“T” is for Trevor from Texas

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

- Kahlil Gibran

I’m really tired. I wasn’t going to write a post today.  I just came home from work, and quite honestly I felt like relaxing away from the computer this evening – it’s not easy working full-time and keeping up with all that blogging entails, and I’m seriously thinking I should take a break – but this story is insisting on being written, and I know it’s not just because FrizzText’s ABC photo challenge is “Tagged T” this week…

I haven’t communicated with our friends Arnie and Barbara from Dallas, Texas, in some time, and I don’t know whether today is a special date for them, but this post is about their son Trevor.

Trevor was in the final days of an eight month journey through  India and South-East Asia before coming home to start medical school in the States, when he disappeared in Nepal, near the Mt. Everest base camp.

He was last seen on July 22nd 2005 “going to take some photographs…

He was twenty-five.

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The best way share Trevor’s story is to quote from an article Paul J. Blank wrote in the New Jersey Jewish News (December 25,  2008):

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 “This summer I trekked in Nepal to the base camp of Mount Everest… 

  At 15,500 feet, I came upon an area of chortens, rocks arranged on top of each other in memorial to those who have perished while trekking or climbing the highest peaks in the world.

  There are many dangers in these activities, including disorientation, hypothermia, hunger, altitude sickness, avalanches, rockslides, falling off cliffs, and plunging into crevasses. Over the years, 185 people have lost their lives on Mount Everest.

The names of world-class climbers and renowned Sherpas were inscribed on the various chortens…

I noticed a chorten that included a Jewish star as well as some Hebrew lettering. The climbing victim was identified as Trevor Eric Stokol from Dallas. According to the dates that were given, he died on July 22, 2005, at the age of 25.

Knowing nothing about Stokol except for the information on the chorten, I nevertheless felt compelled to honor his memory in accordance with Jewish ritual. I reasoned that this was not a location where friends and family were likely to visit, or other Jewish people would pass by. I put on a kipa, said a short prayer, and placed a stone on the chorten, as is traditional to do on tombstones at Jewish cemeteries.

After coming off the mountain, I researched the circumstances of Stokol’s death.

On the path to Everest base camp, he wandered off from his group, probably to get a better picture of the summit. When he did not rejoin the group, fellow hikers and Sherpas began an extensive search. The U.S. Embassy announced the disappearance, and Stokol’s family flew to Nepal, overseeing a search by foot and in helicopters that lasted eight days.

Stokol’s body was never recovered. Most probably he was killed by an avalanche that had been reported in that area on the same day. The family called off the search and returned to Texas to begin the mourning period. The following year, they returned to Nepal to erect the chorten, putting objects pertaining to Trevor’s life within the rock structure.

Stokol was an exceptional young man. He was a graduate of Emory University. He was an excellent student, very well-read, and a passionate writer, as can be seen by his journal entries…”

Click here for the complete article.

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- R.I.P Trevor -

- You are not forgotten -

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For more information on Trevor’s tragic disappearance click here

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About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
This entry was posted in Not America, The Natural World, Wandering, Wondering and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to “T” is for Trevor from Texas

  1. I know it is very hard to come home after working all day and put together a post, but I am so glad you did share this story, Rosie. This is such a tragedy. I marvel at the adventurous spirit of men and women who aspire to climb Everest, but when I hear this story I just feel so sad thinking of how his parents have had to endure this loss. What a story!

  2. I see similarities in the two stories you’ve posted in sequence – that of Wolfgang and that of Trevor. Yes, the circumstances are sad, but I choose to see the positive in both of them. Although one saw death coming and the other did not, they both pursued dreams. That is something we should not forget. We don’t always get to choose the time we die, so it is especially important not to put off doing things we want to do. Thanks for sharing.

    • dearrosie says:

      Oh gosh Tara thank you for your wonderfully insightful comment. I wasn’t sure what my readers would think when I posted stories of two tragic deaths one after the other and you got it! As we don’t get to chose when we’re going to die, its important to follow our dreams as Wolfgang and Trevor did.

  3. dadirri7 says:

    how appropriate the response by the good villager …. death comes to us all, we do not know when , our job is to live fully each day, expressing whatever life wants of us, and i am sure that is what trevor was doing …. wonderful story thanks rosie :)

    • dearrosie says:

      Tara’s response was perfect. Though we all know we’re going to die one day we can’t obsess over that fact, but must try live our lives as fully as possible. Thank you for joining the conversation Christine.

  4. adinparadise says:

    What a tragic story, Rosie. I can’t imagine losing one of my children. My heart goes out to that family. What a lovely and lasting tribute to his life, that chorten is. Thanks for sharing the story.

    • dearrosie says:

      Trevor’s disappearance is a parent’s nightmare. Mr F and I could only pray and hope while his parents frantically searched for their son somewhere in the mountains in Nepal.

      To place a chorten on that mountain top is a lovely tribute and I guess gave them some closure. Thank you for joining the conversation Sylvia.

  5. Oh, Rosie, this is so terribly tragic! It makes me want to weep. Thanks for sharing it.

    Sorry you’re so tired, my friend. It IS hard to do much else of anything and keep up with blogging–especially work. It was impossible during our move here to Ecuador, but I’m now trying to return to regular posts–or more regualr, as the case may be. Get some rest!

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Kathryn,
      Trevor’s disappearance was a heartbreaking and tragic way to end a life that was only just beginning.

      Thank you for popping round while you’re still involved with your long distance move to Ecuador. I’m going to take you advice and get some rest. Thanks.

  6. aFrankAngle says:

    Tragic …. things like this happen to people we don’t know, thus don’t expect it to happen close to us. Thanks for the story.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Frank,
      We don’t expect to learn that a young American man can simply disappear somewhere near Everest Base camp. A horrible reminder of just how dangerous it is over there.

  7. Debra Kolkka says:

    What a waste of a young life, and how terrible for the family left behind.

    • dearrosie says:

      Trevor’s life was tragically ended before he had a chance to prove himself worthy of it. He was going to start medical school the next week.

  8. shoreacres says:

    I’m not sure I agree that Trevor’s life was wasted. Clearly, he was adventurous, skilled, engaged in life and willing to accept risk. While some people like to ponder whether life exists after death, he will willing to live before death – whenever it came.

    What intrigues me most is the Jewish custom of adding a stone to the chorten. I didn’t know about this, and it reminds me of the custom of travelers placing additional rocks on cairns. It seems as though there must be some connection – another curiosity to explore!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Linda,
      Trevor’s life was taken from him before he had a chance to live it or to prove himself worthy of it, but though it ended so tragically he took the risk because it allowed him many wonderful adventures. A good way to go.

      “Chortens” aren’t Jewish. I believe they are Buddhist religious structures which are built in someone’s memory and also to protect a potentially dangerous place like a high pass.

      I don’t know the origin of the Jewish custom of placing stones on a grave or tombstone. I think it’s a symbolic act to show someone has come to visit the grave so the deceased hasn’t been forgotten.

  9. Oh what a darling face! This story made me so sad… I love the Jewish custom of adding stones to the chorten, and because my in-laws were both Jewish, we always take stones to the graveyard in New Jersey where they are buried. Such a sad story …. Thanks, Rosie — now go take your break!!!

    • dearrosie says:

      He did have a darling face. I don’t know why we place stones on a grave but as far as I know Jews all over the world practice the custom. Interesting!
      Thanks for the encouragement that I take a break :D

  10. lexiesnana says:

    So sad. I loved that even when you are so exhausted you think of others.

    • dearrosie says:

      It is so sad to think that just as he was getting ready to enjoy his life it was taken away from him. Thank you for joining the conversation lexiesnana. I really appreciate your kind comment.

  11. Linda Rena says:

    Hi Rosie,
    First, I want to thank you for the different
    Journeys You have taken me on. I
    understand how tired you must be.
    I am still on the eating journeys and memories of Langers with my Dad.
    But, that’s another journey.

    I do feel sad for Trevor T ‘s accident.
    But, I was thinking, was he sad about
    doing his Dream? About getting this
    Great Photo? I do think he must have
    Realized the chances he was taking?
    Then again the sadness for his family
    and friends. Trevor was a wonderful
    Person. But, at the end of the day
    It is sad that we lost such a good soul.
    Thank you so much and please relax
    Love,
    Linda

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you Linda. I’m sure Trevor’s parents must be celebrating his life by remembering his favorite meals. We don’t know what photo he wanted to take or whether he even took it because he and his camera were never found.

  12. Kathy says:

    So sorry to read this about Trevor. Can not even imagine losing a child and never really knowing, although of course one probably knows. Rosie, bless you for posting even when you’re tired. I don’t know how people who work FT find the time to blog regularly. You are an inspiration in more ways than one!

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for your nice comment – you’re too kind Kathy.
      Someone who knows Trevor’s aunts left me a comment this morning to tell me that his body had been found a few months ago. Blogging makes the world so much smaller.

  13. kz says:

    i really liked the response from The Good Villager, i for one was completely speechless after reading this, all i could think of was the sadness and loss… but now that i think of it, at least he was pursuing his dreams til the very end.. certainly better than leaving this world without even trying. what a story this is. thanks for posting even when you were feeling tired :)

    • dearrosie says:

      Thank you for joining the discussion kz. Trevor’s death raises the thought provoking question of whether its better to take a chance and pursue our dreams even though they could cost us our life, or live a life full of regret because you never went on that trip before medical school.

  14. frizztext says:

    disappeared in Nepal, near the Mt. Everest base camp… – oh my God!

    • dearrosie says:

      That’s exactly what we said when we first heard he was missing.

      Someone left me a comment this morning telling me that she’d heard his body had been found.

  15. Dee Ready says:

    Dear Rosie, thank you for sharing this tragic story with us and for the link to the article. When a human dies young, we mourn all she or he will never know. It is Trevor’s parents and his family who carry forward the memory of his deep down goodness. And you, too, with this posting honor this lovely young man.

    As to taking some time off, that makes so much sense to me. We all need to regroup and recoup and regain a sense of perspective and proportion about blogging. I’d miss your posts, but I’d know that you were taking care of yourself. And that is be far the greater good. Peace.

    • dearrosie says:

      We can’t imagine the nightmare Trevor’s family went through, and I’m sure are still going through, as they mourn his tragic death.

      In their “statement” after their son’s disappearance Trevor’s parents wrote:
      “We know you care. There are no words that can comfort us, so just be here. You won’t say the wrong thing, and you can’t cry too much. Trev’s death is a loss to us all.”

      Thank you for your understanding and support that I need to take time off from blogging.

  16. Linda Rena says:

    Rosie, sorry I wrote so much.

  17. souldipper says:

    Because God answers prayers retroactively, I pray that Trevor did not have to suffer. Then I pray that his parents’ grief is at least tolerable now. Much Love to them.

    You know I share your love of walking/hiking, Rosie. I’m well past a “Nepal” level now because my lungs don’t do a grand job of getting rid of Carbon Dioxide. I have loved every story of adventures claimed by those on Nepalese hikes. However, the words from Mr. Blank citing the various dangers in the mountains of Nepal shook me this morning. As I stomped through the Rocky Mountains in my youth, I never considered any of those dangers. I doubt Trevor considered any of them could possibly affect him.

    Speaking of heights: A friend from Ontario found he couldn’t drive mountain highways. He would freeze from the heights and creep along about 30 mph. The RCMP even stopped him once and told him to keep up to the speed limit or stay off the road. So, he’d often ask me to drive through the mountains.

    One trip, he insisted he wanted to overcome this fear. So as we climbed higher and higher, following the Mighty Thompson River, I could see him gripping the wheel. Finally he said, “I think I’ll have to pull over. We’re up too high.”

    I said, “We’re up too high? Oh! Is that what creeps you out? Well I have news for you! It’s not us that up too high! The stupid River is too low. It’s eroded the land!”

    He saw the humour, kept driving and has driving ever since.

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m sure Trevor’s parents appreciate your thoughtful message Amy. Thank you dear friend.

      Everyone who climbs a mountain like Mount Everest knows its a dangerous place but that doesn’t stop them from climbing it. I think they think more of the challenge, than the danger.

      I love how you helped your friend cope with his fear of mountain highways.

  18. What a beautiful post. It is anguishing to lose such a promising bright light. But it is likely, from what you have written about him, that he knew the art of living the Now to its utmost, seizing the day. Thank you for sharing this story. I love the idea of chortens.

    • dearrosie says:

      It hits hard in the gut when such a promising bright light is snuffed out and I’m sure Trevor’s parents tried to console themselves with the consolation that he was living life to the fullest.
      Did you see the movie “The Way”? Martin Sheen flies to Spain after his son dies walking the trail during a violent storm, and ends up walking the Camino carrying his son’s ashes.

  19. sybil says:

    Some people cram so much into their too-brief lives. And live well before they die: but oh, I wish Trevor had had more time to do more wonderful things.

  20. Linda says:

    Rosie
    I think I am in contact with his aunts Dawn and Monica, (all the sisters are pharmacists?).
    Dawn told me in March that his body had been found a few moths ago (from March).
    If this is the same person let me know as I would love the Aunts to read your blog

    • dearrosie says:

      That’s a wonderful piece of news Linda. Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I don’t know whether his aunts are pharmacists – but it must be the same person – his parents come from the same town as you and I, and there can’t be too many American Jews who disappear in the Himalayas.

  21. munchow says:

    What a sad story, Rosanne, but also a beautiful tribute to the memory of Trevor. I can only start to imagine how it’s been for his parents and those close to Trevor. Thanks for sharing the story.

    • dearrosie says:

      Its a sad story and a sobering reminder to all of us to be careful and take precautions when traveling in dangerous parts of the world.

      None of us can imagine the nightmare Trevor’s family went through. When they went back the next year to officially “unveil” the chorten in his memory, I believe they also hiked some of the route.

  22. Oh, I can only imagine the heartache Trevor’s parents have endured – what a tragedy to lose such a fine young man who would have made such meaningful contributions towards alleviating human suffering. And it is especially painful to not have recovered his body. His family set up a fitting memorial for him in Nepal, and the memorial caused a journalist to do some research and share his story – this was very moving to me. Poignant post, Rosie.

    • I just read the comments above – they must all be relieved to have Trevor’s body now, and to know for sure now…

    • dearrosie says:

      Trevor’s tragic disappearance and death was every parent’s worst nightmare. We can only imagine the heartache his parents and sister have endured.
      I thought the article written by Paul J. Blank – the journalist who came upon Trevor’s chorten on the mountain – was written with such sensitivity and that’s why I quoted from it.
      Thank you for joining in the discussion Barbara.

  23. Madhu says:

    What a tragedy Rosie. My heart goes out to Trevor’s parents. I hope finding his body brings them some closure.

    • dearrosie says:

      For Trevor’s parents his disappearance must have been a nightmare. I sincerely hope that finding his body has brought them some closure. Thank you for joining the discussion Madhu.

  24. Robin says:

    It’s a tragic story, especially for Trevor’s family and friends, but I have to admire people who live full out, unafraid of the adventures life offers.
    I recently finished reading the book “Breaking Trail” by Arlene Blum. She was one of the first American women to attempt Mt. Everest, and she led a couple of all-female mountain climbing expeditions in the 1970′s when it was thought an all-female team wouldn’t be capable of reaching some of the higher summits. Her story, so full of life, is riddled with death as well, the tragedy of people dying in summit attempts.

    • dearrosie says:

      As a parent you can understand how tragic it must’ve been for Trevor’s parents to get the news that he was missing only days before he was due back home.

      One of the messages in the movie “The Way” was to live your life to the fullest … After Martin Sheen’s son dies tragically in a mountain accident he goes to Spain to collect his son’s body and ends up learning the lesson that his son had tried to teach him ie to be unafraid of the adventures life offers.

      Thank you for sharing the story of Arlene Blum and her all female climbing team. I hadn’t heard of them – I’m going to read the book.

  25. I’m working my way backward so this is my 2nd read. After readin the joyful visit you had with your blogger friend, I went from happy to sad instatntly. I am shocked at how sad this is.An adventure that ended in tragdey. Thank you for sharing it. It gives us pause to remember to think of our loved ones whether children, family or friends.
    Namaste …
    Isadora

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Issie,
      As I mentioned in the introduction, I wasn’t going to write a post that evening because I was just too tired after a busy day at work, but it was almost as though Trevor himself wanted me to share his story.
      Adventures can so easily end in tragedy. Thank god tragedies like this don’t happen very often.

  26. bronxboy55 says:

    It’s a terrible thing to lose a child, especially one who was young, healthy, and headed for great things. But it’s all the more haunting when the death is clouded in mystery. Another beautiful post, Rosie. I wish your friends well.

    • dearrosie says:

      Good grief Charles – I somehow missed replying to this comment. I hope a reply a year later will be accepted. It also gives me a nice excuse to say hello and hope you’re doing well.

      With kids of your own you can understand what a nightmare it must’ve been for Trevor’s parents to get the awful news “your son is missing on the mountain”. Just writing the words down has given me chills.

  27. I’m sorry to hear about Trevor. So young. I am sad as well for the parents and love ones he left behind. No words to describe when we loose a love one. Thanks for sharing this story.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hello IT,
      I just discovered that I hadn’t replied to your comment. My apologies.
      Thank you for joining in the discussion.

      I agree that there are no words to describe the pain of losing a loved one, especially one who is so young and who had his whole life ahead of him.

      I hope you and your wife and son are well.

  28. By chance I was browsing the web and landed on your site. I am Trevors’ uncle Mervyn residing
    in Somerset West, South Africa. Thank you for creating such a wonderful forum in which Trev can still be remembered.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Mervyn,
      I’m delighted to meet a relative of Trevor’s. Thank you and welcome. I appreciate that you took the time to introduce yourself and let me know you were here.

      This is a place where everyone who visits is respectful and Trevor’s life is celebrated.

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