You know how it happens sometimes when you’re looking up something on the web – you come across a site that interests you; one link leads to another and, before you know it, you are where you are without necessarily meaning to be there.
I was doing some web research on the Peace Corps (long story, I’ll tell you about it sometime) recently and came across the blog of one volunteer.
His name is Wyatt Ammon
Wyatt arrived in Zambia on September 2005. He left his Project Management job in Washington DC and had committed to two years of social development work for a rural community. When asked as to his reasons for volunteering, he said, "I don't want to work for money or prestige, I want to work for change and satisfaction".
He started the blog to share his experiences with family and friends back home in the US.
On November 12, 2005 , Wyatt posted on his blog. His entry was funny and smart. It made me laugh.
No other entry followed. I became curious.
Following links on his blog, I found out that Wyatt died on on November 17, a few days after he last posted in his blog..
He was leaning against a glass window. It broke, He fell from the 5th floor.
He was 24. He had been in Zambia for only 10 weeks. He had just finished his training and was just about to begin his community assignment. How could something like this happen?
As one might expect, his close circle of family and friends were devastated.
Following one link after another, I realized that Wyatt had managed to leave an indelible impression on those who came to know him. He was loved and admired by many.
I am particularly moved by what his sister wrote in her own blog a few weeks after Wyatt was buried.
Three years after Wyatt’s death, a commemorative site his family and friends put up still continues to be active.
As with anything that catches my interest, obviously, I’ve obsessed on this subject.
Having had to deal with the death of loved ones myself, I’m relating to the pain felt by Wyatt’s family, especially since they’re all very articulate in expressing it.
When the memories are all that you have left, you want to make sure these are shared and kept alive by as many people as possible.
I know from my own experience that the pain never really goes away. I’m thinking it might be similar to having an arm or a leg amputated . Eventually I suppose you get used to the loss and you might even learn to work around it – but you’re never ever the same again.
Finding out more about Wyatt from the stories shared about him, I feel a sense of loss for the rest of the world from his passing.
He was someone who seemed to enjoy life. He had much to live for and much to give. You can imagine what else he could have done and all the good he could still have contributed.
And, in one moment, that was all taken away.
That could happen to any of us. Today - I'm writting this post or you're reading it. Tomorrow - who knows?
This makes me think about my own life and all the things I still want to do.
This is a reminder to live each day as though it might be my last – to be thankful for it, and not to waste any moment of it on regret, anger or hatred.
I don't know Wyatt Ammon or his family but, from thousands of miles away, this is my way of helping keep his memory alive. Wyatt Ammon was here in this world. I honor his memory and the life that he seems to have lived so well.
Rest in peace, Wyatt Ammon.