Friday, November 24th, 2017

Dear Dannick

Posted on November 08, 2017 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

Maverick Lynes

On October 29, 2017, I received news that my friend and teammate, Dannick Breton, had passed away. As somebody who has been fortunate through their life regarding loss, the initial shock was something I have never experienced. Dannick is the closest I have ever been to somebody that I have lost. Struggling to cope with the initial grief, I decided to resort to my usual method of dealing with sadness, writing. I decided to write a letter to him. Dannick was a talented, caring and an all-around beautiful human. I figured it would be a shame not to share the beauty he brought to the world.

Dear Dannick,

You were my teammate, you were the first person I saw on campus and you were my first friend. From the moment I saw you putting up your Quebec flag in your room, we shared a bondCanadian hockey players across the border to fulfill a dream.

Our first day, we had the international orientation together. You showed up to the bus a little late, hair a mess but dressed well. Little did I know that being late with messy hair would be a common occurrence for you, but the dressing well was more of a hit or miss. I will never forget the day you came into the dressing room with a USM visor and a polo. It had to be one of the craziest outfits I have ever seen, and I had nothing but respect for it.

You and I would share stories of back home and our paths that led us here. I asked you how to say certain words in French, and you laughed at my attempts to repeat them back to you. You told me by our senior year you would have me speaking fluent French and even though you spoke English well, I said we would get rid of your French accent.

On the ice, what can I say, you were straight out of prep school and I joked about that with you. The new systems were confusing and all the freshmen were learning together. It took you a few times but everybody on the team noticed once that light bulb came on. You had a great skill set and all the tools to be one heck of a player in this league.

You were not always on time and you did not always do the drill correctly, none of us did, but the whole team saw the potential within you, which is why we pushed you to be your best possible self every day. It was because we love you.

The dressing room will be different without you, your empty stall a representation of how the whole team feels, we feel empty without you. We are a family who lost our brother and nothing can ever replace your presence. You were one of a kind and nobody can ever deny that.

My last time with you, you were in your Halloween costume. You had a black and white striped shirt, a black beret and a baguette. I looked at you and laughed, then said, Where is your costume?to which you replied Dont you see this baguette?Then you asked the people I was standing with if they wanted any breadthat was part of who you were, funny and generous. Later on I saw you, and your baguette was gone, so of course, I had to ask where your costume was, you stared at me, making a weird face that was a signature to you and said that you gave too many people your baguette. Again, you were too generous. My final moments with you will live with me forever; it is one of my fondest memories and the moment in which I will look back on with the utmost misery.

This initial shock is something I have never experienced; it feels as if life is in black and white and you were the key component to providing color.

I want more days with you, because the few that I had, they were not nearly enough. We had so many memories in our short time of knowing each other and having you taken from the world so abruptly is nothing short of a devastating reality.

I am going to miss your laugh, your smile and the way you would look at me when you were trying to make me smile. It was just this weird look that never failed to cheer me up during a dismal day. Your smile was unique and it could light up the room. You had the power to manifest merriment by stepping into a space and gracing people with that smile and that contagious laugh. You had an infectious personality that touched the people who surrounded you. Your generosity was a desirous trait that people should have looked to embody, you would help anyone with anything they needed, no matter your heavy schedule or the time of night, you would be there. You will be missed by everybody who was lucky enough to have you in their life.

I wish you knew the support group that surrounded you, so many people were in your corner ready to be tagged in. So many people who cared deeply about you, they would have been there for you whenever and wherever, because they knew you would do the same for them.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to say that I am sorry I was not there for you when you needed me the most. I am sorry you were navigating a dark room without a light. I am sorry that you were lost and I did not come to you with a map. You were my friend and I let you down, I cannot say I am sorry enough times.

Now I go through the day with a significant vacancy in my heart and a void in the dressing room. Your jersey is hung up and I can’t even explain the depths to which I wish it wasn’t. I don’t want it hung up; I want you putting it on as we prepare for our games, I want to see you in it as I look down the bench during the game.

Now I look back and regret the times I took for granted when you came into the rink late. I am envious of those times, back then I wanted you to be on time, and now I just want you here.

I will miss you as my French teacher; I will miss you as the person I could count on for a smile, I will miss you as my teammate and most of all I will miss you as my friend. You were not just one of the good ones; you were one of the few great ones.

Dannick, you will forever be in my heart and forever remembered. Rest easy big guy.

  • Ted Ingraham

    A wonderful tribute. I am absolutely sharing this

  • Kim Gabriel

    A beautiful tribute… Touching words- thank you, KIM