Flo McGarrell of Newbury died in the recent Haiti earthquake.

Flo McGarrell, 36, died when the Peace of Mind Hotel in Jacmel — a beach town about 20 miles south of Port-Au-Prince — crumbled during the earthquake, according to his parents.

A visual artist, McGarrell was serving as director of FOSAJ, a nonprofit art center in Jacmel. He spent the summer in Newbury with his parents, James and Ann McGarrell, and also returned for the Christmas holidays, leaving for Haiti only about 10 days ago.


I met Flo a couple of years ago via a social networking site.  A mutual love of cats, gardening, and art is what brought us together.  We kept in occasional email and Googlechat contact, as his access to the Internet in Haiti was not always reliable, and he was often busy raising funds and finding supplies for FOSAJ.

http://www.necn.com/Boston/New-England/2010/01/15/New-Englander-kil...

After receiving the tragic news, Ann McGarrell said she was watching an unending film of Flo's life in her mind throughout the day. One of her favorite scenes from that movie starred a 12-year-old Flo McGarrell at school in St. Louis.

A tornado was approaching, Ann McGarrell said, and the skies were darkened and ominous. She had gone to school to pick her child up and take her home. "Everyone was huddled inside," Ann McGarrell said. "Flo was outside, dancing in the rain."

I can't think of a better tribute to how Flo lived his life.

Tags: Flo McGarrell, Haiti

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Replies to This Discussion

You are right Don, but at the time, I wasn't looking for consolation. I wanted to be present with how I was feeling about losing Flo.

I realize that death doesn't always suck, that sometimes death is merciful. However, someone dying young, even though they had accomplished much in their short life, still sucks. For that matter, there are people I've lost at older ages (my mother at 50), that also left a them-shaped- hole in my life. As time moves on, the pain is less immediate, and may even subside... but there's still someone missing.

I can't speak for anyone else's experience of grieving.
A tornado was approaching, Ann McGarrell said, and the skies were darkened and ominous. She had gone to school to pick her child up and take her home. "Everyone was huddled inside," Ann McGarrell said. "Flo was outside, dancing in the rain."

That is one of the loveliest images I have imagined in a very long time. What a beautiful memory.
That was Flo, from what little I knew. An amazing person.

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