By Shan O’Connor:
For many of us, this time of year is an awakening. We stir from the winter doldrums with a promise of rebirth and new beginnings. It is a time where we shed the old and begin anew with a renewed hope and zest for life. We are eagerly consumed with positivity at the thought of all the achievements and possibilities the Spring season brings. It is a happy time. A celebration of life.
For others, however . . . it can mark a period of sadness, as goals set previously did not come to fruition, leading to feelings of failure and low self-esteem or confidence. Time passes on with little to no change regarding a situation someone was hoping to have a positive outcome to. Any multitude of things or events can occur in a person’s life over a length of time, and looking back on a particularly difficult time can spark feelings of depression, loneliness, isolation, melancholy, and crippling sadness. The longer that timeframe is—weeks, months, or even years—the more hopeless a person may feel, as they see no end in sight to the pain they are experiencing and the further they may sink into the abyss of despair. With time, a change in circumstance, or reaching out for help, some can find a hand in the darkness or a lifeline to pull themselves back up. Others do not, and it is those who were unable to be saved that we lose to the darkness.
For the Highlander fandom, this year began on a devastating note, as we learned that not one but two of our beloved community had lost their courageous battles. First with Stan Kirsch, better known as Richie Ryan, Duncan MacLeod’s mischievous young prodigy in Highlander: The Series. Then, with barely having time to process or recover from the shock and grief of losing Stan, it was announced that John Bierly had also passed. John was a beloved friend, music lover, fan, and best known for his talent in writing and his work with Adrian Paul’s charity, The PEACEFund.
Both of these men were unmatched in their generosity and kindness and served as an inspiration to so many. Both touched the lives of all they met in such a profound way that the tremendous outpouring of love, memories, and stories of special moments shared in tribute served as a testament to their character, legacies, and the impact their lives made on us all. Gone though they may be from this world, forever they shall remain immortalized in our hearts and memories.
Gone, not forgotten.
Stirs of echoes on our hearts.
We will remember.
As we now welcome springtime, may there be happier days ahead.
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Shan O'Connor is an American freelance writer hailing from southern Louisiana and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. She is an environmental and political activist who enjoys sustainable cooking, H.E.M.A. combat and sword training, and all things literary with a passion for fantasy/horror fiction.