Daniel Mcdowall's funeral service in Urangan.
Daniel Mcdowall's funeral service in Urangan.

Young footy player farewelled at funeral

Hervey Bay AFL player Daniel Mcdowall would have described himself as a loner.

But his funeral in Urangan on Wednesday belied that title.

The 19-year-old became yet another young Fraser Coast resident to take their own life on February 25, leaving his friends and family to mourn his tragic loss.

The pain etched on the faces of the dozens of people who attended his funeral said it all.

One by one, friends and relatives wrote messages of love on his white casket.

Daniel Mcdowall's funeral service in Urangan.
Daniel Mcdowall's funeral service in Urangan.

Green balloons bobbed above his coffin, representing the green orbs that had appeared in the photos taken by loved ones since Daniel's passing - orbs his mother Donna believed were signs her son was still with her.

The Bay Power player was surrounded by his mates as his casket was brought in, and then taken out, of Hervey Bay Botanical Garden's bush chapel.

Vic Burgess spoke on behalf of his family.

Hervey Bay's Daniel Mcdowall was lost to suicide.
Hervey Bay's Daniel Mcdowall was lost to suicide.

He told of a world that confronted and confused Daniel on so many levels.

That punished him for being out of the ordinary.

But he also spoke of a world in which Daniel was beloved.

By him mum Donna, grandparents and extended family.

Daniel Mcdowall's funeral service in Urangan.
Daniel Mcdowall's funeral service in Urangan.

And by the mates who wiped away tears while standing to pay their respects to their friend and brother.

In a poem for her son, Donna said he had come into her life when her world needed light and they had walked in the sunshine together.

"Your gorgeous face is etched in my mind," she said.

Suicide prevention advocate Michael Walsh spoke about the pain of Daniel's loss.

"I didn't know Daniel but I feel like I do just from talking to Donna, he said.

"He felt a lot like a lot of us feel sometimes - a bit trapped in our own mind, a bit confused and the world doesn't understand."

After the funeral, a procession followed Daniel to his final resting place before family and friends gathered at one of his favourite spots - Scarness Beach - to offer each other support.

Help is available 24 hours by phoning Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Specialised youth mental health support is available via Headspace which has offices in Hervey Bay at 9/15 Central Avenue, Pialba and in Maryborough at 2/118 Lennox St.



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