I would rather be ashes than dust

(Last Updated On: August 13, 2010)

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As many of you know, we have lost two beloved friends, Jack Hannan and Lacy Meadows, in ski-related accidents in the last few months. The loss of these friends has been difficult for all involved. Pain from this kind of loss never really goes away. You always miss them. Time can help dull the pain. But, the pain will always remain. Yesterday, the all the pain we’ve experience came flooding back along with joyous memories masked with streams of tears as we helped our friend Laura, Jack’s wife, scatter Jack’s ashes in the East River.

Laura guided us to a place along the East River that was a favorite spot of Jack’s. Quite hidden, we could all see why Jack liked it there. Surrounded by aspens, a beautiful waterfall, black rock contrasting with blue sky, a glimpse of Gothic, and clouds scattered overhead – it was one of Jack’s secret escapes to Paradise. And to Paradise he returned as we let his ashes sink into the River.

Laura plans to scatter Jack’s ashes in all of his favorite places. This way, Jack will be everywhere he wanted to be, everywhere he loved. She will keep his ashes in her pocket, and Jack will be with her all the time. It’s strange the power these little sparkles of gray can impose on our lives. But, they provide a bit of comfort too.

As we all gathered around the table last night for dinner, I had this intense feeling of happiness- a stark contrast to the abysmal remorse I felt only a couple of hours before. I realized I was surrounded by great friends and that we had all come together to celebrate life, not just to mourn the loss of it.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Jack or Lacy since their passing. The irony of it all was just how much the two were alike. Not only did skiing claim both of their lives, but both Jack and Lacy were some of the best people in this world. Kind, compassionate, and humble, Jack and Lacy made an impact on each and every person they met. People remembered meeting them, if only for a moment, even years later. No one ever had anything bad to say about Jack or Lacy because they simply were great people. This kind of person is rare, and I find it mind-blowing that we’ve lost two great people in just a few months. I’m still trying to comprehend all of this. But, the truth is, we will probably never really know why Jack and Lacy were chosen to leave this Earth far too early.

There is one lesson I can take from both Jack and Lacy – and that’s to live life everyday the best that you can. Have passion for life, and love all that surrounds you. That energy is what Lacy and Jack passed on to others, making them memorable in even the briefest interactions. With them gone, we must do our best to take their place in spreading this energy to the world.

I recently came across this Jack London quote: “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” This is how Jack and Lacy lived – they didn’t just exist, they lived. I plan on living too.

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things,Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate 🙂 Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

Latest posts by Brittany Walker Konsella (see all)

Brittany Walker Konsella

Aside from skiing, biking, and all outdoorsy things, Brittany Walker Konsella also loves smiles and chocolate :) Even though she excels at higher level math and chemistry, she still confuses left from right. Find out more about Brittany!

5 thoughts on “I would rather be ashes than dust

  • August 13, 2010 at 4:35 pm
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    Thank you for this beautiful post and for this enduring quote. I shall remember it always.
    From friends of Jack’s family in Vermont

  • August 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm
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    Ruth-Ann,

    I am glad it has hopefully brought comfort to some of Jack’s loved one’s in Vermont.

    -Brittany

  • August 14, 2010 at 1:01 am
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    Beautiful quote,, words & thoughts to live by,, Jack & Lacy will live on in all our most beautiful mountain refuges of the soul…

  • August 14, 2010 at 4:56 pm
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    How uplifting and beautiful…

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