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For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.

The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.

To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.

― Cynthia Occelli


Loss and Grief

Dear Ren,

We may not have been close friends, or even friends. We were more like acquaintances. We usually speak over the phone, with me asking you if there are any availability on your tours, and you telling me super enthusiastically to “lock it in!”. Over the past 3 winters, our most recent phone conversations consisted of that. This winter, around Xmas/NY, after calling you for tour availabilities, you said that we should catch up soon, with Hay and Tom. And I said “yes, for sure! Once it gets less busy, we should all meet for a drink!” I thought I had until March/April to follow through. But now you are gone.

I remember when I first came to Niseko and was a little nobody. Meeting all the “locals” were extremely intimidating, but you were very friendly and made me feel included in conversations. This made me realize what a big heart you had.

I must apologize for the last two time you entrusted Woodley in my care. I love Woodley to bits! The first time, he wasn’t allowed inside my rental place and had to stay with my neighbour, I was with him until bedtime and they took excellent care of him! The second time, I thought I could make it up to you as it was a last minute request from you. But my bunny and Woodley didn’t get along and I had to put him up in our staff lodge for 2 nights. Although our crew took wonderful care of Woodles, I felt like I let you down. I having my own pet, I cannot be more apologetic for this.

I’ve never experienced death outside of an aging relative before. I most certainly have never experienced death of a life taken too soon. My body is in shock from the news I heard this afternoon. I was informed that “a Sam” was caught in an avalanche, and I thought “Nah, it’s not Ren”. Not more than 2 hours after this, I learnt it was you. I couldn’t stop shaking and can’t stop shaking. We are not close, nor are we really friends, but Niseko has lost a great heart today. You were a legand here, and your legacy will live on. Rest in peace that although the town grieves for you, your family is also our family. Your boy will grow up knowing you are a legend, not just of Niseko, but just an overall awesome human being; And the town will always have your lady’s back.

I am honoured to have met you, and for you to have been part of my life in Niseko. Niseko lost a great man today, but your soul and memory will always be here. You and your great Kiwi laughter will be, and are, incredibly missed. Your enthusiasm for adventure will always live on. Tomorrow, we will shred in your memory.

It’s that time of year again…

Disclaimer: emo post =P

It’s that time again, when everyone starts leaving again. I haven’t touched this blog in ages, due to the general busy-ness leading up to winter, and winter itself. It’s been a tough season for me, but I definitely learnt a lot and grew in my promoted position at work.

That said, attachments to the people staying just for the season (our staff affectionately known as meatpies/meatysb), always develops. And they are going to be leaving soon. Onto their next chapters. Our little town will be quiet again.

I had a dream this morning, it’s ok but still sad, of all my meatpies (thid season and last) excitedly talking and leaving for their next destinations. I’m so happy for them, that they managed to find the next big thing they want(ed) to do, during their time in Niseko. And it has also been an honour to be part of their lives for it. But, it’s also sad to know that you are now just a side character in the previous chapter of their adventures. Like I said, it’s ok and expected for every winter, as long as I live here.

But this seasons goodbye will be tough, especially when you’ve fallen in love with someone who needs to continue on their adventure…