January 20th could quite possibly be of been the worst day of life, I had learned my best friend Gareth had taken his own life. The pain I feel right now I cannot explain, but its given me time to reflect.


I’ve spoken before how I have a non existent relationship with my family, its something I’m never going to get into on my blog, its done and I’ve moved on. As I live my life in Brighton, I’m happy and taking every opportunity and doing it to the max. I get told over and over by people who don’t know me, “it must be so lonely?” My response is always the same.

“Family is not blood, Family is who you choose to call family.”


Sometimes I think of my life as a TV show, with the all the drama and cliff hangers my life has had its not far off it to be honest. Lets think about this properly I think my life is a bit more normal than EastEnders or Emmerdale, think more an American show on the CW network. I don’t think I have enough incest or dragons to be on HBO, but maybe the wild naked adventures could give me a good case for that channel.  Every year is a different season, and with that brings new guest stars, new twists new sex. Fuck it put me on after 10pm on channel 4, that’s the best slot for me.

Every TV show has a cast with which I’m the star obviously, but as a much as a star I am I need some cracking co stars. That’s what my best friends were, my amazing co stars. I say were because like all successful shows characters have spin offs and become the stars of there own shows, but always linked to the main show – me.

I met Simon roughly about 10 years ago in a Pizza Hut. Portsmouth has a very small gay scene, everyone knew each other, and everyone had fucked each other. Those that hadn’t weren’t worth knowing, it was really that sort of place. I had never seen Simon until that day, but apparently he had seen me. I was actually in Pizza Hut for a job interview, I was patiently waiting for my interviewer to arrive when suddenly Simon came through the doors. But strangely he went straight back through the door which he came out of, which I thought was a tad odd. The funny thing about this is, I found out a few years later he went straight back through the door to tell his friend “have u seen that cunt sitting out there?”. It appears Simon had seen me on the gay scene and thought I was up my own arse and a cunt. We laugh about it now, but I love that he misjudged me so much because now we’re best friends. We are so close, that he is my biggest strength in my family. To cut a very long story short he did hire me, and we’ve shared so many big life events together. As well as giving my some of the biggest kicks up the arses we ever needed, and the best advice ever. He taught me how to cook, I taught him on to flirt on gay apps. In the last year or so he moved to Leeds with his partner, opened his own café  and built a great life for himself.



Like myself Matt had also got a Job at the Pizza Hut, and I knew quite early on he was one of us – gay I mean. But unlike me and Simon he wasn’t in a place to come to terms with it. I remember other members of the team asking me if he was gay, I would respond by saying  ” he’s a toff! Posh not gay.” A year or so later we were having drinks, me Simon and Matt and he comes out to us. I felt so proud of him. Over the next few years my friendship with Matt grew more and more. I even got him on stripper for his bdays, because every young gay lad needs one once in his life. Me and Simon were like Matt’s gay parents, giving advice and support when he needed it.


It was at Simon’s 30th that I met Gareth, my housemate at the time Alex had brought him back one night after clubbing. I knew me and Gareth were to become good friends after we discovered in each other our love for Doctor Who, Star Wars and World Of Warcraft. On that first date I remember his immortal line “Is this a gaydar meet?” As we went on so we just really gelled and got closer and closer. The best way I can describe me and Gareth would be, I was Eddie and he was Patsy.


Over the years the three of them would be firmly in my life, Simon and Gareth were like two pillars that would hold me up, and Matt the youngest would go off into the big gay world, coming home for bdays and Xmas(metaphorically). I think from this I never missed my  blood family, everything I needed I got from these people, and I honesty felt loved.

So that’s the series of my life, and what happens next would rock any ones world.

When I received the call from Gareth’s brother Friday 20th my world just collapsed. My best friend, a member of my family had taken his life. I remember the call so well in my mind, I was outside a Sainsburys in Brighton near my house, I think I was in shock because I wasn’t as devasted as I thought hearing this news. I came off the phone and started walking home in a daze everything around me was blocked out, my phone went off and it was Simon. It was then I realised what had happened and I broke down, seeing Simon’s name I knew, I knew he knew. I answered the phone only to cry, it was a busy Friday night in town and I was hurrying home balling my eyes out. Simon stayed with me on the phone as I sobbed, it was at this moment I hated that he had moved to Leeds and he agreed. It was what was needed, Simon didn’t have to say or do anything, knowing he was there listening was all I needed as my world was crashing down. Matt called minutes later, of course he knew what had happened but it seemed like fate he called through at that moment. Me and Matt hadn’t spoken in a while, probably the longest we’ve not spoken for, short story he fucked me off but there is nothing like tragedy to bring family together. I’m not dismissing Matt here at all, we’ve been friends for so long I’m more fucked off myself for not sorting this out ages ago. But like I said it was fate that we spoke at that moment as we reconnected in moments.


I don’t want to talk to much about the funeral, it wasn’t about me or anyone else. But I felt so loved from Simon and Sasha who went to support me. The most special thing for me was reconnecting with Matt properly, and from this we will never drift so far apart again.

And now the funeral has been and gone life is suppose to get back to normal, that’s what I keep saying to myself. I feel guilty trying to move on, so many of my 2017 plans included Gareth its hard to try and separate him from the equation. But its fact no matter how much I try not to deal with it, Gareth is gone. Right now I can cope with that in my day to day life, but as I see the adverts for the new series of Doctor Who I am reminded that we would watch the first episode together. When the new Star Wars film comes out in December I’m going to really feel his loss. It sounds so superficial that it is in these moments I’m really going to miss him, but its those moments I would always treasure. But I know I’m not alone, Simon and Matt are here to support me as well as the wives. My Brighton friends have been amazing, and my work has given me all the time I’ve needed to grieve.

Its taken me a few weeks to write this blog, let alone write anything else for this blog. And the awful thing as I write this is I don’t have enough photos with my best friends. Its stupid you always think next time I will, but this experience has shown me next time might be gone. Something I’m gonna do better with moving on. I miss Gareth and always will.

But the show must go on, I’ve got more seasons in development and 2017 is going to be a hell of a year.


Darren Goodwin


  1. The Life show can be a sad, sad story indeed…
    Sorry for your great loss, Darren.
    What a blessing to have, or have had, such great friends, family.
    May the memories strengthen you and make you feel loved forever. ❤

    Hugs, Paku xx


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