Melbourne Demons defender Michael Hibberd has talked about the disappearance of his brother Geoff, who was last seen in April.
Geoff, 33 and a friend, Jason de Silva, 20, were last seen leaving for a fishing trip at Flinders Pier in Melbourne, before their boat was found smashed against the sea terrain at Pyramid Rock.
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In an interview with The Age, Hibberd discussed the tragic circumstances, the uncertainty of not knowing where his brother is and the knowledge the pair’s bodies are yet to be found, and how he had gone about moving on from the horrifying situation.
“I was pretty realistic about the whole thing early and now I think everyone’s dealt with that,” Hibberd said.
“They understand, they understand he’s not out there swimming still. Like it’s, sad as it is, it’s not the case.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the entire situation, Hibberd said he had been able to come to terms with the loss in the months that followed.
The former star defender also said he hoped to organise a tribute or vigil for Geoff and Jason when the coronavirus situation in Victoria would allow it.
“I’m at peace with what’s happened,” Hibberd said.
“You know, when someone passes you always have a little bit of regret - the last few times we were in contact we were probably blueing a little bit at the time when he passed.
“But in terms of the grief and him gone, we understand he’s gone and there’s full closure there for everyone.
“Me and him, you know, brothers, brothers get feisty towards each other. But with anyone else he had a heart of gold ... he was very likeable, very loyal.”
Michael Hibberd hopeful for tribute to brother Geoff
The Hibberd family’s grief took a heartbreaking turn when the worsening coronavirus pandemic earlier in 2020 put a stop to any plans for a more traditional funeral.
Hibberd said he remained hopeful family and friends would have an opportunity to grieve their lost son, brother and mate in the near future, when safe to do so.
“That’s been something that’s been pretty tough. We’re still, there’s a part of us that wants to just wait until COVID settles down, we can have a proper celebration,” he said.
“And, you know, you kind of want that, the coroner to go, ‘Yeah, he’s been pronounced dead’. We don’t know how long that will be. We’ll deal with that when they do.
“They may not say that for a long time. It could be another year or two years, who knows?
“But if COVID stuff settles down and we can actually have a proper gathering of over 100 people, we’ll just do it off our own bat.”