Farewell and goodbye

After all the planning, packing and getting ready, the time has finally come for us to become 2-wheeled nomads. We are excited for what lies ahead but it is with great sadness that we set off on our bike trip. On May 11, our dear friend Trevor and his 10-year-old daughter Zarah were killed on Blackcomb Mountain, north of Vancouver.

Trevor and Zarah were out on a weekend snow camping trip on Blackcomb Mountain. When they failed to return as scheduled, a search was launched and volunteers from Whistler Search and Rescue began scouring the mountain. They were found the next day.  A large boulder from the rock face above had fallen on their tent, killing them both instantly.

Janice and I, along with other friends and family, have been trying to support Jaynie, Trevor’s partner and Zarah’s mom, as best as we can following this unbearable tragedy. As a group of friends, we have done many trips together hiking, skiing, paddling and cycling. Spending time in the backcountry and our collective love of travel is what drew us together and the bonds formed on those many trips are lasting and strong. Despite the risks we all take every day, never could we have imagined this.

In our little circle of friends, Jaynie and Trevor were the only ones who braved the adventure of parenthood and we all became aunties and uncles to Zarah. Becoming parents did not slow Jaynie and Trevor down. They took Zarah out into the backcountry right away as they lived out of the city on the shores of Indian Arm, accessible only by boat, kayak or canoe.

As a family, they ventured out skiing, paddling and camping with little Zarah who grew up with an appreciation and love of the outdoors and all the possibilities it offers. In her short life she became a good skier, hiker, climber, paddler and cyclist.

It’s easy to understand why Zarah loved the backcountry so much with parents like Jaynie and Trevor. Trevor was playful and fun and always up for a challenge. Not much slowed him down. His enthusiasm and unbridled love for outdoor pursuits was infectious.

What this tragedy has cemented in our minds is that there are no guarantees in life and the natural world we love and cherish can sometimes be cruel. Many people have asked us why we would put our lives on hold to go cycling for more than a year. My answer to them has always been: “Why not?!”

Life is short and there is a beautiful world out there to explore. Our world now has a great big hole in it but we take some comfort in the fact that Trevor and Zarah were exploring their world with an irrepressible love and energy. Trevor, Zarah and Jaynie will be foremost in our minds as we begin our bike trip in Iceland.

Trevor and Zarah
Trevor and Zarah. We miss them and we will remember them.

 

It was beautiful as long as it lasted

The journey of my life.

I have no regrets whatsoever

Save the pain I’ll leave behind.

Those dear hearts who love and care…

And the strings pulling at the heart and soul…

The strong arms that held me up

When my own strength let me down.

At every turning of my life I came across good friends,

Friends who stood by me,

Even when the time raced me by.

Farewell, farewell, my friends

I smile and bid you goodbye.

No, shed no tears for I need them not

All I need is your smile.

If you feel sad do think of me

For that’s what I’ll like when you live in the hearts

Of those you love, remember then

You never die.

-Bengali poet, philosopher and Renaissance man Rabindranath Thakur

Please consider making a donation in memory of Trevor and Zarah to Dorothy Lynas Elementary PAC to create nature-based educational experiences:

http://www.dorothylynas.com/

or to Whistler Search and Rescue for the work they do in the mountains:

http://www.whistlersar.com/index.htm

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10 thoughts on “Farewell and goodbye

  1. What a wonderful tribute to your friends. This story was so sad to hear when it hit the news; thank you for opening your heart a little. I hope you collect many wonderful experiences and memories on your upcoming journey.

  2. What a wonderful post, Paul. I am so glad that you and Jan were here to provide support to Jaynie and to mourn the huge loss of your friend and niece.

    I don’t think you’re putting your life on hold at all! When you’re finally old people at about 120 years old 🙂 you will not be looking back at your life and saying “Geez, I wish I had worked more!” or “I’m so proud that my hedge has been perfectly trimmed for 40 years running”…you’ll be thankful that you took the risk while you were healthy and financially secure and lived as you wanted to. I hope to add travel back into my life again over this coming year and have always admired the value that you both (and Yvona, Don, Joanne, etc.) have always placed on travel – to all places, near and far.

    Have fun and take lots of pictures!

    Love Deanne

  3. Beautifully written.  Reading it made me very sad.  I can’t imagine the impact and circumstances of their death has had on you and your circle of friends.  For your loss, I am truly sorry.

    You two have been in my thoughts a great deal the past few days. I look forward to following your pursuits and anticipating a wonderful book published with stories and photos sometime after your safe return.

    Have fun!

    Norman

  4. Beautiful Paul. So very sad about the loss of two beautiful human beings. Life is indeed short and sometimes much shorter than we think it will be. So how do we measure our days….let’s measure them by love and really living each day. Wishing you and Jan a fabulous adventure.

  5. Na onze mooie reis door Canada afgelopen mei een verhaal dat je terugzet op aarde. De natuur geeft en neemt. Ik heb dit afgelopen week ook weer ervaren door het verlies van twee vriendinnen en mijn onverwachte ziekenhuisopname. Mooi hoe dit verlies wordt verwoord, voor jullie geen fijne start. Maar leef het leven, ga ik ook weer doen ondanks de tegenslagen van de laatste jaren. Er is altijd ergens iets moois te ervaren, maar je moet blijven zoeken….en beleven! Een hartelijke groet,
    Ben. 12 juni 2013.

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