With a certain amount of regularity, I write about the deaths of celebrities and other people who have influenced me over the course of my life. While their lives were meaningful to me superficially, their deaths are but margin notes in my life. Today is different.
With a heavy heart, I write to honor a friend and former colleague: Colin McLain.
Undoubtedly, Colin and I were not as close as some as our other friends and colleagues. As I have written before, I detest people who try to bring undue attention to themselves in times of tragedy so I refuse to embellish my relationship with him for sympathy. His parents, close friends, and extended family are infinitely more deserving of whatever sympathy or prayers you may deem appropriate, so please do not mistake this post as a plea for pity or condolences.
Nevertheless, hearing about Colin's passing today was a wounding shock to me, and to anyone who knew him. Our mutual friend Caleb put it well: "Colin McLain was smart, witty, curious, relaxed, fun and skeptical. I will miss him." I would add that he was exuberant, charismatic, and generous, and I will always remember his wonderfully wry sense of humor.
I am normally loath to use the term "tragedy," as I tend to think of events as generally unfortunate, or otherwise just sad. But Colin's death, at age 25, was indeed a tragic loss for everyone fortunate enough to have known him. I remain convinced that he was going to do great and amazing things in his life, no matter what he ended up doing professionally. He was a magnetic and dynamic young man. I'm going to miss him and forever wonder what could have been for him.
My heart goes out to his family for their loss. I can only imagine their terrible grief.
Colin McLain, R.I.P.
Photo courtesy of Colin's family, by way of KFVS12 Heartland News.