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#humboldtstrong

I met death in the form of suicide and disease. Death, to me, was always introduced with the concept of acceptance. I naively believed that in order to die, you have to accept it – or perhaps, even welcome it. I, and all of my friends, were immune to death because we were young and breathing and full of life.

But then, death re-introduced itself to me at 7 PM on April 6th in the face of tragedy, with my loving, kind boyfriend weeping in my arms, mourning the loss of his best friend. Death re-introduced itself to my life, and to the lives of every other Canadian…on a bus, on the plains of Saskatchewan, on a chilly evening, on the way to a playoff game. Death engulfed sixteen lives without warning, without explanation and without acceptance. And there, my relationship with death had been permanently changed.

Ten days later, I sat third row at a funeral service for a 21 year old man. He was handsome, funny, and kind. He was a friend, a son, a brother, a leader and an incredible hockey player. The service was beautiful, and as the speeches rolled in, so did the smiles and the tears and the odd giggle of the stories that held so much LIFE.

And then, something so powerful happened.

The pastor opened up the mic for the crowd to tell their stories of the lost. An unfamiliar man from the back stood up, and walked toward the front. He was older and wearing a Humboldt Broncos jersey. He held no paper speech as he walked confidently up toward the stand. I watched him as I wondered who this stranger was. And then he spoke.

“My name is Toby Boulet. My son is Logan Boulet, who passed on April 6th,” I was quick to realize that Logan Boulet, also a victim of the Humboldt crash, was a teammate of Conner’s.

The whole crowd silenced, and I began to weep as this man stood there in front of everyone. Just days after burying his own son, he made his way to Slave Lake to mourn the loss of his son’s teammate. His speech was short, but astounding.

Toby Boulet quoted the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio, “I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives,” followed by, “To Conner Lukan”.

The entire crowd stood, and clapped hard, while Toby Boulet walked off stage and hugged Conner’s dad. The embrace was long and hard – these two men connecting after losing their sons.

It was in that moment, applause all around me, that not only my relationship with death was changed – but my relationship with life too.

As we walked out of the church, I looked to my boyfriend, “If we get to experience a moment so beautiful and powerful like that on Earth, than how beautiful must Heaven be?”

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Inauguration and Equality

“Remember, we are not afraid, that we are not alone, that we will not fall back down, that there is power in our unity and no opposing force stands a chance in the faith of our true solidarity.”

Madonna

 

womensmarch

I am a woman. A proud, resilient, outspoken, powerful woman. Sharing my womanhood with billions of other incredible, strong, brave women. More so, I am a HUMAN – sharing my humanhood with billions of other talented, kind, wonderful HUMANS – of all races, religions, and sexualities. I am proud to share pieces of me with pieces of other people that lead with kindness and love. I am Canadian, and yet, I feel the profound pain that the American’s are feeling at this difficult time.

The Inauguration occurred two days ago – within it, undertones of hatred, inequality and fear. The progress we have made concerning basic human rights has been spat on by a man given the power to run a country. We have hit a wave of uncertainty with our minority  groups facing roadblocks that should have been destroyed centuries ago.

I identify as a feminist, and more so, I identify as a HUMANIST. I identify as an individual that believes in protecting all of ours rights, and allowing all of us the freedom to live a whole, happy, brilliant life. I am a woman who will offer you respect, kindness and love regardless of your gender, race, religion or sexuality. I promise to seek your heart. I promise to advocate for your innate human rights. I promise to stand with you in any time of need.

I am not defined by my monthly cycle, or the weight my chest bares. I am not defined by my “pussy”, or the wage gap between myself and my male counterparts. I am defined by the turmoil I have faced and how I overcame it. I am defined by the lessons of my powerful mother, and other likeminded women. I am defined by my capacity to love humanity equally. I am defined by my brain, by my spoken word, by the qualities I possess. I am a woman, and I am proud to be a woman. However, I am significantly more than the shackles and limits put on what “womanhood” can entail – as are all of you.

Today, and everyday, I stand with America. I stand with my fellow women. I stand with every skin tone under the rainbow. I stand with any book that leads your religion. I stand the entire LGBTQ community. I stand with every individual who can lead with love.

Love always, from the bottom of my heart,

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