For Those Of You Who Do Not Read The Advocate (and there are many of you!)

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.

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Tonight I Paid My Respects

Ever since the arrangements for Kyle Ehinger were released, I’ve been determined to go and pay my respects to his family.  I usually hide away from large gatherings of any type, and tend to avoid situations where it’s just me, alone and not knowing anyone else, in a gathering of people who all know (and appear to like) one another.  But I’m done hiding away and am putting on my big girl pants and stepping outside my comfort zone and actually being a grown up and not just acting as though I am a grown up.

But tonight, I was not sure that I would pull it off.   What would I say to Kelly and Ed Ehinger?  “I’m sorry” sounds so lame, but it’s true, I am sorry.  And as I drove to Sutton this evening, my vision kept getting blurred as my eyes filled with tears, while I thought about this 18 year-old man-child, who felt, if even just for that one critical moment, no hope for his future.  And I thought about his girlfriend, Sam, who I do not know and have never met, but I have read her posts to and about Kyle on Facebook, and my heart aches for her.  I saw her at the funeral home tonight and she is (physically) the tiniest little girl and she is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.  And she is holding her own.  She is strong and I admire her strength.  From only watching her at the viewing tonight and reading her posts, I just know that she will come out on the other side of this nightmare and live a long, blessed life.

The crowd at the funeral home was unreal.  Kyle was barely 18 years old but seeing the sheer number of people who showed up to see him one last time, to say good-bye, to hug his parents and each other was, well, honestly, nothing prepared me for the sight.  For the first time, I really understood what it means when “they” say that a town is grieving.  That is Georgina right now.  It is a collection of towns that are grieving the loss of this child (and yes, I know that technically he was an adult, but I’m a mom, and Kyle, who turned 18 just weeks after my Declan did, so to me he was a child, and I make no apologies for that).  I looked around at the various groupings of people who were chatting, laughing, crying, hugging, comforting and talking quietly, many of them wearing ‘In Loving Memory of Kyle Ehinger’ tee shirts and I wondered to myself – who was Kyle?  How did this kid influence and make such an impact on this many people in the short time that he was with us?  What was it about him that made him so special to so many people?  And why was it not enough to save him?

When I left the funeral home, I had a bit (okay, more than a bit) of a cry, then I texted Declan and asked if he wanted to meet me for a bit.  He did, so we did, and it helped put my mind and heart at ease, to see him, talk to him, check in with him, hug him and know for myself that my firstborn was okay.  Then I came home and checked on my four sleeping smalls and kissed each one of them and took a moment to marvel at how perfectly beautiful they are.  With the stresses and pressures of life, it is far too easy to forget to stop and really love and appreciate our children.  I, for one, really need to make sure that I slow down and enjoy my kids.  Cleaning the house, doing the laundry, unpacking from our move – those things will all still be there (waiting for me, like a some kind of rabid stalker) after bedtime.  Life and love are far more precious than clean dishes and empty boxes.

Tomorrow Kyle’s family and friends will say their final goodbyes.  I will not be there.  With my two smallest smalls home with me still, I know that we would be a disruption or distraction and that is the last thing that I want.  For those of you who would like to attend but do not have the latest information, Ed, Kyle’s dad, posted some additional information on Kyle’s FB Wall, this afternoon:

“on Thursday there will be a procession from TaylorS funeral home in Sutton to the OUR LADY OF THE LAKE church in Keswick
 LEAVING AT 1:00 PM FOR kYLE MY SON
we will have a file past the casket before for anyone who wishes to see him for the last time.please come early for that Kyle is gonna ride in the back of his own truck leading the way !
HE IS GONNA ROLL COAL ONE LAST TIME !1
LETS MAKE IT A GOOD SHOW FOR HIM
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH SON !!!”

So, I will say goodbye to Kyle now.  Rest in Peace, child.  I hope that you have found in death what you could not find in life.  Watch over your family and friends until they can see you again, they miss you so.

Borrowed this picture from Kyle’s Facebook page. There were too many to make choosing just one an easy task, but this one spoke to me. I hope it speaks to you as well.

And Only Because This IS The Keswick Blog…

Am I going to post the obituary for my son’s friend, Kyle Ehinger, who took his own life, in Sutton, on May 17th, 2012.

Kyle’s family, friends and girlfriend need the support of everyone in Georgina and beyond right now.

I cannot even imagine the soul-searing anguish that Kyle’s mother is feeling right now.

My heart and thoughts go out to everyone has been touched by Kyle’s life and all of his friends and family who are missing him so very, very much now.

Declan, my love,  I promise you, it will get better.  You will never forget Kyle, you will love and remember him forever, but your emptiness and sorrow will subside with time.  I promise you, my baby, you will heal and feel whole again.   I love you, Mum.

Kyle and Declan

Ehinger, Kyle Karl

At his home in Sutton on Thursday May 17, 2012 at the age of 18 years.  Kyle Ehinger, beloved son of Ed and Kelly.  Dear brother of Jennifer (Doug Riddle), Shannon (Kyle Perry), and Chris (Amber Lini).  Dear uncle of Brayden, Ava, Brody and Evan Kyle Charles.  Much loved grandson of Hartmut and Nora Ehinger, Marie Dunn, and Ron and Diane Marshall.  Beloved nephew of Elayne (Jim) Hulshoff, Lynn (Randy) Marles, Joe Marshall, Gerry (Kim) Marshall, Paul (Cheryl) Marshall, Pete Marshall, and Karen Marshall.  Kyle will be lovingly remembered by his many cousins, extended family and his many, many friends.

Kyle was a student at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic College School (O.L.L.), Keswick, where he was captain of the Rugby team and where he also won many awards in the automotive technology troubleshooting skills competitions.

Resting at the Forrest & Taylor Funeral Home, 20846 Dalton Road, Sutton from 2 – 4 and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.  Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 129 Metro Road North, Keswick, Thursday at 2:00 p.m.  Cremation to follow.  Memorial donations to a bursary fund at O.L.L. in Kyle’s memory would be appreciated by the family.  Memorial condolences may be made at www.forrestandtaylor.com

At This Moment I Am

Tired.  I’m still fighting this flu and right now, it feels like I’m on the losing end.  Neither Mr. KB or I are sleeping very well right now and that’s not helping us get healthy again.  I’d really like to nap right now while my smalls do the same, but I know that I won’t.

…Sad.  Wondering what would drive my son’s friend to hang himself yesterday.  The devastation he has left behind is overwhelming, vast and so, so sad.  I didn’t know the boy well, but he had been to our house a couple of times and just goes to prove once again that appearances can be deceiving and we never really know what is lurking in someone else’s mind.  Depression is a fucker that lies to us and makes us think there is no hope and now this boy’s parents, siblings, girlfriend, and friends have to live with the result of his depression and it’s lies forever.

…Grateful.  That my children and loved ones are safe and sound right now.

…Regretful.  For getting angry at Rigatoni for spilling his rice all over the floor and then being silly about cleaning it up.  Yes, he needed to clean it up, but was it really worth getting angry at him for?  I don’t think so.

 …Hopeful.  That I can shake this headache and feel more human again soon.

…Excited.  To get things done.  Not negating the recent tragedy in Georgina, it’s important for me to remember that there are so many wonderful and positive things in our future and to focus my energy on feeling positive and happy about all of the good things in my life.

Two of our three little kittens. Today they are 10 days old. Butterball is on the left and we haven’t named her brother or sister yet. Putting their picture up today because I really need to find my ‘happy’ right now and for some reason, these kittens are helping me (a life-long non-cat person) do that.  This was taken before they opened their eyes, but all three are up and looking around now 🙂

I got the idea to do a “Right now I am…” post from Kristen over at The Frugal Girl (thanks, Kristen! 🙂 ).  It was a lot of fun writing it out and really did help me to focus myself a little better.  Trying something new, getting myself out of my comfort zone is hard, but so worth it.  I really should remember that!