Many tears have fallen in the past two weeks. Maybe enough to fill a small reservoir, but certainly not enough to fill the void left behind by the friends and loved ones weve lost. Although life continues in Whistler, it has changed for many. It will continue without a father, a husband, a boyfriend, a son, a brother, a co-worker and a friend. Thats a lot to lose in such a small community.
At the same time however, a lot has been gained. Friendships have been made, bonds have been made stronger and the community has grown resilient. Standing in the wake of the fires, the floods and the ensuing losses, we have witnessed community after community come together and rise above. We are larger than life.
It is saddening when something so tragic has to happen in order to remind us of how precious our lives are, and how easy we can forget that. We are reminded how easy it is to take for granted the lives of our friends and families and the time that we spend together. When will we learn that each time we say goodbye may be the last? How many times will we endure the loss of someone close before we realize how much we actually mean to each other? What will it take before we recognize the importance of expressing ourselves fully and making peace with those we care about but are too stubborn to admit it to. If you havent done so, do it now. There is a very heavy weight to carry when you know there will never be a chance for reconciliation. We should be so lucky to have been blessed with a second chance with our fantastic miracle that Mother Nature so graciously gave back to us.
As many of us now know losing a friend means losing a part of our souls. But we will survive, and we will grow stronger knowing that these amazing people, and their passion and excitement for life will carry us on our journey as they wait patiently for us to return to them. You really didnt have to know these boys to feel their impact on the people in this community. Their characters reached so many and their spirits will continue to. That is what I value most about living here. Someone new to our community told me last week that it cost him $5 for a beer; about $200 for a hotel, and almost $2,000 for a round trip ticket, but the spirit of this place is priceless. He couldnt have said it better.
My message to you is dont forget to tell your friends how much they mean to you even if it is only once in a while. There is no stronger gift you can give than that of love and acceptance. The sense of self worth we will reap from these actions will fuel our happiness even in the darkest days.