It's a normal "circle of life" event when an elderly parent, aunt, uncle or elderly neighbour passes on to the great beyond. We mourn/celebrate a life well lived (hopefully). When those in my own demographic (age 66) pass on, I awaken to my own mortality and appreciate the gift of time on earth, now my most precious commodity. The most difficult type of death to process is that of your own child, especially when it's rooted in a mental illness. But process I must, because I'm still here and must do something with my precious commodity of time. I owe it to my son Jake for my growth as a human being as we approach the 10th anniversary of his death by suicide on April 29th, 2013. I've incorporated many of his qualities such as humility, empathy, caring, not taking oneself too seriously, laughter, and being present to every moment...even when challenging. While it required seeking help and overcoming the shock of Jake's suicide over a 2 year period...I now revel in the happy memories that visit me on days like his date of death anniversary. I still invite the sadness, however, when it chooses to visit me. Selfish me wanted Jake to have a commonly long life. Ultimately, it wasn't up to me. I must respect Jake's choice to end his pain his way. It was 2 months after that event that TEAM JAKE formed as a way to honour Jake. That was 10 years ago. This is TEAM JAKE'S 11th year of participation. The goal has always been to help parents with a "Jake" of their own achieve better outcomes. While here for a much shorter time than I would have liked, what Jake left me with was plenty. The pics are 11 of my favorite years sharing a mutual passion with my boy and his friends (1996-2006).
Please help me support CMHA York and South Simcoe by making a contribution to my fundraiser and sharing this page with your family and friends. Every dollar I raise will advance CMHA York and South Simcoe's great cause! Additionally, you can ask me how you can get involved too. Together, we can make a difference!