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Tragedy. I never really knew the meaning of that word before.

I was lucky enough to have one brother by birth, Karl. In Floyd I was lucky enough to get a second brother. This morning came the news that I had lost both of them, and my niece had lost not only her father, but also her favourite uncle.

When I learned on Sunday that they were missing at sea, I was horror-struck.  But I hoped for the best – they were wearing life jackets, there were searchers out.  I woke up this morning after a night of fitful dreaming, feeling confident that some good news would come today.  At the worst, we could not lose both of them.  Not at once.  But the world doesn’t work that way.  Now there are only memories and a huge hole in my heart.

I am so thankful for the outpouring of support.  I always felt that those simple words – “I’m sorry”, or “my condolences” meant so little, were so utterly inadequate.  I was wrong.  While even the smallest wish might bring me to tears again, they were tears that made me feel a little less hollow.  I was always ashamed of my tears, but today I shed them with pride in memory of two people I loved, and the only shame I can feel is shame at my hesitation to shed tears for others, to shed tears in the past.

Karl, Floyd, I love you both.  I will miss you both.  Always.

15 Responses

  1. Words are things too slight to be meaningful in such times but, as I know from my own slow-motion loss of someone near and dear, the saying of the words by another human being is the real comfort. My deepest sympathies.

  2. And now I’m crying, even though I’d never met them. I’m bad at this. I’d say something about words being of little comfort, but you seem to have taken care of that already. My deepest condolences – and don’t be ashamed of your tears. Given societal expectations these days – aren’t they more a sign of strength?

  3. […] diaspora blogger Further Thoughts is a relative of the two researchers whose bodies were recovered at sea after an incident this past […]

  4. Ian,

    So sorry to hear the news. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

  5. Thank you all so much. It really means a lot to me.

  6. I’m so sorry to hear what happened. You have my heartfelt condolences.

  7. So sorry to hear the news Ian. Nothing I can offer beyond that. They live on in you and your memories.

  8. Ian, my deepest sympathy for your loss. Although time will help deal with such a tragic lost, their memory will always remain and be of some comfort.

  9. My heartfelt condolences.

  10. I’m sorry I cannot really do it in English, please accept my humble words for it:
    En ces moments difficiles je tiens à te faire part de mes sincères condoléances, et s’il était possible, à partager ta peine. Avec toute mon amitié et mon soutien,
    Laurent

  11. I’m very sorry to hear that.

  12. This is my very first visit to your blog, so I hesitated to comment on what is such a personal and heart-wrenching post… Yet a few days later I’m still thinking about you, so here I am. Please accept my deepest, most sincere condolences. You and your family are in my prayers. Give that niece of yours a bone-crushing hug. I hope you find strength in each other. God bless.

  13. I can barely imagine your sorrow. Your tragedy has made me re-appreciate my own brother and sister, and the thought of losing them like that is simply overwhelming. Take especial care of yourself during this time.

    Mary

  14. […] month, after Karl’s funeral, Ryan reminisced about a recent interaction between him, Floyd and Karl.  He and Floyd had been […]

  15. […] Posted on August 28, 2009 by Ian When Karl and Floyd were still missing, before we knew the horrible truth, I found myself trying to make deals with fate.  “Maybe one, but not both, no, it […]

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