Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kurt Shryack (1962-2012)

We've come to K in the April A to Z blogfest and that means only one thing to me right now--my good friend Kurt, who died last month.

The main downside to a life of travel is that you don't get to see enough of your friends. This is especially hard for me because my friends are scattered all over the globe. Kurt was one of my Missouri circle, a great group of folks I met while going to university in Columbia and who I make a point of spending time with whenever I return to do research.

Kurt was a great guy to hang out with. He was very easy going and could talk all night about philosophy, music, history, and a host of other topics. We often went camping/partying together in Kansas with some of my other Missouri friends, and those days at camp are some of my fondest memories. Kurt was a part of all of them.

He'd been going through some rough times in the past year and had some health issues, but just like when my friend Stu Bailey died, it still came as a surprise. I'm only 42, and the illusion of immortality that goes with youth has only recently worn off. As the list of people I care about who have died relentlessly lengthens, I'm becoming more and more aware of my own limited time here, and the need not only to keep chasing my dreams, but to spend as much time as possible with those close to me. You never know when a "see you next time" will turn into a "goodbye forever."

So long, Kurt, I'll miss you.


  1. Very sorry you lost a friend.
    The closer I get to fifty the less immortal I feel.

  2. I'm so very sorry for your loss of your friend. Losing someone is never easy and it certainly does make us more aware of our own immortality.

    Monica, Older Mommy Still Yummy

  3. This was a very touching post. Even in my 30's I am feeling this way, as many people in my generation have been ill. My best wishes to you.

    I love the title of your blog (big history fan here).



  4. Hi Sean .. that's very sad - my thoughts to you, but especially his family .. it's never easy - Hilary


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