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Obituary for My Brother, Darren

I thought I would post the obituary I wrote for Darren who died last week after a long battle with MS…

Darren Hines died in the presence of three generations of family. Bob Dylan strummed and sang out in Darren’s last shallow breaths- from a live recording from 1963- that there comes a time ‘to lay down a weary tune’. Darren’s song had indeed become weary, and it was time to sing out another. The ravaged body of this drummer, at the hands of MS, could no longer contain the rhythm for freedom.

Like all characters, Darren has mythic stories and paradoxes. He could skateboard well and play Frisbee in the deep sand: all in shin-high, heavy combat boots and studded leather jacket. His six foot six inch tattooed body contained a strong masculine, yet gentle nature (although not unknown to anger). He was a flirt with women- he loved women! He had an offer to hang out and travel up north with the up and coming unknown band at the time: Dixie Chicks (a true story arising from a chance encounter at the Cache Creek Dairy Queen and confirmed by other witnesses!). He survived pellet gun assaults from older demented brothers who imprisoned him in a cardboard box. He loved to experiment with his hair: he fell asleep with bleach in his jet black flat top in an attempt to go blonde- only to discover in the shower the next morning that he was shiny bald (and just before high school graduation). He could somehow honk with his throat identical to a bike horn. He valued humor that was always on the very edge of frightening- and yet managed to stay on the ruthlessly hilarious side of the line. Darren was a poet who loved countrified-punk music but had a diverse taste and eclectic hunger for new sounds and rhythms. He could speak with tears and then laugh about being ‘institutionalized’. He knew the dark shadow of depression, grappling with profound sorrow at each setback. He is cherished to the end for the ready engaging smile and witty charm. He knew the art of friendship. He died far too young at 46 years of life.

Darren was devoted to his daughter, Sarah. As he lost layers of ability, he often described that what sustained him was her presence. She gave him a meaning that was solace enough.

Darren is survived by his daughter Sarah Hines, his parents Bonnie and Garfield Hines, his brothers Brian Hines (Annette) and Dan Hines (Robyn), and a loving extended family. The family wishes to extend a special thanks to the care homes and their staff members who provided home for Darren over these past years: Ponderosa, The Hamlets and Gemstone.

Remember and celebrate Darren’s life with us at a gathering at 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 23, 2015 at Kamloops Free Methodist Church, 975 Windbreak Street, Kamloops, BC.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the MS Society in Darren’s name.


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