Mike's Memorial Service

Last Saturday, January 15th, 2010, the Grand Cayman community held a memorial service to honor the life of Michael Edgington. We met first on the beach behind Tamarind Bay, where Mike lived during his short stay in Cayman. DK shared a few heart-felt words that summed up the feelings of Mike's group of friends - those of us who remain:

Mike Edgington arrived on the Island in September 2010. Like many people that arrived in that time, he arrived not knowing a soul. It did not however take him long to become a close and trusted friend to everyone that he crossed paths with.
Mike was never the loudest or the person that would seek attention in our group of friends, he was often quiet and collected (most would call him laid-back), but his warm nature and gentle personality found his way into all off our hearts. And he was always smiling. He was never one to complain, in fact he was as much of an optimist as I have ever seen. He could find the best in anything, whether it was trying out a local, but far from great food spot, or a song that only he seemed to be able to love.
He was always encouraging to his friends; this was just part of his giving nature. In fact there are a few new cyclists and musicians on the Island due to this quality. This too was evident in his humour, while always typical British, he never put people down to crack a joke. In the three months I knew him, I never once heard him say a bad thing about anyone.
While he encouraged people to explore new activities, he too was never shy to try something new. During his time on the Island he fell in love with the Ocean, so much so that he found any excuse he could to get in the water, which included his frequent late night swims that seemed to make no sense to anyone else. He picked up snorkelling and scuba and immediately became like a fish in the water.
While Mike was all of this to us all, he also found a way to mean something special and personal to those around him. Since that tragic day I am sure that we all have missed a special moment or activity that we shared with Mike, whether it was an early morning cycle, a daily email planning that days lunch adventure, Tuesday night pub quiz evenings, Monday night dinner and movies or a quick snorkel after work.
He was a great man, and that he came to mean so much to us in such a short time is testament to this.
Mike will forever be missed and will never be forgotten.
So long my friend we will miss you.

I was impressed but not surprised by the number of people who turned up on the beach. Many of the attendees were those who had come to the island within days of Mike's arrival, like us. But I saw people from various ages and social circles, all united in our love for Mike and our sorrow for his passing.

Mike's parents had flown in from the U.K. I always think you can understand a lot about someone once you've met their parents. Helen and Charlie were just the sort of people to raise a guy like Mike. I think I liked Mike even more after meeting them.

After the service, we reconvened at the Marriott for some refreshments while mingling with Helen and Charlie and watching a slideshow of Mike's Cayman adventures.  While there were many contributors, the slideshow was put together by LT, and reproduced here:

In talking with Mike's parents, we learned more about his background. My favorite fact was that Mike wasn't known to smile in many pictures. But as you can see in the slideshow above, Mike smiled a lot in Grand Cayman. It's evident that he enjoyed his final days here with us. 

The purpose of this memorial service was to bring closure to Mike's family and Cayman friends, but I know there will always be a sore spot in our hearts where Mike will live forever.


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