Lost friends

A week ago I learned that a friend of mine Basti had been swept off a mountain in Nepal.
Basti was a wild Austrian who loved to push his limits in the high mountains. I remember discussing him dying in the mountains and he was OK with it. He had no kids, wife or any dependents who would be affected so much by his death. So he didn’t mind pushing it in the mountains. I recall having differing opinions on safety protocols in the mountains but we both respected each others ways.

A few days ago i heard about that Andreas Fransson was swept off a mountain side in Chile. I was with Andreas in France just over a week ago and now he is gone. I loved his wildness, his ability to ski lines that are too extreme for most extreme skiers. He risk tolerance was a lot higher than mine but he seemed to understand that and was prepared to die for what he loved. It came as no surprise to me that he died skiing in the mountains.

With all these deaths happening my Mom asked me the other day what I would expect from them should I die? There would be no consolation for them or the rest of my family. No doubt that is true but I feel we place too much importance on ourselves. Of course life is all about me, because its mine and it should be. But in the grand scheme of things we are simply grains of sand. Our existence so meaningless. Right now there are 7 billion people on earth, if I were to die, nothing changes. For a few people something will be missing but for the rest nothing changes. How many people die everyday on earth? I am going to google this and see. ( small pause while I search up this number) 154,889 people die every day. Of those 154 889 people how many were really living the lives they wanted? How many were really happy? For sure in the last week over 1 084 223 people have died but how many of them lived lives like Andreas Fransson, Basti, JP Auclair and Liz dailey

Of course if I die there will be little consolation for those that I leave behind, but at least we shared this short time on earth and enjoyed each other. What more can I really say but that I hope to encourage people to live loudly. To fight against insecurities and unhappiness and find their calling in life. To find what makes them happy and satisfied. That is lifes only true journey. I know that Andreas, JP and Basti all loved the lives they were living and had incredible moments right up to the end.

I have been trying to figure out how to justify living the life I live. How to find an analogy that helps make people understand. If you had the two glasses. One was twice the size of the other and filled with city water. The other was half the size and filled with the tastiest alcohol ever. Which would you prefer? I know most people would take the smaller glass. Imagine life like that. To live a long and unfulfilling life or one half as long that is so engrossing and powerful that every day is savoured.

Your choice.

  1. MC October 5, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    You’re right, you are meaningless. So am I. But before you dismiss your meaningless, ask your kids how meaningless you are to them. I’m sure you already know the answer.
    I’ve often thought over the years about Kye Petersen and him not having his dad around. I can’t speak for him, but I’m sure he wishes things were vastly different. I’ll guarantee Trevor wasn’t meaningless to him.
    Just offering a different perspective.
    No disrespect intended.

  2. Greg October 7, 2014 at 9:15 am

    MC, I fully agree about how meaningful I am to my kids. Its unbelievable. the love we have for each other. The strongest emotion I have ever experienced. The struggle is wether I give up on who I am to almost guarantee that I will be here for them forever, or do I keep doing what I have been doing but make sure that I keep the risk to a tolerable level. I cannot give up on adventure, which includes risk, if I did I would not be the passionate great father I am. So its a question of balance.. and making sure that when I am taking risks that they are so calculated that relatively little harm can come if I screw up.

  3. MC October 7, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Definitely a balance and everyone will look at it differently. I remember freezing up on a slope i the Alps when my son was an infant. It certainly changed my approach. Given everything that you’ve experienced in the past year or so, it will be interesting to see if it affects your pursuits in the hills.
    Hope you’re having a good recovery.

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