I wrote this post in response to a friends blog about another common friend that recently died while skiing. Her blog is here.
I too was blessed with the opportunity to be on the Crystal Mountain Ski Patrol with both Paul, and you Kim. Pual did have a passion (possibly addiction) to skiing. If I remember correctly he left the patrol to drive snow cats so he could have more free time on the mountain. There’s one thing I’m sure of in all this, Melby would rather be skiing today. I have not seen him in at least 4 seasons but I rember he had a passion for life, for doing crazy things but mostly for living.
I left the ski patrol in 2003 to become a Presbyterian Pastor. In that time I think I have learned a thing or two about death. As somebody who now struggles to get in 25-30 days a year I miss skiing every time a big dump comes and I have to work. I also know how much satisfaction I get when the planets align and my ski days coincide with a big dump! I feel more alive than ever! But even as somebody with a passion for life and a familiarity with death, there is little reassurance that I can give to a family who looses someone they love. I have been at the bed side of many people as the fight for every last breath. They want to hold onto life! We are human beings we have a fight for life nearly unmatched in all the animal kingdom. Simply put people prefer life!
I think back to last year when I found out about Arne Backstrom dieing. Arne was another incredible skier I got to watch grow up at Crystal. He had achieved a level few in the world do (except the Backstrom family!) All I could think of was Steve & Betsy how no parent should have to bury their child. How they would never say well at least he died doing what he liked. They I’m sure wanted to watch him continue to succeed & maybe even start a family to pass on his passion for life to another generation. I venture Paul’s parents feel the same.
When we loose a loved one we are left with a void we must try and figure out. We must make sense of it in our own lives. We must find our own way to keep this person’s memory alive in our own lives. We must never pass on any life with a cheap “Oh well…”
Live life to the fullest. Take every opportunity that comes your way. But always do it in such a way as to be back for the next day.