Nicole and the map

Here is where our turtles are:


I have found it difficult to post these maps of late. The process itself is the same, of course. But I used to send the links to my friend Nicole. She was one of those people who was a marine biologist not by training, but by nature. Her deep connection to the ocean was knit into her soul.

There are many things to know about Nicole, but one is that she had a marvelous laugh—the kind you could pick out because it was uncommonly lovely. Her laugh was like a sentence—a bit of happiness standing on its own in the conversation.

Nicole often laughed when we told her about what the sea turtles were up to—not because she thought what we said was funny necessarily, but because she was truly delighted by the turtles. She innately understood the wonder of them. She was always interested in the scientific details of our research, listening and nodding and asking questions that made us think.

Our friend Nicole died of leukemia just over two weeks ago. She was only 36, with a beloved husband and two little boys at home—and a raft of family and friends now navigating the complex currents of grief.

I have thought about many things since Nicole died. One thing is how our Canadian Sea Turtle Network is made up of so many people. The people on our office team. Our volunteers. The fishermen who work in the field with us. The sea turtle researchers around the world helping us. The many people who kindly fund us. And people like Nicole, whose hearts hold space for this work that we do. Who laugh, awed and delighted by the ocean and the turtles. Who help to make us stronger and more creative. Who listen and watch and read.

People like you.



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4 thoughts on “Nicole and the map

  1. Nancy pace says:

    Such a terrible loss. A beautiful talented person. Heaven has a new angel.

  2. Keith says:

    I am saddened by the loss of such a talented beautiful soul, We have lost a great Person.

  3. Brent Watkins says:

    I sit here in such a saddened state, I could hear the grief in every word I read, the loss of such a wonderful person who makes us smile and laugh is a big dark hole. Out of the dark hole will be a tiny light to march towards and that will be Nicole guiding you like she always did. My thoughts are with everyone who goes through such events in life and especially with you.

  4. I am so sorry to hear of the death of Nicole. It’s always a tragedy but at such a young age with a husband and 2 young children makes it even more so. I wish I could take away the pain of all the people who loved Nicole especially her family.

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