A friend of mine in Canada, we actually know each other through a shared passion for karate, had the most heart-wrenching tragedy happen to him and his wife. They lost their young daughter, Calista. The cause of death was sudden cardiac arrhythmia. Calista’s parents lost so much, and it is a pain that parents around them, and around the world can barely fathom. She was just about to graduate from college.
Calista’s dad, Bryce, started projects to celebrate the life of his daughter. She was deeply into photography and art, so Bryce started projects to commemorate his daughter. She was so incredibly young, and had everything great and wonderful and exciting ahead of her. It seems so cruel to have it vanish just before she really got her feet under her.
Bryce wrote this blog to talk about his daughter, the loss, and what was remaining from the day of her death:
One project that has been very interesting, and very moving is looking for ways to give his daughter places to travel and experience. Bryce had a set of coins bearing the image of his daughter on them. He passed the coins out to friends and people he knew around the world to carry with them. The instructions are to take the coins with you and pass them to other travelers. When you arrive somewhere you are to take a self-photo and send that to Bryce or the Facebook page that has been set up.
I asked Bryce to send me coins to carry and pass to people I meet on the way. Right now I am carrying one coin with me on the 88 Buddhist Temple Pilgrimage here in Shikoku. I am currently half-way through. Calista travels with me in spirit and I pray for her and her family at each temple along the way. She is a most unexpected traveling companion. We never met, and Bryce and I are friends through years of on-line discussion about karate, and have not met yet either. I think one day we shall. I would like Calista’s parents to perhaps come out our way some day, and see some of the paths that Calista and I have come down together. I hope they find some peace, and joy, and revisit the love they have for their child along the way.
It is a deep and profound privilege I feel to be part of the project. Tomorrow, Calista and I head out again for the next two-day installment of this pilgrimage. I hope you will follow along on these pages and see some of the things we have seen.