Monday, December 1, 2008

Wyatt Ammon Was Here

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.


4t said...

such inspired writing! a very real sadness.

Ginger Ammon said...

Thank you for writing about Wyatt. I'm so sorry about your sister. It's weird how it never seems to get easier, you just learn to live with a giant, gaping hole in your life.

I miss him so much. The more time that goes by, the more it seems words are less able to express how much I miss him.

Allison said...

Hi. I am Wyatt's little sister. I hardly ever get on these blogs but I happened to open my sister's for the first time today in a long time and she blogged about you. The post you wrote about my brother was amazing. Thank you soooo much! I wish everyone in the whole wide world could have gotten to know him, but seeing how he can still affect complete strangers after his death really goes to show how amazing he was.

Jeannie Ammon said...

Thank you for writing about my son, Wyatt. He would be so happy that he is still being found and known. I think he has a hand in it somehow. I am sorry for the sister you lost so young. Maybe Wyatt and Grace have met. Maybe they have orchestrated you finding his blog. It is all a mystery. I can say that your post was a gift to us this Christmas.

Rob Hoover said...

Thanks for the post. I fell much the same as you do, although I don't think I could have said it quite so eloquently. I have a friend that was in the same Peace Corps group as Wyatt. They had become friends and Brett had encourgaed others to check out Wyatt's blog. I always enjoyed reading Wyatt's blog. He had a great insight into the human spirit, was great at expressing himself and had a great sense of humor. I felt like I knew him even though I had never met him. I was deeply saddened to learn of his death and moved by the vast number of people that Wyatt had touched in his too short life. In any case I wanted to say thanks for the post. Also, I want to add that I am sorry about your sister.

Kyla Ammon said...

Wow. I am speechless. Thank you for writing this.

Bruno :-) said...

Dear Family and Friends of Wyatt:
Thank you for letting me share his story. Thank you also for visiting my blog and your comments. While you were blessed to have had Wyatt, he was also lucky to have been born into such a loving and closely-knit family. My very best wishes for the Christmas season and the coming new year. Tarcs

renee said...

Tarcs, I am in awe how we can be a source of hope, inspiration, love to complete strangers. I believe so that we are all here for a reason. We might not be able to change the world in big ways, but as long as we can make a difference in even just one person's life, that is enough reason for us to continue making a difference by offering hope rather than fear, faith rather than doubt, love rather than indifference.

Duke Dog Would said...

I wish I had read this sooner. I bumped into an old friend, someone who only knew Wyatt from my stories, and she told me about it. This is very refreshing, something old/new about my best friend. This is a good reference next time I introduce someone to Wyatt. People remember the time they met him, in person or by stories. I couldn't wait to introduce a new friend to him, and I still can't.