An Untimely Death, a Full Life

Zoë Nudell, featured in Mindful's Sea School story, passed away last week. Our Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editor share their thoughts. 

Photo: Aaron McKenzie Fraser

On November 1, Zoë Nudell, one of the main people featured in the story in our December 2013 issue, “All the Same Boat,” died of injuries sustained from being struck by a car while crossing the street in Hamilton, Ontario. She was 33 years old. We at Mindful are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to her family. When a young person dies, we’re tempted to think they lived too small a percentage of their life. In truth, they lived the entire life given to them, and remembering that helps us to celebrate that life.

Zoë Nudell—even though she was taken from us in horrific and untimely way—lived 100% of her life and she lived it to the full. We want to honor that life here, as we have in the story in Mindful. I’ve asked Carsten Knox, the reporter who wrote this piece, to share something of his time spent with her researching his story on The Nova Scotia Sea School, which was a very big part of Zoë’s life and where she left a legacy of many young people lives changed for the better.

—Barry Boyce Editor-in-Chief

All the people at the Nova Scotia Sea School were so helpful when I was putting this story together, but it was Zoë who was at the middle of it. She’d been sailing and participating in the Sea School for well over a decade. She started as a student and ended up a captain. In that time she helped hundreds of teens learn that they could sail on the open sea, giving them an experience of self-sufficiency that will benefit them throughout their lives.

She was passionate, incisive, even formidable, but also thoughtful, kind, and very open.

In the following clip, Zoë talks about how important it was for her to create a safe space for teenagers, so they could feel fully engaged in the experience of being out on the ocean, and find freedom in being themselves.

—Carsten Knox Associate Editor