The news item in today’s (19 January 2012) wires was very brief.
The watchman of the decommissioned (moored in the area of Elefsis) vessel “Claudia M” (Italian flag) died of a heart attack, at the age of 56.
There is no mentioning of a name.
The dead man remains anonymous.
We do not know his nationality.
All the details that are ususally reported wehne someone dies, are missing.
Except of his age and his employment.
Do the details matter after all?
A seaman’s life is exposed to the huge risks created by the Sea and force of the Elements.
Most of the time seamen’s deaths are reported, they have been caused by naval accidents while the ship was en route to somewhere.
In Claudia M’s case, the ship was already decommissioned. Moored outside the port of Piraeus, near Elefsis.
The man most likely died surrounded by boredom, by the relentless pressure that Time puts upon us when we have all the time in the world and absolutely nothing to do.
Apparently, the watchman was alone on board.
It is likely that he called for help, prior to departing from this futile world.
Officers of the Greek Coast Guard boarded the vessel, and transferred the man to the nearest hospital, where he was confirmed dead.
I write about someone’w death and I do not even know his name.
I do not even know the “good” things that he did, or even some of the “bad” things.
It is common when we escort someone to the outskirts of life as we know it, to refer to the “significant” bits of his life, his personality, and so on.
Obviously I cannot do that, as I know nothing about the man.
But I do not feel that I have to.
To mourn the loss of a human life it is not necessary to evaluate this life , assess it, criticize it, and make the whole thing worth it.
There is no “worth” in Death. There is not “ethical side” in Death.
Death cannot be counterbalanced by the things that the deceased did, or by the traits of his character and personality.
Death is not concerned about great losses or lesser losses.
Death does not count or weigh the good and the bad.
Death ignores and detests discrimination.
Death is the Great Equalizer nd the Master Annihilator.
And it is because of the equivalent powers of the Sea, that every Seaman has a special relationship with Death. They build this relationship during the long hours, the long days, the long months in the vast territories of the blue and grey waters. And they carry it with them everywhere they go. Until they make the last trip.
Dedication: This post is dedicated to the memory of Seaman Nikos Kavadias, who sailed for the Beyond on the 10th February 1975.