The Final Hike

Justin passed away this morning peacefully surrounded by family. Thank you all for loving him and supporting him through this journey. Attached is his final blog post… Alicia

Death is Funny

When you die your mouth flaps open and your eyes roll up in a very goofy way. You turn blue like Violet Beauregarde in the Willy Wonka movie. Then your loved ones put you in a box with no TV, no snacks—just you in a box like you’re a packaged-up Buzz Lightyear toy. Then worms eat you. You’re a human, the biggest baddest apex predator and then you get eaten by worms, which you use as bait to catch the animals you actually want to murder. (Unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case, good job, but still, worms eat you, which is ironic.) Then you’re a skeleton, and skeletons are funny looking. They always smile and their eyes, or eye-holes as it were, are huge like anime eyes. Unless you’re cremated, and then you’re literally turned into protein powder. Which I’d argue is even funnier.


		

13 Comments +

  1. I’m in tears and heartbroken for all of you, and I’ve never even met Justin. I had been following the blog forwarded to me by a friend. What an absolutely wonderful person he seemed to be. I laughed so many times reading his posts, and also felt overcome by sadness other times. Alicia, how lucky you are to have had him in your life…I’m sending a heartfelt hug from a stranger! I cannot imagine the responses you’ll receive as people open their email, and maybe in time that will bring some sort of comfort. I’m so very sorry you weren’t given more time.

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  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. What Justin shared throughout his journey, though humorous at times, was raw and real. I lost both of my parents to brain cancer before they could tell me how they felt, and what they were feeling. There were so many things they wanted to do before dying but with only 11 weeks for one and 14 weeks for the other, you can imagine how quickly things moved. From his blogs, Justin grabbed every opportunity he could and shared even the most vulnerable feelings. He seemed to rarely be idle and take on some pretty big adventures throughout his life. I looked forward to read every blog I received, with hopes this particular post never came. Thank you for sharing his final post. I pray that you all find peace in the life that he lived and the love that he shared!

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  3. I have been in awe of Justin’s strength, humor, rawness and pure truth. An open book. I would feel every post and imagine him and didn’t have to guess how he was feeling or thinking because he would write it down. I will think of his family and friends all on the inside so close to him, the ones who he loved with everything he had and hope you all peace. I am so sorry.

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  4. I have a friend up here in the high peruvian Andes, his laught and his sense of humor always will be remembering, he will hike on the trail to Machupicchu with us in our minds and hearths, Justin my friend you are the best forever..!!!

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  5. I prayed for a miracle for Justin. So sorry that didn’t happen. I will continue to pray for you Alicia as I imagine it wasn’t easy to hike beside your loved one as he fought for his life. Blessings to you.

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  6. I am so heart broken by this news. Alicia I remember visiting you and Justin in the waiting room at Roch.Mayo when my husband and I were there with our son Dustin. I remember how humorous and positive Justin was and how my husband was in a good conversation with Justin’s dad about a cabin/house up north. You all are just super nice people. I know Justin will be deeply missed by so many. I pray that you will find peace and comfort. Blessings to you all.💙

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  7. Justin and I didn’t know each other all that long, and we only met because of the monsters in our heads.
    We were always there for each other when things were going well and when they were not.
    This world was a place with Justin in it, I will never forget him.

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  8. Alicia, I am so saddened to hear of Justin’s passing. I’m remembering first meeting you both at an ABC weekend camp trip, sitting around the fire singing along to him playing guitar 🎸 his humor and brutal honesty were such a gift to his readers. He will be missed. My heart goes out to you.

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  9. Alicia, I am very sad to learn this news…my thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones as you face this new threshold. I have stayed connected with Justin through Above and Beyond. We trekked together on the first Everest journey in April, 2011. I remember Justin’s reaction during one of our initial conversations when he found out that I was a high school principal. He said, “If you would have been the principal at my school, you would have known me well because I was a regular in that office.” I told him that I worked to build relationships with the frequent flyers who were sent to my office, and used them as my “technical advisors” to create positive changes in the school. Justin told me that he wished I would have been the principal at his school, which I took as a real compliment. Of course there were many comments from him during the trek indicating I would assign detentions, etc. if anyone was out of line :). I appreciated Justin’s genuine and transparent views of life, his humor, and his sense of compassion. He touched many lives in a positive way during his earthly time and has an amazing legacy that will live on. Sending hugs and may you find peace and comfort in your beautiful memories. God bless…

    Linda Hoskins

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  10. I am thinking about so many things but mostly I see him, bounding into our townhouse on one of his first “offsite” visits from the Hope Lodge back in 2010, so excited to show me the ring he had chosen for you. What did I think? Would she love it? Of course, I said. Of course!

    We love you, Alicia, and we sit with you. We are so, so sorry.

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  11. I guess eventually the hirsutism caught up with him…. Justin would understand.

    A terrible loss and relatively sudden. I’ll remember Justin while I’ve still got a brain capable of doing so.

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  12. Alicia, I am in tears over the loss of your husband even though I’ve never met him. He displayed incredible humor throughout this journey, all the while realizing the numerous obsticles. Clearly his love for you and his family were ever present in his posts. The journey has been difficult and I’m sorry you weren’t given more time together. I wish you peace, comfort, and wonderful memories of this extraordinary man. I am so sorry.

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  13. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I know your pain is great. May the memories of better times past fill your heart with moments of joy in spite of the immense grief. Prayers for all who loved, adored and cared for him thru his arduous journey.

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