I’ve sat and thought about this, and reality is, I’d be remiss if I didn’t write at least something regarding the passing of Jon Huber, a professional wrestler who was known as Brodie Lee and Luke Harper, he was 1 year and 2 days older than I am. He was 41.
I’ve never been one that has been overly affected by celebrity deaths or anything like that, but this one has struck me. This one hits different, and not since the death of Jared Lorenzen last year has there been a death that has caused me to just sit and think. To reflect.
I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I’m of similar ages to both. I don’t know if it’s how they both passed, from illness versus an accident or tragedy. I don’t know if it’s just that their passings seemed sudden. I do know that what has struck me about both deaths, on top of everything else, has been the type of man and father that they were.
I have sat here and teared up and had tears rolling down my cheeks multiple times for both men, as I have watched dedication videos or videos of people talking about them and honoring them. I’m not going to sit here and write as if I know all about Brodie Lee. That I followed his rise in the indie wrestling circuit or anything like that. No, I didn’t know of the man at all until he showed up as part of the Wyatt Family on WWE. I knew of him there and then knew of him a little more after he showed up on AEW.
But I’m not here to write about the wrestler. While wrestling is how I knew of Jon Huber, and AEW’s amazing tribute show dedicated to Brodie Lee is what inspired me to site and type on my keyboard. It’s who this man was as a father, and how not only his peers, but how the company he worked for at his passing has honored not just the man, but who the man was as a father.
If you go online and search YouTube or Reddit, you’ll see countless videos and posts, and +90% of them will mention the man’s love of his sons, the love of his wife. The man he was. When you have a wrestling promotion, a nationally televised show, not only have a tribute show for the man but to involve his family, his son. To acknowledge the man as the father he was, and the impact he had on his colleagues, not only as a wrestler but as a man and as a father. What amazing level of fatherhood this man must have reached, and how horribly am I coming up short?
When someone passes, you always have people say nice things. As a society that’s just the norm. You don’t speak ill of the deceased. The people that talk about Jon Huber are not doing that, and if you just take a few moments to watch videos, you can see it. They’re just being honest, talking about a man, who touched and inspired them.
When you have a boss, who outright buys the rights to a song so that your dedication video can remain online forever, how utterly amazing of a man can you be?
Thank you everyone who joined us tonight on #AEWDynamite to celebrate the life of Jon Huber, known to fans as Mr. Brodie Lee. It was a great honor to host his family Amanda, Brodie & Nolan. I bought the rights to Ol’ 55 by Tom Waits in perpetuity so that tribute will last forever
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) December 31, 2020
I don’t have the answer. I don’t have the first clue, as I never knew the man and can only see the reactions of others. What I do know is, I have a new son coming in 2021. I turn 41 (the age Huber was when he passed) in 2021. I’ve been on this Earth for 40 years, and while I’ve made it from point A to B to C, I’ve not done all I could do. I’ve not been the best man I could be. The best person. The best father.
The passing of Jon Huber has caused me to truly self-reflect, and while it’s cliché to write this on the cusp of a new year, cliché does not make it false. 2021 is going to be my awakening to be a better man. Where I become a better father. Where I love my children and my wife more than I have before. Where I cherish the moments and I raise them high. Where, when people see me, they know my love for my family.
Thank you, Jon, for inspiring me, and no question others with the man that you were. Thank you AEW for honoring, not just the wrestler but that actual man, and the actual father he was. You have a fan for life after your Tribute show. My thoughts and prayers to his wife and his two sons.