Life is a precious existence; often taken for granted until you are familiar with a soul who has exited its earthly being. Death is tough, period. Whether you have lost a friend, parent, grandparent, son, daughter, acquaintance, neighbor or perceived enemy; one’s heart aches and your own mortality comes into question. Most have experienced the loss of a loved one through a variety of circumstances; natural aging, cancer, car or sports accident, stroke, heart failure, suicide. Death is the only certain thing in life so why is this 100% unquestionable part of existence so difficult? Why aren’t we better prepared for it? What makes the death of a loved one harder than the death of another? Is it the circumstance or timing in one’s life? The heart suffers.
Rachelle and I have both experienced loss in our lives, however I still consider myself very fortunate as I have been able to perpetuate many close family and friends. Our travels throughout the USA, Canada, Colombia, and Mexico over the last year has opened our hearts to beautiful landscapes, dignified cultures, language, every lasting friendships, and a deeper understanding of the world beyond our borders. We carefully planned and prepared for this Starlit Adventure but neither preparation nor fortitude could equip us for this reality.
On the morning of March 25th, 2016, alone, I stood in the hand-built bathroom with our friend, host, a father, a grandfather, and compassionate heart. While his earthly being rested on the floor; his beautiful soul had departed to encompass those he loved. The realization of the previous evening's unexplained events came full circle. The sounds, the feelings, the questions, the uncertainty, the uneasy sense something was not quite right. The tragic dots connected. Fear filled my bones. I departed, in a panic run, from his palapa style bedroom down the 40 some steps to our palapa guest room. It was 8:00 am and Rachelle lay peacefully sleeping in the bed while the waves of the bay crash heavily on the rocks beneath the bedroom window. I stood, staring, as her body lay at rest. I paused, afraid to wake her in this manner, my choices were slim as I move her shoulder back and forth. “Get up Rachelle, we have to go! Les is dead...they killed him.”