I had written this essay about my brother-in-law, Warrick Lyn, four years ago in a writing seminar up in the mountains of Bussard Meadows. The theme was on “loss” and, after many barren hours, Warrick’s death, and life, started consuming my imagination. When the words came pouring out, I realized that I was not just writing about my loss but also of Warrick’s loss. I had meant to post this essay but it seemed unfinished then. Recently, I came across my draft and have decided to share my thoughts about him.
Warrick would have been 70 yesterday. Seven years ago, doctors said he had cancer that had spread to his spine. Only two months after diagnosis, he could no longer walk. He lost his will to live. He said he would like to die on his Dad’s death anniversary that year. And he did, peacefully.
Warrick was this tall good looking man with a generous heart and an endearing stammer — dark, simpatico and with all the right moves, as they say among his circle of friends. He was a popular college soccer player — a young man about town, chased by many women and envied and admired by many men.
In the 60s and 70s, he traveled the world introducing a new musical genre — reggae– as a sound engineer and producer, shaping the finest works of many reggae bands. The late reggae icon Bob Marley was one of his closest friends. A brilliant future was assured.
Warrick was the adored Uncle Wawa to his nieces and nephews. He was the cool one, the one loved by all.
And then everything stopped. The travels ended. The applause turned to silence. Big dreams seemed to have vanished. The seeming decision was to paint houses, to stay home, to be the other half of an amazing love story. Years came and went…quietly.
I have always wondered — was Warrick’s life a fulfilled one, a life well-lived? Is to love and be loved enough? As Henry Thoreau wrote, “Many people live their lives in quiet desperation, and die with a song still inside them.”
I knew Warrick had that song. I continue to mourn for Warrick. I mourn for the song that will never be sung, the song I will never hear.