One month ago today, I lost my brother in a tragic accident. He was standing on rocks on the shore of Lake Superior and a large wave caught him and pulled him in. The tragedy was compounded when a bystander attempted to rescue him and was also pulled in by the waves. They both drowned.

Alec told us about some of his big dreams for things he wanted to do, and asked for our ideas on ways around problems that he saw. But he didn’t tell us about many of those things that he then accomplished, so much of his short life’s work we have only learned about since his death. (He said that he preferred to work in the background; he succeeded.)

I miss my brother. I’ve been awed both by the kindness in responses from the worldwide community of people-who-knew-Alec and by learning so much about him that I never found out while he was alive. I’m grateful that just two months before he died, I visited him at his home in Belgium and spent several days with no agenda but to be with him; a wonderful visit that I’ll always cherish. I’m grateful beyond words for kind and caring people in my extended family, my church, and my workplace. I hope I learn to practice a little more of what he lived; intentionally connecting to people, and looking for practical ways to help build people and heal the earth.

Alec Johnson’s Personal Web Page

Michael Tiemann January 23, 2015 07:06

I am sorry to hear of that!  Reading his memorial tribute reminds me of what our family went through when we lost my father, Jerry Tiemann.  He was 74 at the time of his death, but 20 years younger than either of his parents were when they passed.  All of us were so shocked that he died so “young”.  My father, who studied with some of the famous Manhattan Project luminaries at Los Alamos in the 1950s, would have joked “it’s all relative”.

Ed Bailey January 23, 2015 07:51

I’m so sorry for your loss, and frankly, for the world’s loss, as Alec has done more for others in his short life than many do in their three score and ten (or twenty.)

Pádraig Brady January 23, 2015 08:38

Wow he definitely was one of the good ones. I’m sorry

Scudder Mead January 23, 2015 10:16

Michael… I know there are no words to aleve the pain or to fill the empty place in your heart. Hold close your brothers memory and let time do it’s work and do your best to celebrate his life.

Jennifer Storey February 08, 2015 22:19

Losing a brother is so hard, it’s like losing an invisible part of yourself. Much support as you find new ways to cherish him with every day that passes.

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