Sunday, August 16, 2009


On Thursday evening, my uncle Doug was killed in an automobile accident. He was forty-five. His friend Rich was driving and he was also killed. So these past couple of days have been sad.

Thursday evening I went to my grandparents' where family had gathered after leaving the hospital. I listened to my aunts Peg and Amy, my uncle Dan, my Mom, and my Grandma and Grandpa talk about Doug's obituary. I don't remember who said it first but the refrain for the evening and for now was He lived large. He lived life large. Because he did. And during the last couple of days we've been collecting Doug stories from people who knew him well or maybe not that well - but people remember Doug.

He worked at Kandu Industries. He rode a bike all over. He took many trips. In fact, when I realized I hadn't seen much of Doug this summer, I guessed he was probably off on another trip west or south or north or east.

Wednesday night Justin and I talked about Colombia, put together a slide show for our family. Doug and Rich were there. I had a camera. And I didn't take a picture. When you say goodbye you fully expect there to be another hello. Right now, I keep trying to hear Doug's laugh again.

Yesterday Amy was talking about Doug living life large. She said that most of us are stuck in boxes. Doug didn't have a box. He didn't have a box for what kind of people he could be friends with. He didn't have a box for how excited you should be about Christmas. He didn't have a box for games and hugs and laughs.

I didn't know Doug as well as I could have or maybe should have. He was always around at holidays and family dinners and camping trips. He was goofy with his nieces and nephews. He was just a lot of fun. I never felt ignored or hurt by him. I never felt uneasy or left out around him. Doug was just Doug. And I felt terrible that I hadn't gotten to know him better. Then Justin pointed out that just because I didn't have deep wandering conversations about life with my uncle - he was still my uncle. And I've learned from him, maybe more in these last couple of days when I've looked at his life and realized how blessed we each were to be around him.

So we are sad. But also amazed by how open, how wide and great his life was. Doug lived large. We thank God for giving him to us for a time. Even while we are sad that time was short.


Sergio en Colombia said...

amen, sarah.

Angela and David Kidd said...

So sorry for your family's loss. He sounds like a great person and I'm sure he's proud that you have learned to appreciate living large from him.

DC Running Mama said...

I'm so sorry. Why does it seem that people that live life large tend to leave early? Makes you wonder if deep down they had a feeling that time was limited and why not enjoy it while you have it.

The Chapples said...

I'm so, so sorry for your loss. :(

N.D. said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. My aunt died in the same way 10 years ago at the age of 40. It is horrible and so hard to grieve sudden losses!