Generally eulogies are written by other folks after someone else has died. In the summer of 1999 I was on a climbing trip to Spain, France and the UK – I got word that one of my climbing buddies back home had died @ Seneca Rock in West Virginia.
I thought deeply about the fragility of life and decided it would be good to compose a sincere good-bye to friends and family in case the unthinkable would happen.
I recently cleaned out my attic and found my old climbing journal – so here it goes:
I write this in the expectation that no one will have to read this for a long time. Though I know the inherent risks of climbing and mountaineering and I have lost friends like Ethan yet I do not stray from the activity which I so love. It is only in the hills and cliffs that I truly feel alive, uninhibited, capable of a full range of emotions from (passion to sadness, jubilation to fear).
No one tells me what to do and I don’t tell anyone else what to do.
I am connected to the environment in an indescribable way. It is something special.
Know that I have climbed carefully and avoided human error when possible, but things happen if you are reading this, they have.
I never want to live my life in “Anxiety” and “what if’s” and having regrets of “I wish I had.”
Grandma in 1998 said to me “If I die tomorrow I will have done everything I wanted to do.”
I aspire to the same greatness.
Life is too short to be scared of exploring yourself. Exploring daily I have.
Some may think how tragic it is to die young, but know it is far more tragic never to have lived at all.
Know that I have been high on life without any chemical enhancement and that it is possible for anyone to break free of the monotony of a pre-planned life and live!
- Do the impossible
-Experiment with yourself
- Be aware of life
- Smell a fresh rose
- Climb a big rock
Life is what you learn about yourself and that takes risks. I have learned a lot more than I thought even possible and perhaps this passing is my final lesson.
Author still alive and well on Twitter @integritiveJM