While preparing for a bike ride on Saturday morning, Kevin collapsed in his driveway. He was gone quickly, struck down by a tear in his aorta. He would have been 29 years old on September 18th.
Kevin came into our lives as Amanda’s high school boyfriend, and although their paths diverged (they remained friends), we continued to deepen in our friendship with him. We loved each other, and he became part of our family; for years his mother has referred to us as “Kevin’s adoptive parents.” Kevin had enough love for all of us.
Without exaggeration, Kevin was a light in this world. He was kind, intelligent, and generous. He thrived on an equal measure of deep philosophical inquiry and silly lighthearted banter. He lived with intention and integrity and invited others to do the same. Eric introduced him to work of the poet David Whyte, and Kevin listened so much to the recording Eric gave him that he would spontaneously break into a recitation, British accent and all; we would laugh and teasingly call him “David.” And he laughed, too.
It gives us some small measure of comfort knowing that Kevin lived more fully in his brief 29 years than many people do when given 90 years. Among many other adventures, he led wilderness-backpacking trips for high school students, lived and worked on New Zealand farms for several months, and hired on as a crewmember on a sailboat cruising from Mexico to Tahiti. We were proud of him in all that he did, but what we loved most were the easy, close times we shared—hiking, camping, playing games, playing music, cooking—everything connected with good conversation and the willingness to share deeply. Kevin was present in this life.
Kevin loved nature, sailing, good food, good wine, gardening, and playing music. Whatever he did, he undertook with passion, and he did it all well. He recently switched from guitar to ukulele (because ukulele travels better on a sailboat); when he couldn’t find a group of people to jam with, he created his own ukulele group (persuading friends to join, whether or not they expressed any desire). He was just beginning an MBA program in sustainable systems; given the opportunity, he would have done great things in that arena as well.
We are thankful for our recent time on Lopez with Kevin, when he came to visit overnight with his sister Jen and we had our magical night on Spencer Spit playing in the bioluminescence. And again, just a couple of weeks ago, when he sailed to Lopez to visit for four nights, and we played, hiked, paddle boarded, talked, laughed, cooked, drank wine, made music, and thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company. We had no idea when we waved goodbye as he sailed past Shark Reef that it would be the last time that we would see him in this life. Our texts to each other that last night spoke of our love for each other, our gratitude for the many adventures we have shared, and our anticipation of adventures yet to come.
We left Lopez on Sunday and are now in Bellingham, gathering with Kevin’s family and friends to celebrate his life, and doing what we can to provide support. There will be a memorial for Kevin on Friday, and we will be sailing to Sucia Island on Saturday to help scatter his ashes in the islands that he so loved. Three weeks ago we drank wine on his sailboat, relaxing under the stars, and made plans to sail to Sucia together next summer; this was not the way we had planned, but we are honored to be with him on his final journey. Kevin was a great supporter of our dream of traveling full time. We will continue on with our travels, but not just yet.
We love you, Kevin. You will live on in our hearts and our memories and we will carry you with us wherever we go. Knowing you has enriched our lives beyond measure, and we are deeply grateful for the time we had with you.[portfolio_slideshow]