In expressing my deep sorrow publicly I have received some very kind words, emails, comments on Facebook and telephone calls. I really don’t like attention and I don’t like the Social Media craze nor do I want or need praise or pity from someone in order to feel like I exist. It is however very nice to know people care and I appreciate their sympathies expressed to our Voyageur Family and to Mark’s family as well. Death is a difficult thing to deal with.
This death has been especially awful. I know it’s more difficult to accept death when it is unexpected and when someone is young. I also realize a death of a parent, child, sibling or other close relative or friend is very hard. I was informed by a fellow outfitting business owner and friend that we are in a unique situation when it comes to the death of an employee.
You see when you work at Voyageur Canoe Outfitters it is a very unique situation. It isn’t like a McDonald’s where a person clocks in at 10am and clocks out at 6pm to go home. We don’t have hundreds of employees each year. We have a handful of people who come to work for us each year. Most of these people come just for the summer season. When they work at Voyageur they eat three meals a day with us, they live on property, they work side by side with us and many times they recreate with us too. Whether it’s a hike, a boat ride, a dinner or just chatting in the lodge the little free time we do have in the summer we spend with our Voyageur Crew.
When you spend that much time together it’s more than a work relationship and it’s more than a dorm relationship. It’s almost like adopting someone into your family. As I’ve gotten older I’ve felt more like a Mother Bear to our Voyageur Crew then ever before. I worry about their safety when they are out towing or camping. I want to make sure they are eating enough food and drinking enough water. I warn them about speeding, using seat belts and wearing their life vests so much that I’m sure it’s annoying. I only do it because I care about them and I feel somewhat responsible for them even though most of them are already self-sufficient adults.
Members of our Voyageur Crew aren’t just our employees. They are much more than that and we develop a bond and relationship with these people that isn’t normally made in the real world anymore. Maybe as a part of a wagon trail, Native Tribe, Cult or Big Brother cast you would develop similar relationships but not many other places would allow the opportunity for this type of unique relationship to occur. We depend upon each other, we care about one another and we love each other.
I guess it boils down to love. The less you love someone the less it hurts when they die. The more you love someone the more you hurt when they are gone. The unique situation we have at Voyageur is that we love a lot of people and never once had I thought about losing one of them. I wasn’t prepared, it was unexpected, Mark was young and he was a part of my family.
I’m trying to rationalize the hurt I feel. Why it hurts so much. Good people, kind people, they die every day right? But not my good, kind person who has lived under the same roof for three years. Not Mark Ceminsky. Maybe grief has to do with the size of heart the person who died had, that would explain it. Mark had a super big heart and so I, along with others who knew him will feel super big grief.
It’s a unique situation and it’s one I don’t like nor do I want to be in again any time soon.
Mark was a loyal reader of my blog, always complimenting me on my posts. I don’t know what he would think of this one.