It's a name we didn't know a week ago.
Now hearing the name evokes deep emotion whenever I see it in print or hear her name spoken.
"Lisa Gibson" has become a news story. But more than that, she has become a somebody to so many who never had a context in which to know her.
Every day, I think of Lisa's husband. Her mother, her dad, her aunties and uncles, her cousins, her co-workers.
And I wish I could let them know somehow. That at night I dream of the river, and by day I think unspoken prayers for everyone who loved her, Anna, and Nicholas. I want them all to know how many people are not sitting in judgement, but identify, feel the pain, know the impossible amount of resources that small people require of us. That many of us understand the indescribable frustration of mental illness.
I worry about how many people will be quoted saying all the entirely wrong things. I worry about the journalists who will publish those comments. I worry that the family will think no one understands, that everyone condemns.
And I want them to know that this is not true.
I want them to know of my friends who weep for the Gibsons and can think of little else. I want them to know about the many mothers who know the agony of post-partum depression. I want them to know that we know those children were adored. I want them to know that its not their fault, that they were doing their best to help Lisa, that we all wish we'd have known her so we could have helped too.
But I can't even imagine what sort of grief Lisa's people are feeling these days. I can't presume that they give a rat's ass that other people are crying too. I don't know if they've even found their tears yet. I don't know if they sleep at night, what they tell each other by day. What they tell themselves.
I do know that I can't do nothing. I do know that they'll never read the minds of all the people who are standing with them with compassion.
So on Thursday, August 1, at 7:30, I will be at The Forks. I will bring a candle to light in the memory of Lisa and her children. Together we will carry white flowers to float down the rivers dark current in memory and in honour of Lisa Gibson.
I hope I might see you there.
(Please read this post by my friend Karla Penner.
Then read this one: