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Monday, July 29, 2013

Lisa Gibson

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.
Her friends.

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:


janice said...

I have been following this story, and read Karla's first post. This walk is a wonderful idea.

I have battled depression and used to have a lot of suicidal fantasies. I can't say I know what she was going through, but I have had a glimpse. RIP Gibsons. I wonder how that husband and father will do.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I have shared a link for it on my Facebook. The more exposure this gets, the better. I have felt nothing but sorrow for Lisa, Anna, Nicholas and Brian Gibson. I can not even imagine how the Gibson family and friends will carry on after this and my heart is aching for Lisa Gibson and the sorrow and absolute desolation she must have felt. So sad...

Thanks again for this post and hopefully it's existence and other similar writings will help others get the help they so desperately need. I saw your short interview on the news tonight and wish I could be there too.

The Naked Chef (Sherry Peirson)

brenda said...

I saw your interview on the news tonight, Joyce. You were very eloquent (as usual) and demonstrated the heart of what so many people are feeling right now. Kudos to you and Karla for taking up the torch and leading a whole new group of people into a better understanding of mental illness. I have never experienced, even remotely, the dark demon of mental illness. For this I am so very thankful. This tragedy serves to deepen our understanding and shore up our compassion for the sufferers.

Judy said...

Joyce (and Karla) you know how to show love. Seriously, you do.