Editor's note: The Chief's weekly editorial represents the official opinion of the newspaper.
What defines a life well spent? It is a question all of us ask at some point or another on our journey. The common answer for many in Squamish is a worthwhile life is spent in nature. For others still, it is a life spent in nature pushing boundaries — exploring — going further, higher, faster.
For most, a life well spent also means time with family, either family by blood or for many of us in Squamish, the ragtag group of loved ones collected here in our home away from wherever we came from.
The last month has been tough for many in Squamish with the deaths of Michael Lyons Christmas Day, Chris McCrum days into the new year, the desperate search and body found of a hiker in Lions Bay on Monday, and the recent terminal diagnosis of single mom Muriel “Mouse” Hanson.
Each of these people can be said to have had lives well spent, either on outdoor pursuits or on dedication to family and community or all of the above.
There are others in Squamish suffering from losses less public, but no less devastating.
It can be easy to become depressed by not only the losses each of us face but at the current state of things — from the housing crisis to border walls to European uncertainty.
While they have become a trite Facebook quote, the words of TV’s Mr. Rogers about what to tell children during a disaster, are comforting when thinking about Squamish.
“‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’... There are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world,” Fred Rogers often recounted his mother telling him.
With each of the hardships Squamish has experienced, this year and many other times over the years, there has been an incredible coming together.
Recently, Squamish residents rallied around the loved ones of Lyons and McCrum. Many are rallying around Hanson and her girls.
Like our shared desire in Squamish to live life pushing boundaries outdoors and surround ourselves with like-minded “family,” this circling around a community member doesn’t happen everywhere. It is something powerful in Squamish that should give us solace in these trying times.
Being of service to others is also a way to have a life well spent in Squamish.
Do you have any stories of locals going the extra mile for you? Or do you have memories of someone who lived a life well spent in Squamish?
We welcome such stories of 200 words or less.
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org to be published in the next edition of The Chief.