Saying farewell to Tadashi after fatal shark attack
EMOTIONS are still "very, very raw" following the death of shark victim Tadashi Nakahara, with regular surfing events cancelled this weekend out of respect for the popular surfer.
Ballina-Lismore SLSC's weekly junior surf lifesaver training will go ahead on Sunday, although the event has been moved to Shaws Bay.
Friends of Mr Nakahara are gathering to honour him at a public service at Shelly Beach tomorrow morning.
A large contingent of Mr Nakahara's friends from his former home on the Gold Coast are expected to attend the 10am memorial.
Mr Nakahara's parents are also flying in from Japan tomorrow, although they will arrive a few hours late for the service.
They will take his body back to his homeland for a private funeral.
General manager of the Ramada Hotel and Suites Ballina, Karen Whiteford, said staff held a send-off for Mr Nakahara on Wednesday.
Dealing with grief
- Local grief and loss counsellor Del Marie McAlister provided the following recommendations for people experiencing grief or shock.
- Don't grieve alone. Create your own support network of people who will listen
- Tell your story. Talk about what happened (and your feelings) to people in your support network
- Don't stifle your emotions. It's okay to cry
- Express your feelings by writing in a journal or doing some art
- Always remember there are professionals available to help you
He had worked at the Ramada in Martin St for seven years, and was very popular with his colleagues.
"We went down to the beach and had a bit of a ceremony; we laid a wreath on the water and said a few words," she said.
"It was really beautiful.
"We felt it was important for us to say our goodbyes to Tadashi."
Ms Whiteford said a number of employees would also attend the memorial at Shelly Beach tomorrow.
President of Le-Ba Boardriders Club Don Munro said those who knew Mr Nakahara well would remain subdued for some time yet.
The popular surfer was remembered for his smile and happy demeanour.
"I've been surfing for over 60 years and I've seen many a shark incident, fatals as well, but the impact this has had on the community, not only surfers but the community in general, it's quite mind-blowing really."
And surfers were still edgy about getting back in the water, he said.
"Generally from all the boys I've been speaking to they're not ready to get back in; they're quite happy to let it lie out of respect for Tadashi and for their own wellbeing," Mr Munro said.
"There are still sharks around, there always will be, but we're just seeing too many tell-tale signs."
A huge jewfish was hauled in by a young angler earlier in the week with a photo showing a large chunk bitten out of its body shared widely on Facebook.
"Coincidentally, it's an omen or a blessing, but we haven't had any good surf," Mr Munro added.