Wolfe Pack Warriors
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and would have been my dad’s 63rd birthday.
My dad died by suicide in January 2015.
My dad’s suicide is what opened up the conversation about mental health in my family. Mental health is a topic that I now talk about openly. I talk about my own mental health and I am available when a friend or family member needs to talk through what’s happening for them.
With our move to Canmore, there have been a lot of highs, but I find I am yo-yoing to a lot of lows. Change is exciting, but change is also hard. One minute I’m stoked because I have knocked 3 things off my to do list, only to turn around and 13 more have been added! I am talking about it with my husband, Harrison, and other people in my square squad. I am making time for self care and I am making sure to include a gratitude section each day in my bullet journal. But once in a while when things seem really overwhelming, I have a little tearfest.
Recently, Harrison and I were at our friend’s wedding on Vancouver Island. The wedding took place at Merridale Cidery near Duncan, BC. It was beautiful and so much fun to spend time with this group of friends. But, at the same time, the area where we were is also where my dad was found. So you could say it was a little bittersweet.
On the day of the wedding, my mom had Kane and Mav up at Cowichan Lake and Harrison was hanging out with his good friend, Brendan, and his groomsmen, so I decided to take my bike and go for a ride. My first stop was Kinsol Trestle, which I hadn’t been to before, at least I don’t remember having been there. It was awesome. I want to take Harrison and the boys and I want to bike more of the Cowichan Valley Trail.
But that day, my goal was to make it to Koksilah Provincial Park. I have been there once. Two summers ago, I went with my mom and the boys. I wrote about that day and those feelings in my post Moments that Matter Vol. 33 if you want to check it out.
This time I wanted to do it all by myself. This time I was more present. I brought my iPhone and took a couple of photos. I brought my journal and wrote a little. I listened to “I’ll Fly Away” which was sung by my friend Bre at my dad’s service. Feel like being there with me? Listen to Bre singing. She’s incredible.
And I think it was just what I needed. I realized I needed to do it all by myself. I sat and remembered all the things my dad loved to do when we were growing up. He would pile the whole Morgan family (my mom and four kids) into our Forerunner to go for a drive. Sometimes we ended up exploring some part of the island, maybe even Kinsol Trestle. Other times we ended up trying not to break things in an antique store up island. But my favourite times were when we ended up at a bookstore. My dad loved to browse in bookstores. While at Koksilah, I also realized I don’t have a single picture of my dad in a bookstore. Why the f*%# don’t I have a picture of my dad standing searching the shelves for his next gem?
On World Suicide Prevention Day, I usually highlight a book or a website that has had an impact on me. This year I’m doing things a little differently. This year I am highlighting a fundraiser we are doing for the Stollery Children’s Hospital. The whole idea for this fundraiser started out because in our family we talk often about Kane being a heart warrior and Mav wanted to know what kind of warrior he is. So we decided to make Wolfe Pack Warriors t-shirts to wear on Kane’s upcoming heart surgery date. One more random coincidence to throw your way, my dad was a cardiologist. Maybe these shirts are for him, too. But right now, these shirts feel like one of those things you do to make things feel less scary both for the kids and for ourselves. A little self care in the middle of chaos.
We mentioned the idea to a few people and they asked if they could get shirts as well.
Well you can!
We have ordered about a hundred shirts through Canmore Shirtsmiths and they are up at Wolfe Cadillac in Edmonton right now! Each shirt is $25 with the proceeds going to the Stollery Children’s Hospital. You can just call up the dealership and ask to speak with Lisa Kadatz ((780) 482-5773). You can pay by credit card and then pop in to grab it. Or even get it shipped.
We would love if you wore your shirt on Sept. 23rd (Kane’s surgery date) and sent a picture to us or posted it with #wolfepackwarriors on instagram.
Because everyone needs a few cheerleaders in their corner.
To learn more about Kane and his medical journey check out Our Stollery Story.
More of my posts about mental health and bereavement can be found here.