It’s every parents nightmare to be informed of the tragic, sudden death of their child. To be instantly tossed into the depths of despair, grief and hopelessness is like being pushed from an airplane without a parachute. To feel so helpless and powerless is unbearable. People were extending condolences and offering assistance, but what could anyone do?
Fortunately, I was introduced to the Carpenter Creek Last wishes Society out of New Denver. They informed me of the legal process of arranging a private funeral. All of a sudden, the whole community was involved – there was so much for everyone to do. The situation wasn’t helpless anymore and the power began to return! Friends made the coffin others decorate it with cedar boughs and colourful cloth. Everything was to be as my daughter would wish. Once the legal documents were faxed back from Victoria, we could retrieve her body and bring Lyla back to the Valley. This was an extremely uplifting moment. I ate for the first time in five days. Friend and family gathered around, and we were left in peace to bid her that final farewell. To be able to personally fasten the coffin lid down for the final time was an incredibly painful yet powerful experience. For Lyla’s close friends to carry and lower her down to that final resting place and for everyone involved, this literally became a hands-on approach to healing.
From the bottom of my heart, I give thanks to all of you who made this grieving process so much more bearable. And to Lyla and Joel who gave me the inner strength to carry on. May you both rest in peace. — Curtis Mortensen, Slocan BC.