Monday, September 30, 2002

I've updated the memorial page to include statements by Brian's friend and family, including a poem from Brian's brother Steven Faughnan. I've copied the statement I put in a prior posting to that page as well.

Steven has confirmed that the RCMP and at least one (probably two) SAR volunteers did do an aerial search last Wednesday -- with no results. We don't know if they searched the areas that we'd emailed the RCMP about.


Saturday, September 28, 2002

The sun shone today, and the breeze was fine and fresh. We were warmed by the friendship and fellowship of those who attended Brian's memorial service, and those who wrote and called from afar. Elaine spoke on behalf of Brian's MOC friends, and we were warmed by her memories. We are especially grateful to the members of the St. John Fisher church, who gave of their time and donated food for the reception.

I have received an email telling me that the RCMP and an SAR volunteer performed a follow-up aerial search on September 25th, with negative results. We have not received any official confirmation, but we believe the report is correct and we are again grateful to the SAR team and the Whistler RCMP.

Max has entrusted his slides from Whistler to me. I will have them scanned in Montreal and I will send CDs to Max and to Bruce (each of whom will burn local copies as needed). I'll also put some lower resolution images on the web site as well. When I return to Montreal I will organize the pictures and memorial material on Brian's page.

Friday, September 27, 2002

The service for Brian is tomorrow - Saturday. I've written a personal statement for the memorial service, which I'll put on the web site along with some pictures of Brian and of the mountain.

Brian Douglas Faughnan
June 6, 1967 – July 2002

Brian was eight years younger than I. For the years we had with him, he was my much younger brother. When I joined the search in Whistler, the RCMP thought I was Brian’s father. Eight years can be a long time, especially if one is prone to gray hair.

I remember Brian when I left home at 19. I went far away, and I would not really see him for many years. I think we knew that when we said good-bye. He was eleven then. I remember that he held my hands when we crossed busy streets, and that I was a bit embarrassed, but also grateful. I don’t know how true that memory is, but for years I have missed him holding my hand. Now I hold the hands of my sons, and that is precious to me. I think of Brian then.

After Brian was born, we received an honorary centennial letter. He was a ‘67 baby, born on Canada’s special birthday. That impressed me then. I thought that made him special too, and so he always seemed to us. Blessed. Last summer he and I decided I was the buggy 1.0 release, and he a much-improved version. He had many gifts, he was the beloved child. Beloved by his family, by his friends, by my sons Timothy and Ben and his niece Lauren.

What did I know of Brian the adult? Not so much, at least until recent years. We corresponded and saw each other at holidays, and sometimes we visited. We seemed to think quite a bit alike, but we lived far apart. It was a grace that he stayed with my family for a month in the summer of 2001. We had an easy time together, talking of many things. He mentions one of our conversations in a screenplay. I found that screenplay in Vancouver and I read it on the plane ride home. Someday soon I’ll put some more pictures and the screenplay on the website – you can read it there if you like.

In Vancouver, when he was gone, I learned more. Sometimes psychics would say they heard him, but I could not. His friends could speak though. With his family Brian was often quiet, even reticent, with a wry, sardonic wit. In that year that was a week, I learned he could be bold and boistrous, a clown and a leader, a flirt and a mentor. I learned of his life as a teacher, an explorer and an adventurer. I learned that for a grown person, an older brother tells only a part of a story.

In Whistler, and upon the mountain with Brian’s friends, he felt as though he was close by, though I could not touch him. I remembered then older parts of my life; as though in some other world I was traveling Brian’s path.

We looked hard for Brian those bright days on Rainbow Mountain, my brother Steven first alone, and then all of us together. We looked beneath rocks, in crevasses and open fields, in dense brush and beneath ice and snow. We looked from the air and from the ground. For every place we looked, there were a thousand others. We found nothing, and yet we did find him, or a part of him. His memory was among us. On the last day there, I said good-bye to the mountain, and to him.

So he has gone. An explorer, born out of time, between the great ages of exploration, he has gone too far ahead of us. It is a terrible thing to be without him. My son Timothy adored him. Even now, abruptly, he tells us “I really miss Uncle Brian very much”. So do I. So do all of us.

Our special brother, friend, child, is gone. His thoughts and dreams and works live only in us now. We each alone and together will find our ways to carry his memory. Holding a child’s hand, eating an apple, walking the mountains, seeing the summits, I will think of him. In new paths and old ways revisited, I will think of him. We go on, but Brian is, forever, 35.

Monday, September 23, 2002

In theory the follow-up aerial search should be this week. I will be following-up with Steven (who's been our primary coordinator) with any news. My parents put an official memorial service notice in the Gazette:

Brian D. Faughnan, BEng, MEng, BFA.
He has climbed the highest mountain.
The memorial service to honor Brian's life will be held September 28th. 2002 @ 11a.m at St. John Fisher Church 120 Summerhill (Valois Bay Avenue),
Pointe Claire. Reception in the Church Hall to follow. In lieu of flowers donations to The Brian Faughnan Memorial Fund will be accepted with gratitude.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

The RCMP aerial search is tentatively scheduled for the third week of September. That is usually a time when a combination of warm days followed by cooler weather has shrunk streams and diminished snow/ice cover.

I'm arriving in Montreal late Thursday September 26th, returning to Minneapolis Monday September 30th in the pm.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

The RCMP is still planning to do the aerial search, and they've received the map we prepared and suggestions from Andrei and Michael. It sounds like later in September may be best. The weather is cooler, but the streams dry up and the ground is often more exposed. I'll post a notice here when we know more.