This Thursday marks fourteen years since Owen Hart fell to his death at Over the Edge in Kansas City. It was one of the most heartbreaking events in the history of sports entertainment and one of the hardest moments I’ve ever had to experience as a wrestling fan. Moments like that stick with you forever, it gets a little easier to handle but the pain never fully goes away. I grew up loving the Hart family, and I still love them. My very first wrestling t-shirt was a Bret Hart shirt. Some of my greatest memories as a wrestling fan involve the Hart’s. I always feel a strong connection to them, it could be because I’m from the same province, it could be because they are Canadian, but it’s mostly because they are awesome.
This year I finally got the chance to pay my respects to Owen at his grave. It was the most heartbreaking experience I’ve ever had but it was something that I felt like I had to do.
My boyfriend didn’t really understand why I wanted to do it or even what it meant to me, he isn’t a wrestling fan. We finally found the cemetery after what felt like a million years of driving in Calgary, the whole time I was just sitting in the car and thinking about what this moment meant to me. Fourteen years. That’s not a small amount of time by any means. We parked by the crematorium in Queens Park Cemetery and started to walk towards the plots. We tried googling where in the cemetery he was located, I knew what his headstone looked like and I knew that he had a memorial bench. We decided to walk and just find it ourselves and then that’s when I turned my head to the right and saw it. We were about fifteen feet away from it and I just said ‘There it is.’ and started to walk towards it. I was so nervous that I walked like a speed demon, not even realizing how fast I was moving. We stood on the walking path, behind the bench, and I just stared at his headstone.
It felt like someone had knocked the wind right out of me.
I kind of just stared and then sat on the bench. I read the inscriptions on his headstone and just cried. I couldn’t stop crying. I thought about everything I ever saw Owen do. When he used to come out in those ridiculous pants with Koko B. Ware, when he got his mother Helen to throw in the towel for Bret, when he fought Bret at Wrestlemania X in MSG, when he almost paralyzed Steve Austin at Summerslam in 1997, and when he had his accident in Kansas City in 1999 (among other moments). I was only there for about five minutes but I felt so good after I left.
It was nice to get some sort of closure I guess you could say. He wasn’t a member of my family but I felt like I had known him and his family for years. I spent all of my childhood and adult life cheering Owen and his siblings on. It felt like a piece of my heart was missing and I still feel that way. I feel that way about Macho Man, Hawk, and Benoit.
There isn’t very much more that I can say about Owen other than I really, truly miss him. Rest in peace Owen, we will never forget you.