Bates College class of '04, and the world, lost a very kind soul this spring when Ben Lyster suddenly passed back country skiing with a friend. He was one of those people that reminded me very much of the Virginia Woolf quote I posted last week. He never tried to sparkle or outshine, he just did what was right and good because it was in his nature.
Facebook has become this funny thing where when people pass they now have this indefinite cyber presence through their pages. That, and memorial pages created in someone's honor have become a sort of digital prayer, and way of connecting with a lost loved one through pictures and thoughts from others.
I've gone back to Ben's Memorial Page several times, somewhat to see what new pictures and memories have been shared, but a lot to look at the picture below. It is so hard to sum someone up or capture their essence with a photograph and a few short sentences, but I think Lara, my freshman year neighbor, did it here. I love it for the coloring, the setting, and her simple and matter-of-fact way of setting the scene. It says so much about Ben and I love it for that, and how much I wish this were my reaction in the many different ways each of us could apply this situation to our lives. It feels like an important enough reminder and / or teaching moment for each of us that reads it, that I thought I'd share it.
Ben is feeding bread to the ducks because on this day, we were making a big batch of french toast and got a fertilized egg. I cried and almost puked and thought everything was ruined. Ever the optimist, Ben told me that we could get a pastry and feed the bread to the ducks.