Warrick’s Song

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. 

th-1Warrick 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.

Composed by Frederick Hibbert and Warrick Lyn, Photo courtesy of vtialsheetmusic.com

Composed by Frederick Hibbert and Warrick Lyn, Photo courtesy of virtualsheetmusic.com

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.  

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This entry was posted in Family Stories, Life Choices, Loss, Music, Reggae and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Warrick’s Song

    • prior2001 says:

      well I had the hardest time leaving a comment – think something glitchy is going on again for me – but I made it.
      This was such a moving read – you did a great job with sharing his story in a detailed way with such succinctness – while also giving us a lot to think about in general – on life and loss. and that Thoreau quote is yet another ponderous one. Sade when folk do die with their song, but I think many times a quiet life lived and maybe one without a lot of certain things – well it was just a song with a different tune – or a different melody – maybe like Thoreau’s different drumbeat quote. My initial take is that Uncle Wawa had much contentment from he music days – that allowed him to settle and not flounder. I guess I have seen “burnout and stuckness” in selling – with unsung songs, but also see contented quiet and certainty with a dropped anchor. I dunno – just some thoughts this nice reflective post has me thinking about….


  1. Such a beautiful tribute! Warrick seemed to have been a very special man. Some songs will live on forever even if they aren’t sung. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pattimoed says:

    What a wonderful tribute, Likeitiz. He sounds like he was a very remarkable man. Yes, you do have to wonder if he was completely satisfied with the second half of his life. I know several other people who have had a great deal of fame and success in the first part of their lives and then chose a more quiet and reclusive second half surrounded by loved ones. Intriguing question.


    • esmeraldalyn says:

      Thanks for your comment. Many people are in single-minded pursuit of success, acclaim, wealth. Some eventually realize that loving relationships are what matter most, but others never do. Or when they do, it is too late.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lucid Gypsy says:

    A touching tribute, so many people reach a certain peek in their careers and dreams and then grind to a halt, I hope Warwick’s was a happy peek, it sounds like it was.

    Liked by 2 people

    • esmeraldalyn says:

      Yes, your comment reminds me of what columnist David Brooks said: “Within each of us are two selves – the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love — the values that make for a great eulogy.” Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves? I guess Warrick succeeded in balancing these two selves, albeit serially rather than simultaneously. His funeral was attended by hundreds of people and the eulogies were so heartfelt and touching. In the end, love more than the resume triumphed.

      Liked by 2 people

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