Tribute To My First Cousin – A Premature Death

25 May

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Dear Friends,

I received the terrible news this past weekend about the premature death of one of my first cousins.  My uncle and aunt live on the other side of the U.S., so I haven’t had the opportunity to see them or their three children that often over the years, even though their two daughters attended college on this side of the country and were just about to graduate this year, one with a masters degree and the other with her undergraduate.  The middle child was almost 25 years old.  He moved to the Philippines to be with his girlfriend, and from what I saw on his Facebook page, he was very happy.  Not only was he with his girlfriend, but he was in the perfect place to indulge in his favorite activities: scuba diving, snorkeling, etc.  He loved anything that had to do with the water.  One day over a week ago, he told his girlfriend that he was going free diving.  He called some friends, but either some couldn’t make it or they were running late.  So he went by himself, but he never came back up.  After searching for over 24 hours, they finally found his body about 145 feet below the surface.  It shocked me to hear about this.  I don’t just mean about his death, but the fact that he had so much experience with the water.  Why would he think it was safe to do this alone?  I don’t mean to judge.  Not at all.  It’s just that sometimes, when we grow with experience, we forget to takeout the necessary safety precautions.  Word to the wise, if you ever do any of these activities, never ever go alone, no matter how much experience you have with it. When you’re free diving, it’s not uncommon to black out on your way up.  It is interesting how even when you don’t know someone well, their absence becomes noticeable and it does create sadness.  If it’s this bad for a person like me who didn’t know him so well, I can imagine how bad it is for my uncle and his immediate family.  To Nick, you did what you enjoyed doing.  You were happy, you loved life, you weren’t lacking in direction or feeling unfulfilled.  Whereas some people your age would be in that kind of situation, your parents gave you what you needed to get you to where you were by the very end.  I wish we would have had more time to get to know one another.  Maybe we wouldn’t have due to the distance and from not having the realization that one day that opportunity can be taken away from us.  I hope that where you are now, you are still doing whatever makes you happy.  Dive all you want, snorkel all you want.  In your girlfriend’s own words, swim fish swim!

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2 Responses to “Tribute To My First Cousin – A Premature Death”

  1. Jill London May 27, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, but what a wonderful tribute you’ve written and such a remarkable life! I have the deepest admiration for those of us who know how to live life fully during our time here xxx

    • chandanimane May 27, 2013 at 9:49 am #

      Thank you so much for your condolences, Jill. It was a shock to find out about this, but I have no doubt that he was the most adventurous person I have ever known. His girlfriend even said something to that effect on her Facebook page, something about he taught her how to live life to the fullest. I can only admire a person like that, and I can only think that when he passed on, he was doing one of the things that he enjoyed doing the most. There is some comfort in that thought. Thank you again for your lovely comment. It means a lot to me. xxx

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