Angel Birthdays

The many lives we will lead are hidden from us in the present moment.
Pic is Little Andy.

My wife has one angel birthday in her life, October 30th, the date of Andy’s accident. We had a memorial last week and it went well.

It’s difficult to front up to a funeral, VERY difficult to speak at one… thank you to those of you who came, and those who spoke.


Some thoughts on conversations from the memorial.

The concept of closure: for me, this doesn’t exist. Everything I have experienced, is carried forward and changes over time. Andy, in me, continues to evolve.

A key part of growing up is learning how to deal with loss.

I’ll share my list of Angel Birthdays to illustrate the point: Stuart, Kristy, Kevin, Dan, Andy, Henry and Gary. As we get older, many people are going to pass. The advice to “grieve the small stuff” is well made.

The picture below, is Andy with “Little Ax.” My son lives on, he’s 10, but Little Ax ain’t coming back. I miss him.

Life gives us many opportunities to acknowledge loss, both small and large.

Better to grieve the small things (than seek to close them off).

Best Toddler Ever

Michael shared an idea to re-frame our triggers.

Andy died falling from the Second Flatiron. In Boulder, we can see the Flatirons from EVERYWHERE in town.

It goes further that that, if you know where to look you can see them from Eldora, from the tops of the local canyons, flying into Denver…

One endless trigger.

Becoming aware of our memory triggers, we can take the opportunity to reframe them.

So when I look at the Flatirons, I want to remember to say “yes” more often.

Andy and I were on opposite ends of the yes/no spectrum.

There are many days where I wake up keen to say “no” – to myself, to my family, to anyone… no, no, no!

My “no” is rooted in a fear of “yes” getting out of control.

A little more “yes” will improve my life. It’s a good way to remember AC and, perhaps, I’ll give him credit when I’m less of a hardass.

Reframe the trigger to serve the life I wish to lead, the person I wish to be.


Andy would have wanted…

If you’d asked him, when he woke up on his final morning, if he was OK with dying in a few hours. then I am certain he would have said “not yet.” We had a look through his planner and he had lots of fun things planned for later in the week.

However, when I met him in 2004 (and many times subsequently), Andy told me he was OK with death. He went further saying he believed in a collective “duty to die”. Not to kill ourselves, by the way. Rather, Andy believed we had a duty to live life fully.

So if you’d told him he’d die in middle age, quickly, pain-free, exercising outdoors… he would have been OK with that.

Andy and I had different values when it came to risk and ruin. Two key reasons: (a) the future is invisible to our present selves; and (b) we are not autonomous beings.

He always gave me a fair hearing.


By way of Bob, Chris shared a letter from Hawaii. Extending my favorite part to the general…

Vibe with nature, don’t seek to challenge her.

Rock, snow, ocean, mountain, exercise, work, training load, run mileage… vibe it, don’t challenge.

The vibe is what we seek.

Another way of saying, “look deeply into the need you are seeking to fill.”


A final shout out to Monica’s Buddy Andrea (MBA).

MBA flew out, stayed with us and helped with continuous acts of kindness.

A lot of little things, from all of you, turned into a big assist for our family.

Thank you.