More than a year after the death of one of the best people I’ve ever known or heard about, Steve Irwin, people are quickly forgetting about him – a person worth remembering if there ever was one. The tragedy is greater than it seems. What Steve brought to this world is unparalleled when compared to every other celebrity that ever existed. What he brought with him was simple – love. Because that is all he did throughout his life – he loved. He loved his family, he loved his children, he loved his fans (he called them friends), he loved everyone he met on his adventures, he loved all the animals in the world from the most poisonous to the most peaceful, and most importantly, he wanted to spread that love. Not once in his life did Irwin cross someone, or back-stab people to get where he was, he was simply too naive to do that. And it is that love and that naivete that made him a hero. Those are the ingredients for heroism – nos simple bravery. Irwin did not save a person from drowning in the Californian Gulf because he was brave – he saved that person because he was too naive to even consider the alternative. Irwin never stopped trying to save as many animals as he could, simply because he was too naive to consider what it would be like without them. There were no other options for him. Naivete and love. Another reason he was a hero for me was that he often cried openly and shamelessly. A quick search on YouTube can confirm that. Probably one of the most heartbreaking videos I’ve ever seen is Irwin crying over a crocodile that had lived in his zoo. The crocodile died of old age in its sleep, but Steve’s love for it was too powerful. You can view this video here.
I cried too after I found out he died, not immediately though, because it took some time for it to sink in. But after seeing all the tributes and hearing all the stories, and watching an episode of Crocodile Hunter, I could not stop myself. I could not believe and still can’t to this day, that the world lost such an important human being – a real life hero whose word and whose legacy is worth spreading each and every hour of our lives if we could.
The thing about Steve is that he accepts death as a normal part of life. I am sure that he is in Heaven right now and his only regret is that he left his children behind at such a young age. Steve does not regret being around sting rays on that fateful day. Steve does not regret his career and all the risks he took. He was not that type of person. He didn’t sweat the small stuff, and he faced unfairness in his life the right way. I wish he didn’t die. I wish I could turn on Discover Channel and watch him on one of his animal-saving adventures. I wish I could laugh with him as he saw animals do funny things. I wish I could meet him, which was always my dream.
I love you Steve Irwin, Rest in Peace.
– Stefan Vlahov
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