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Posted by: Sasheena at Thu Sep 7 09:36:25 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Sasheena ]  
   

I first read the headline with utter disbelief. Almost with a laugh in my heart: Steve Irwin dead? Can't be true!

One of his greatest legacies is the boundless enthusiasm with which he lived his life. There's a great Thoreau quote that really says it all... I'll have to unearth it and add it to a response message, but the gist is that it is better to LIVE your life to the fullest and have it be short, than to live to a great age but never really to have lived at all. Steve LIVED his life, and he granted to all of us the opportunity to live it with him.

Some, perhaps too many, say that "well he died doing what he loved to do." It seems trite and over-used when I hear it over and over again. But it was the first response I had once I realized that he really had died. If he had been mugged, killed by a car accident, or unfortunate enough to be in a plane that crashed, that would have been the true tragedy. From the time he started to walk and talk his love was to be with the animals, and in truth, he was with them up to the very moment of his death.

In my daughter's high school history class she relates that the teacher always has a "news tidbit of the day". Tuesday's tidbit was about Steve Irwin. Many students shared their feeling of loss. The summation that the teacher made left my daughter feeling unsettled. The teacher said "A hundred or more other people died over the weekend, but you don't even know THEIR names, what makes the death of THIS man so special?"

We talked about it and could only summarize that the magnitude of loss a person feels over another person's death has a great deal to do with the amount that person has affected your life. Joe Nobody on the street, who died over the weekend, hasn't affected our lives (though he certainly has affected someone's life). But Steve Irwin affected our lives by the message he continually shared. His loss leaves a void that might be partially filled by others, but can't be fully filled. That is why his death affects us.

Steve: Thank you for living your life in such a wonderful way, for affecting my life, for caring for the animals.
-----
~Sasheena


   

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