Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Saying Good-bye

Grace and I went to a wake tonight. We said good-bye to a friend, the best man at my wedding, a father, son, brother, friend, soldier and a wonderful young man. His name was Olivier, and he was one of the sweetest people I know. I haven't written about his death, not because I haven't been thinking about him. On the contrary, I have thought about little else over the past few days. I haven't written about him because I don't know that I can do him justice, and I don't know how to write about the way he died. Olivier committed suicide.

Two weeks ago, I could have easily written posts, even a series of posts on suicide and suicide prevention.

Now, I am left without words.

Two weeks ago, I would have felt confident enough in my understanding about the issue of suicide to freely share my thoughts.

Now, I don't understand anything. I haven't a clue. I don't know why. I am humbled by the magnitude of pain; Olivier's, his family's, his friends', his fellow soldiers'. I hugged his mother, wept with the mother of his children, and all I could say is, "I can't imagine it, I can't imagine how hard this is for you." I held my daughter and cried with her as we looked at him in the casket, and all I could say is, "How can this be?"

I don't know.

All I do know is that Olivier had a brilliant smile. Grace says that he twinkled, and he did. It was like there was always the possibility that he had some bit of fun or mischief planned. He was a devoted father, and a brave soldier, a faithful son. He loved his family, and wore the title of "big brother" with pride and strength. He stood by my husband at our wedding in his uniform, and was a dashing, gentle, powerful, honorable tribute to his family and his country.

There will a time later for posts about issues and solutions.

Today is a time to remember Olivier Pilote.

He was a light, and the world is a little darker for his loss.

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