Masset Magic: Building protection from a wave of grief

By Jana McLeod

Times are tough down here at the north end. Many are struck speechless. I’m no exception as I sit here at the keyboard, unsure of what to say. The sadness is palpable.

I watched as O’Brien worked with the riprap along the water, and thought that’s how communities are. Bear with me and use your imagination.

The massive excavator represented Creator. Its giant bucket picked up the huge stones with ease. I first thought those would be the elders, but I reconsidered. It could be the children too.

It takes many rocks to keep us all safe from storms and destruction. It works to a degree, but then a few really nasty winds and rising tides take out one of the solid boulders. The earth beneath is obliterated.

Our road crew heads out in the worst weather — all go to the break knowing the risks. Their safety isn’t guaranteed. Still the job must be done, protection has to be restored.

That’s how we are, together.

Haida Gwaii makes me humble when I realize its healing capacity. Going from 10 per cent of its populace, it’s now one of the strongest nations. This archipelago attracts people with its energy. We all want to bathe, and breath in its rejuvenating beauty.

The cost of our connections to one another means that we grieve often. We also discover strength in that vulnerability.

As if that’s not enough, we are all affected by the suicides of two celebrities. Absolutely everyone is touched by death, as we recall our family members who’ve passed.

This was brought home when Lizzy and Dani sang their iconic song “Dancing in the Sky.” Several people commented on how it brings tears every time. Greg Williams also sang “Hallelujah.” It’s both painful and soothing.

For me, I look at the lesson. I have to or I would lose myself. My father’s suicide, as hard as it was, made me realize how my children would process losing me that way.

I have been at the brink so many times wanting to make that choice, longing for relief, and that has always brought me back. It works both ways. We all are someone’s reason for living — we mean that much to one another.

Whether it’s taking a screenshot of something juicy, passing on gossip (even deaths), re-sharing racist memes, complaining about a business, I become entangled in the drama I intend to avoid and abhor. Passings reveal how small that is in the scheme of things.

I made my list for improvement. Hate the addiction, not the person; despise and seek solutions for mental illness, don’t judge the sufferer. Be authentic and show empathy. Ask, ask, ask for assistance — it’s out there. Talk about hurt, over and over, and defuse that bomb. Give! I have begun that journey and let me tell you, it feels fantastic. Fight for you and our children. Tell people you love them. Show respect, walk softly. Accept yourself and others.

God bless and take care.

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Gwaii Haanas Report: Talking About Everything plan

By Victoria Leslie A dinner of crab legs and clam fritters, halibut… Continue reading

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

CHN seeks injunction against logging at Collison Point

Weeks after ordering an end to a blockade there, the B.C. Supreme… Continue reading

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

Most Read