The Passing of Steve Irwin: A Death in the Family?

The phone calls have been heavy this morning, as friends and family members wake to the news that the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, was killed early Monday by a sting ray. Normally, this would probably be like the death of any other celebrity, where we’re all in a bit of shock over the news, and we all feel a certain sense of loss for the tragedy.

But the calls have been from moms and dads of kids who have spent the past few years, much like ours, growing up with Australia’s own Wiggles, a wacky fab-four kind-of act that has replaced Barney and other such shows. Maybe three or four years ago, they did an hour-long special with Steve Irwin, and that video has been their favorite hands down. They know all the songs by heart, the dances, the narration by Irwin–they’ve taken to him as they have any other childhood icon.

So when the news spread early this morning, we all felt as if we had lost somebody more than just a regular celebrity.

And maybe we have. It’s hard enough for us as adults to cope with the shock of his death, but for the millions of children all over the world who have come to love Irwin for his entertaining antics with dangerous creatures, it will be even harder for them to comprehend how something like this could happen.

I nearly broke down this morning when I broke the news to my oldest daughter; it was as if I had to tell her that a family member had died.

To her as much as to us, maybe one has.

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3 thoughts on “The Passing of Steve Irwin: A Death in the Family?

  1. This was the first thing I read this morning when I popped on the internet. It is shocking and one sits there thinking, surely this must be a joke. I feel really sorry for his family as well as all the families of little ones who have grown to love him.

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  2. I think that’s the key, Janet. He seemed to enjoy every aspect of it, and we were all able to witness such joy thanks to the myriad specials and television shows he was on.
    I read somewhere this morning from one of the folks with him that he died so happily, in his element, living life to the fullest until the very last beat of his heart.
    Like you said, How many of us can say the same? I’d like to think that those of us who are touched by his thrilling ride can find the strength to do the same and let go of the strife that often holds us back.
    I suspect that many of us are doing that, to the best of our ability. We simply need to continue on, embracing each moment, enjoying it for all that it can be.

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