I am deeply saddened by the loss of a man I have never even met.
Evan Tanner was- at least in my eyes and the eyes of about 672 others who, at the time of this post, had commented on his death at www.evantanner.net- a special person. The kind of guy who lives so honestly he never really knows his place.
Of course, how can you when adventure is the place you call home?
Life can be a beautiful and tormenting enterprise for those existential nomads who realize the journey is the only destination we ever really have. It's very difficult for us as people to wrap our brains around that perception. Who are we if we have no life goal other than to fully and truly live?
Evan Tanner was an accomplished MMA fighter in the UFC, going so far as to wear the middleweight belt at one time not too long ago. But it's not a history lesson I'm after here. It's what history may teach us.
Evan Tanner's death is a tragedy. But it is not tragic. He died doing what he loved, sequestering himself in some far off space to be alone with his thoughts, with nature and with truth. How many of us will be so lucky? Who of us will ever know what realizations a man with Tanner's love for true living would come to understand at the time of his end? Perhaps he died happy.
I will not curse him for his actions. I will not speculate as to why. These are unimportant and selfish matters. I will remain an admirer of Tanner's for his courage, his heart, his gentle and articulate and positive philosophy and his passion for The Search.
I've never met him. Yet I'm going to miss him fiercely. He was not a hero to me, he was merely a real man in a world of fake ones. I admire his life, I understand his end. And I wish, for selfish reasons, he was still around to share and to teach.
Keep it simple, Evan. You almost always seemed to. For more information on his death I recommend paying a visit to www.Sherdog.com.