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  • Writer's picturejennifer jade merrihue


Updated: Oct 18, 2021

He loved to climb mountains.

Led excursions to climb uncharted ones all o

ver the world.

He died falling off a mountain the week before he was going to the moon.

Daisy- was the used hearse he bought that would fit all his mountain climbing gear. His gf at the time had sewn him tiny curtains for his tiny hearse windows with tiny daisies on them.

My grandma climbed uncharted mountains with him and 6 other men, in snow and ice, 6 months pregnant.

When I worked for the red cross,

I googled him, trying to find any books or articles on him that I could collect.

I wanted to connect with him through his work.

Even though I'd never met him.

A few articles trickled in and 2 books. One on his findings as a marine biologist.

Others on his findings of a meteorite that predated the big bang.

And one non-fiction book about a man climbing, that didn't seem to have anything to do with my grandpa. But looked entertaining.

I read that book, expecting that somewhere in it maybe my grandpa would briefly show up.

Near the end, I found him.

The narrator and writer of this book, was the man who found my grandpa in the moments that he died.

He had stayed the night with my Grandpa, Grandma, and my 5-year-old dad - the night before it happened. A simple night he described in detail. Words decorating images I had spent decades trying to imagine.

Gramps had fallen off of Mt. Washington.

His last few breaths were exchanged with this writer, who was trying to give him mouth-to-mouth.

The writer had learned mouth-to-mouth through the Disaster Services department... at the Red Cross.

At the exact moment I was reading this paragraph- I was working in the Disaster Services department at the Red Cross.

I will hold this little experience close to my heart forever.

It feels like some magical transcendent connection to a man I would have given anything to know.

My family and I had never known that the man who found him had anything to do with the Red Cross. I had always wanted to work there for some reason.

I had also always wondered about the day he died. I had always imagined the night before. I had painted in detail the words they might have said, the moments leading up.

And here was a detailed, intimate, recap of this moment.

Sometimes what you ask from life can be really fucking weird. Weird and fucking brilliant when you get it. You don't have to know HOW things will happen. You just have to know what you want and then surrender to all things being possible, even when they seem completely out of your control.

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