-the-death-of-mark-dailey

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3 Responses to “A Eulogy For A Friend And A Lesson For Life”

  1. Shannon
    December 7 at 11:44 am #

    That is so beautiful Darren. I’m in tears. XO

    • Darren
      December 7 at 12:02 pm #

      Thanks Shannon… I have been in tears since I heard the news. I hope I did him proud 🙂

  2. Dr. Hartley Miltchin
    December 15 at 9:14 am #

    That was incredible.
    He was a true gentleman, a Toronto icon and will be sadly missed.
    Hope you are having an incredible journey.
    If you get an opportunity, please email me, as I need some advice.
    Hartley
    Big Hug !

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