Day 126 -May 6

National Beverage Day started out great but, indisputably, took a sharp turn into a deep dark horrifying crazy town abyss

I wish I was being dramatic

James, Duncan and I packed a picnic and then did the Sea to Summit trail in Squamish.

It was sunny and beautiful. There were beautiful vistas of waterfalls and snow capped mountains. We even saw a double rainbow and caught the gondola down the mountainside

When we got back to the city, it was still so nice and warm out that we decided to go have a beer to celebrate National Beverage Day on a patio bar somewhere in the neighbourhood.

After circling the block and finding all restaurants with decks chocked full, we decided to improvise by illegally drinking on a patch of grass across the street from our apartment

A lot of passers by commended our anti establishment drinking venue

We had Twin Sails IPA from BC and Anchor Brewing Company Lager from California. Great.

As the sun set and the day grew darker and colder, we relocated to our living room. It was then I received the news that one of the lovely couples my friend Matt and I  did the Ciudad Perdida trek with in Colombia last year had ‘passed’, as posted on their Facebook wall by their siblings.

Lina and Richard were the greatest – Matt and I adored them.  

Richard is behind me and Lina to my left (and Matt is behind her)

I was shocked and saddened by this news but found it strange, that two people in their prime of life had died, simultaneously.

When I looked into it, I was absolutely, completely and utterly horrified to find out that it was not a car accident or anything of that nature, but a violent homicide.

They were tied up for a period of time and had their throats slit. There was a text for help sent out but the response was too late. The police arrived and shot the suspect, who is currently hospitalized from his injuries. According to the articles and news reports, the killer had cut up pictures of them and wrote a message “of retribution” on the wall. They also say that there was a bag filled with Lina’s jewelry by the door.

She was from Colombia, the beautiful city of Cali. Her family was wealthy and had sent her to Boston as a teen, to avoid getting kidnapped, or worse, as that kind of shit happened to kids of her stature in that era. She was stunningly beautiful and smart as a whip. I think everyone fell a little in love with her. I know Matt and I did.

Richard was from England and sweet as pie. Just a jolly, kind and mild guy. I don’t think he had a mean bone in his body.

They were both anesthesiologists practicing in Boston. She was also an instructor at Harvard.

The media is painting them as these super wealthy aristocrats, dramatically slain in their luxury multi million dollar condo.
I only knew them as down to earth-no-hot-water-or-electricity-for-days-warm beer-drinking-while-getting-eaten-alive-by-flies-in-the-dirt-kind-and-grateful to-the-cooks-and-porters type of people. Humble as fuck.

Lina had asked me who Sarah was (as her name is tattooed on my arm)
I told her the story of losing my sister and she listened with genuine empathy.

I took this photo for them when we had reached the Ciudad Perdida that we spent days hiking towards- capturing a moment of pure love, satisfaction and hard earned success.

Now it’s now being used in Time and The Guardian’s coverage of their murder.

Their family has stated to the press that they want to remember Lina and Richard for how they lived their lives, not how they died.
That is an admirable sentiment. I really hope they can. If not now, maybe in time.  It is going to take some work.
I know, personally, I haven’t been able to get the gut wrenching vision of them tied up and petrified for their lives out of my head since I heard the news, so I can’t imagine how it must be for their family.

As sickened and heartbroken as I am, I know I will always remember them as lovely, wonderful and sweet people who lived life to the fullest.

I don’t know if it captured the extent of my sorrow, but this post (and beer and National Beverage Day), is dedicated to you guys, Lina & Richard.  You both Celebrated Everyday, Literally and were a huge inspiration to me. Mucho, mucho amor, amigos.

 

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