Today marks four weeks since the death of Kyle Ehinger. I found this Thank You message in the back pages of the Georgina Advocate this evening. It is from Kyle’s family to all of the friends, family and kind strangers who have supported them in their journey to survive Kyle’s suicide. The message, in its entirety reads:
On May 17, 2012 our family lost a son, a brother, an uncle, a nephew and a grandson; Kyle. This day will be the hardest day to get through as the years go by. Kyle excelled at everything he put his mind to and was a pro in the shop; he could fix anything he got his hands on.
We don’t know where to begin when it comes to thanking everyone for the love and support that has been shown to our family during this nightmare.
We have met so many people who have shared their memories of Kyle with us. It’s pretty amazing to know that our personal memories of Kyle have been made greater by getting to know everyone whose lives he played a part in. Kyle has not only left behind his immediate family, but also a large family of friends, teachers and co-workers.
We have such a different perspective about the youth that live in our community after all this. The respect they have shown to our family, to each other and everyone else around them has been remarkable. The day of Kyle’s funeral, a large procession of vehicles followed Kyle’s Dodge Pick-up, carrying his casket, from Sutton into Keswick. Along the way, we passed many people who were going about their daily routine, and we can’t begin to explain how many people stopped what they were doing and stood roadside to show their respect. One moment in particular that stands out was a young group of 3 boys who took their hats off and stood at attention on the side of Metro Road. It’s moments like these that make us proud to be a part of such a great community.
First, we need to thank the Forrest and Taylor Funeral Home in Sutton. Greg and Carole were a tremendous help in helping us understand all the things that needed to be arranged. They opened up the funeral home for 2 days of viewings, visited us at our home and made sure everything ran smoothly.
Thank you to Our Lady of the Lake Catholic College. You have opened your hearts to us. The amount of work and food that was organized, so we could all come together and share our memories of Kyle, will never be forgotten. Both of our sons attended your school, and we can honestly say that the faculty are greater beyond words can express.
Thank you to everyone who donated to the bursary in honour of Kyle. The incoming donations were overwhelming and very much appreciated. It warms our hearts to know that even in his death, the memories of his life will go on to help others.
A heartfelt thank you for donations of food, money, and the many keepsake items that were created in Kyle’s name. To everyone was has given their support to us; to the ones who put their lives on hold, while we figure out how to go on with ours. Kyle will never be forgotten, and with the daily visits from his friends, his memories will preserve.
So, when you are driving around and you see Kyle’s white Dodge Pick-up, don’t be afraid to give a wave or stop and talk. The more people we get to know over the years that knew Kyle, will only help us to go on. And when you’re sitting in the Tim Horton’s line up waiting for your Double Double, remember Kyle.
Again, there are no words to describe how thankful we are to everyone. This is not something we wish upon anyone, and it hurts our hearts that we have had to go through this, Please don’t be a stranger to our family, and don’t stop talking about Kyle. His memories live in all of us.
Love; Ed, Kelly, Jennifer, Shannon, and Chris.
Kyle’s family has a long road ahead of them – dealing, coping, and trying to find the will and strength to go on. Their grace and dignity during this very personal and heartbreaking tragedy has been astounding and I admire their strength a great deal.
So, if you’re driving around Georgina, and you see Kyle’s big ‘ol Dodge Pick-up truck, take a moment to wave, say hi, or even just reflect of just how precious and fragile life really is, and give thanks for you and yours and send a positive thought to the Ehinger family. At the end of the day, we really do need to be in this mystery we call life, together.