Lessons of turning tragedy into triumph 

from a military widow

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Brian J. Bugge

Updated: Oct 18, 2018

"One day you'll leave this world behind, So live a life you will remember."



I have re-typed this at least 15 times and I still can’t make it through without tears streaming down my face. I don’t even know how to write this, but on Sunday morning Brian was involved in a tragic scuba diving accident. He passed away in the waters he loved doing something he was passionate about. I have some answers as to what happened but it will likely be months until I know more definitively the specifics. I do know valiant rescue efforts were made by some of his dear diving friends and I’m thankful to them for embracing Brian this past year and more recently myself as we all suffer through this piece of time together.


To say my heart is broken is an understatement. It is shattered. It is resting on the ocean floor with my husband and I don’t think it will ever surface. He and I knew how lucky we were to have found each other and we talked often about how love like this only comes along once in a lifetime and certainly not for everyone. We shared an incredible life together and beyond any other emotion I’m feeling right now. I’m just thankful I had the time I did with him and was able to embrace the impact he has made on me and my life.


He was my partner in every sense of the word and while he gave me too much credit for everything, he was the one who made things happen. He sailed his 36’ sailboat across the Pacific. He was an accomplished and published photographer. He was a Naval Officer. He was training to become a rebreather dive instructor. He was a husband and damn fine father. He looked at our babies the same way he looked at me; with complete love and adoration and it just never left you questioning his feelings for you. Isabel & Hudson and our daughter due in August will grow up knowing the legacy of their father and the incredible man he was.

I know he had an impact in the lives of so many of you and I’d love to be able to pass these stories on to his three children some day. Its still quite raw and it might take me awhile to get back to some of you but please know I appreciate the love and our kids are feeling it too. Our families are here on the island with me and we’re working on arrangements for a service. I will send out a notification when it has been planned, but it will be held on Oahu and I’d be so thankful to any of you who are able to join us to talk about the incredible man Brian was.

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