Saying goodbye to someone is hard enough, but when that someone is just 18, it’s even harder and worse still, he truly was ‘The Larrikin Everybody Loved’. This larrikin is a young man with the world ahead of him, dreams of following his brother in the Army, of raising a 9 month old son to adulthood and of achieving more than what others thought he might be capable of…this young man’s name is Kayne Eric Charles McDonagh. He’s a young man like many others in Australia, he was battling through life.
I had the honour of officiating at Kayne’s funeral service on Saturday morning 11th January 2017, his family made an incredible impact on my life in just a short space of time, much like mine family, they are tight, old school, give respect and you’ll be respected. His parents are amazing people Zeaona and Mark are inspirational, Kayne was one of five children Grant, Kyle, Markus and Shamous, all wonderful young men who I have the utmost respect for, they are dealing with a difficult situation and they’ve handled themselves with great honour, holding their hands high whilst speaking about their brother and never looking at the ground – you could see the pride they had for him.
Then there’s Chase King McDonagh, the beautiful little baby boy who I met at just 9 months of age, this little boy won’t understand the impact his father had on so many people, but as I stood in front of almost 1000 people all grieving the loss of Kayne, I asked everyone to speak of Kayne’s life and the impact he had on their lives and to share the experiences with little Chase, so in a small way, this little baby can grow knowing his father loved him and was also loved by many.
There was obvious grief at a funeral service for someone so young, but his father Mark stood tall with wife Zeaona alongside him and delivered the beautiful memories of his son…Mark has allowed me to share some of this with you in the blog post.
To my beautiful boy Kayne
We love you and miss you
Goodbye my beautiful boy
Kayne was born on the 28/5/1998 and from that day forward we were in love
Kayne was a happy baby except when it was time for bed and would often protest and let us know he wasn’t ready for bed
When Kayne was a toddler nothing was of limits to him and everything had to put away as it would end up in his mouth
Kayne was also known as Kayne Baby
At this time Kayne loved it when we read books to him
Kayne’s first word was not mum or dad but Pokemon
At around 2 years old Kayne became good at climbing and that’s when our anxiety levels rose
I would arrive home from work to look up and see Kayne laying down on the roof of my house looking down at me as I entered the front door scaring me and his dare devil antics would increase and continue as the years past.
To me he seem fearless
Kayne was diagnosed with ADD and High Function Autism
Kayne spent a lot time with his cousins over the years from both sides of the family and formed a close bond with them
As Kayne got older he took a dislike to bullies as he was bullied in his early years and would intervene if he witnessed it. This of course would often get Kayne into trouble in some instances but respect from others
Kayne respected people that respected him and did and not discriminate against people who disrespected him, whether it was friend or a teacher or stranger and this of course would land him in hot water.
Kayne went through a naughty stage and I was reminded of an incident just the other day. I think he was doing some sort of legal studies at school and on one particular day he decided to leave the school yard go home and put on a balaclava and ride his motorbike up down in front of the school.
When asked to front he was asked why he was riding his motor bike during school hours, Kaynes response was “you cannot prove anything because I was wearing a balaclava”
Kayne was very protective of his bothers in particular Shamous and they all loved him
Kayne loved to talk to anybody and everybody and loved to tell stories, but when he wanted too he could charm the socks of anybody.
Just like when Kayne arrived at home only to go and get some food because he met a new homeless bloke at the river and wanted to feed him and that was just how Kayne was.
We never really knew how well he was known with all the people that have sent their thoughts
Kayne left school to find work when he found out Gemma was pregnant with Chase and took up labouring for a builder with the view of becoming an apprentice and that was going to happen this year
Kayne was always telling me how good at building he was
We arrived home from work to find Kayne had installed a Tap for the Kitchen sink
It was a pretty big tap and was as big as the sink and I thought there was nothing wrong with the old Tap and that when Kayne walked in and said “see dad I am adding value to the house”
We will miss his energy and his love of people
We will miss his humour and Charm
We promise you son we will make sure Chase is looked after and we love you forever
We would like to thank our friends and family, Kayne’s friends and our work families BCC and PCC ‘Nepean High School, Penrith Ram and the Emu Plains Lion Club, for your support during this difficult time
If you notice someone is acting different or appears troubled, take the time and ask them “Are you ok”
Amazing words from the head of a wonderful family.
Brothers Kyle and Grant also had amazing words to say;
My cheeky mischievous brother Kayne,
I already miss you so much that words could not even begin to explain.
Kayne was always keen to kick back and chill out
Always stood up for what he thought was right
And always wanted to be the one that bought the best presents at Christmas time
Watching Kayne play footy was always entertaining, as I knew that if one of his teammates got hurt you could expect to see Kayne bounding over looking for revenge tackles.
Kayne had a super kind heart and always wanted to help me out if he could, quite a few times I would have his help as my little apprentice and I could tell he would only want to do it just so we can hang out.
The biggest thing that showed me how kind he was, was while he was driving one time, I noticed that he would smile and nod to random people when we came to a red light.
So I asked him why he was doing that and he said that “some people might be having a bad day, and a simple smile from a stranger or something may cheer them up a little bit”.
He always had a story to tell or something to say.
As he grew taller he always greeted me by saying “hey how’s the weather down there??”
And that is because he was always up for a laugh and always joking around (I will never forget his goofy laugh).
I’ll never forget the day of when I got a message of Gemma at 4:54 in the morning to wake Kayne up and take him to the hospital so that he could be there for the birth of his baby boy chase. He was so nervous yet he was super excited as well.
And every time since then seeing him together with young chase has shown me his boundless love for his son.
Kayne we love you and already miss you more then you could have ever imagined, you’re unique personality, sense of humour and mischievousness is what made you so special to all of us.
This is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’m up here doing this because I know you would have had the courage to do the same in this situation.
Reflecting back to the good times, the proudest moment I shared with you, was when you told me I was about to be an uncle and asked if I would be the God father to Chase. You told me that the reason for choosing me was because you looked up to me as your older brother and wanted to join the military and follow in my footsteps.
Kayne I want you to know that I am so proud of you, for the caring considerate, protective person you were and the person you will always be remembered as. The presence of this large ceremony proves how loved you were and how heavily you impacted those who came to know you. Not only am I proud of you for all the things you did for others but also for not getting caught for some of the crazier cheeky shit you did!
I just want you to know that I will do my best to be there for Chase and be the presence that will help him become the caring, loving and strong man that you were as his father.
Love you always brother.
If you can make Sunday 19th February 2017, there will be a Mental Health Awareness Fundraiser in honour of Kayne’s life at The Peachtree Tavern 54 Peachtree Rd, Penrith NSW, call them if you can help out (02) 4731 3444.
Speak up, speak out, notice a change, ask the tough questions…and if someone is asking, PLEASE, answer them with your genuine feelings, talking to people could just possibly save their life, so for Kayne friends reading this and others who may not have ever known Kayne McDonagh, let something good come from this horrible situation…speak to one other, get off Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Tinder what ever other things take over and LOOK into your friends eyes and ask them with genuine interest ‘how are you going’?