8 years ago I spent the day with my parents and sister at Granville Island. Every year around this time we would go on a ‘family outing’ and pick out a new Christmas ornament for the tree (or two when Robyn and I couldn’t agree on one). When we returned home that evening there was a message from a good family friend, asking my parents to call them and that it was urgent. When my mother called them, they asked to come over. It was immediately clear that something was going on.
When they arrived, one of them sharply requested that Robyn and I go upstairs. It was the first and only time that this person has spoken to me in that tone. I obeyed and a few minutes later my mom came into my room and told me that my sister was going to need a lot of support. Her best friend had committed suicide the day before.
The rest of that night is a blur but the image I will never forget is my sister coming back down the stairs. She was changed after that. My baby sister became an adult in the 30 seconds it took my dad to break the news to her. She was 15 years old, so was her friend.
The other thing I remember is going to the memorial and being just devastated that the crowd was standing room only, some were even standing outside, and knowing that this young girl had thought no one loved her.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 8 years. At the time it seemed impossible that the sun would rise the next day but it did and it has done so each of the past 2920 days. But we'll never be the same.