HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Please send prayers/thoug...

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 01:17 AM

Please send prayers/thoughts out to my aunt, uncle and cousins (Alaskan Bear victim)

The story that has been in the news yesterday and today about the Alaskan man missing since Monday and found after being mauled by a bear is a member of my direct family.

Michael Soltis was my first cousin, the eldest child of my Aunt and Uncle; and he was lost to us this week in tragedy. He went out for a hike in the woods near his home, as he had done countless times in his life and this time never returned. The cause was discovered amid a nearly additional tragedy, which was narrowly averted - as it is believed the bear that killed him attacked searchers trying to find Michael, and nearly claimed another life before being scared off.

Please send thoughts, emotions and if you pray, prayers for my aunt and uncle and cousins especially. This tragedy is more than any family should have to endure, but they deserve and need all the support that can be summoned to them. I will not name them all, in respect for their privacy, but each and every one of them are in my thoughts now.

Distance, age and circumstance kept Michael and I from being particularly close when we were children, as my aunt and uncles and cousins all grew up in and lived in Alaska, while my family was in the Chicagoland / Lake Michigan area...but I have very clear, fond memories of Michael as a child, when they visited us and we took a cross-country drive from Chicago to Florida; and when we visited them for a month in the summer before I started high school (and we toured what seemed to be the entire state in my aunt and uncle's Chevy Suburban (a dozen people on an unending tour of the great state of Alaska), and impressions of earlier visits for the birth of his siblings when we were both very young, other cousins of mine.

Michael was a free-spirited and adventurous soul, dedicated to exploration and outdoor living, which is how I remember him tonight and always. An easy-going, ever-present and semi-mischievous smile and a warm, caring disposition are what I recall, childhood impressions and memories that live on, that are apparent in the photos and memories being shared in light of this horrible time. Being kids from different worlds and experiencing those differences along the way. Riding motorcycles and canoes and bicycles. Throwing rocks across an ice-cold Alaskan lake shore (which did not end well) or into Lake Michigan from the beaches on its southern shores (which was truly less eventful)... Being kids exploring the area around the family home on those trips north, or trying to keep up with him around my own suburban neighborhood when they were visiting the lower 48.

To my everlasting regret and loss, we will not reunite or have a chance to ever look back on those childhood memories again in this life, but I carry them with me as my journey goes on with a loss deeply felt and sincere wishes for the pain to be eased for those in my family who were much closer and present in Michael's life day to day and are feeling his absence so keenly now.

Rest in peace Michael, you are no longer with us in body, but your spirit remains forevermore in the memories, minds and hearts of your family, friends and loved ones.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/21/us/bear-kills-man-anchorage-alaska/index.html

22 replies, 5439 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Please send prayers/thoughts out to my aunt, uncle and cousins (Alaskan Bear victim) (Original post)
Moostache Jun 2018 OP
BigmanPigman Jun 2018 #1
applegrove Jun 2018 #2
KT2000 Jun 2018 #3
Rhiannon12866 Jun 2018 #4
brer cat Jun 2018 #5
lunamagica Jun 2018 #6
lillypaddle Jun 2018 #7
Hekate Jun 2018 #8
KY_EnviroGuy Jun 2018 #9
airmid Jun 2018 #10
Cha Jun 2018 #11
Frustratedlady Jun 2018 #12
montana_hazeleyes Jun 2018 #13
irisblue Jun 2018 #14
Raine Jun 2018 #15
GreenPartyVoter Jun 2018 #16
hlthe2b Jun 2018 #17
GoCubsGo Jun 2018 #18
AwakeAtLast Jun 2018 #19
Moostache Jun 2018 #20
peekaloo Jun 2018 #21
RandomAccess Jun 2018 #22

Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 01:20 AM

1. How horrible for him and all of you. So very sad!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 01:22 AM

2. Hugs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 01:24 AM

3. What a loss

you and the rest of your family have my sympathy. This has to be difficult.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 01:35 AM

4. How terrible! I am so very sorry...

Thinking of you and your family.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 01:38 AM

5. What a tragic loss for you and your family.

You have given him a beautiful eulogy here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 02:01 AM

6. How awful! Thoughts and prayers to you all

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 02:17 AM

7. Horrendous

deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 02:34 AM

8. I am so very sorry for your loss

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 02:36 AM

9. Moostache, so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts are with you.

Thanks for sharing your story with our family on DU. Sounds like he was quite the happy, free spirit and I hope the good memories carry your family through your mourning.

The link below tells a story of bravery related to this tragedy and of how folks there handle these bear-related events:

Link: https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/anchorage/2018/06/21/brown-bear-believed-to-have-killed-hiker-and-mauled-searcher-stays-out-of-sight/
(snip)
Vasquez suffered a leg injury when he stepped in front of volunteer Wendi Yohman as the bear closed in on a narrow trail off Hiland Road. Yohman said Wednesday she was the first of three searchers checking the trail when a bear attacked. She said Vasquez was mauled before the trio was able to scare it off. Vasquez was rushed from the scene by a passing motorist and is expected to recover.

........ ..........

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 02:39 AM

10. Condolence and may you and your family members have the support and love you

need to get through this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 02:47 AM

11. I'm so very sorry, Moostache

RIP Michael-Moostache's Cousin

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 02:47 AM

12. I read about this earlier today and shuddered at how terrible it had to be for the victim and loved

ones. I can't begin to imagine. Deepest sympathy for your loss.

Hold on to the memories. They help.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 03:03 AM

13. I'm so sorry for your and your family's loss.

What happened is so tragic. I hope your memories of your wonderful cousin will help you . There is such a great bond between cousins.

Sending prayers for you and your family.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 03:36 AM

14. I am so sorry

Michael

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 03:40 AM

15. Sending positive thoughts and prayers

for your family...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 05:13 AM

16. Oh, god!

I am so very sorry for your loss! *huge hug* Thank you for sharing your cherished memories with us. Not sure if you know this, but we have a breavement forum here at DU that is a great source of comfort. *extra hug*

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 07:03 AM

17. The only thing that brings even the tiniest bit of light from this tragedy is reading your tribute

to your cousin. Nothing can console from the horrific manner in which he died, even while that remains part of the nature that I know he loved. But, to have a loved one, a family member, a friend speak so eloquently of you when you pass, is a wonderful thing.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 07:05 AM

18. Geez. I just heard that story about 20 minutes ago.

I am so sorry.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 08:15 AM

19. Oh how heartbreaking!

So sorry this has happened, sending prayers of comfort, peace and love to you and your family!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 09:57 AM

20. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the condolences and thoughts...

I was just reading some of the comments in the online reporting sections of many outlets reporting on this tragedy and I about lost my faith in humanity completely. So much ignorance, hate and flat out inhumanity it makes the mind reel and the soul ache. Jokes about his death, attributing it to 'liberalism', snide comments suggesting it was stupidity that led to this tragedy...enough bile and vitriol to make me want to do unspeakable things at times. I have never been in more need of an oasis of sanity than just now and I can find it here.

Here at DU, the community is everything I love and cherish about this nation, and what we collectively can be - supportive, empathetic, human. Out there in the waste land of the internet (and sadly around this country apparently), anonymous forums and reply buttons on Yahoo and Google and newspaper sites across the nation, it caters to the base and amoral in society...hideous, mean-spirited and abhorrent deviants. Anonymity gives people license to show you EXACTLY what they are, and it is not a pretty or uplifting sight.

Again, from my heart and soul, thank you DU for the kind words and thoughts and for helping me stay sane in an insane world and at an insane time. I can never thank you all enough.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 10:12 AM

21. Sincere condolences to you and your family.

Strength and peace to all touched by this tragedy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Moostache (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2018, 06:16 PM

22. I'm so very sorry for you and your family

 

for this tragic loss.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread