I write this blog with a heavy heart, having learned recently of the tragic death of “Big Wave Dave” in an avalanche in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He was Andy’s big brother and his best friend. He was my beautiful brother-in-law and “Uncle Dave” to our two girls. I still can’t believe I’m writing this in past tense. I wish it wasn’t real.
Dave was a Bondi Beach legend, having taught surfing for many years (which is how he acquired his nick name). He was a natural leader, teacher, and mentor and had a knack for taking people under his wing as a surf coach, ski coach, and friend. He was a larger than life character who’d do anything for anyone. His enthusiasm for life was infectious and he was loved by so many. His passing has left a gaping hole in our hearts and in the hearts of all those who knew him.
Dave was the epitome of what it means to “Grab Life”. He lived every moment of his life fully – and was doing so right up to the moment his life was taken.
For those of you who’ve experienced the loss of someone you love – be it through illness or sudden death – I know you’re with me in saying that life changes forever in that moment. I can’t imagine it’s something that we ever get over – we can only hope to learn to live in the wake of it.
So, where to from here? How do we navigate through this dark cloud in order to move forward? How do we ‘bounce back’ from something like this?
I don’t know the answer – I imagine it’s different for us all. What I do know is that it’s not something we can get over, under or around. The only way through it is… through it.
So, as we brace ourselves for the roller coaster ahead, I’m comforted by the knowledge that Dave would want us to keep grabbing life and to think of him while we’re at it.
Our tribute to you, Dave Hannagan, is to live life as you would. In doing so, your spirit will remain alive and well within us – forever.
May you rest in peace, and know that your legacy lives on.