Thursday, November 18, 2010

Doing It for Daron

As my last post indicated, it's been a stressful week. With Murder Mystery finally almost here, and a million other things going on in my life, it's easy to get swallowed up in the hype and anxiety, and entirely lose focus.

But this week, I've also had perspective. Because sometimes, there are bigger things going on in the world, and thinking of them is a fresh - and sometimes painful - reminder that no matter how stressful and worrisome my life feels right now, there are people with bigger problems. Real problems. And sadness and pain that is incomprehensible.

My anxiety over Murder Mystery seems so small and insignificant in comparison.

Last weekend, Ottawa Senators assistant coach Luke Richardson & his wife Stephanie lost their youngest daughter Daron after a suicide attempt. She was only 14 years old. The news of Daron's death stunned the community, and we felt the sharp disbelief close to home as well, since the Richardsons' have roots in Shawville.

I can only imagine the pain and grief that Daron's family and friends are experiencing. It's terrible enough to deal with a shocking death, an accident, a sudden end to a beautiful life. It's quite another to deal with that loss knowing she took her own life.

But Luke, Stephanie, and their eldest daughter Morgan have done something very courageous in the wake of this tragedy. Rather than hiding the details of their daughter's death and dealing with it secretly, they have been open about it in hopes of removing the stigma that comes with suicide. Their hope is that by sharing their pain with the public, it will bring awareness to teen suicide and how important it is to open with your child and be understanding of their moods and issues.

Yesterday, Scotiabank Place was filled with jersey-wearing men, women, and children, but for once, it wasn't for a hockey game. A 2-hour celebration of Daron' s life was held, with her family, friends, students from her school, the entire Senators organization, friends from around the NHL, and many members of the community coming out to grieve with her parents and sister.

Apparently none of Daron's family or friends saw this coming. She was a gorgeous girl with so much going for her - a privileged life thanks to her father being a former NHL'er and now coach, an excelling student at Ashbury College, a talented athlete with a bright future in women's hockey...

Nobody knows exactly what was going on beneath the surface to compel Daron to end her own life. We may never know.

But today, we wear purple in Daron's memory, and in the hopes of bringing awareness to teen suicide.

No child should ever feel that hopeless or that lost.

Make sure to let the people you love most in your life know it.


Mandy said...


This is a great post!!! I too really feel for the family and feel that my little problems are nothing in comparison with those that some other people may be experiencing. This is the time of year that really truly makes us realize just how lucky we all are!!!! And that there is always someone worse off than we are, which brings me to thinking we should all start to give a little more to our communities and help out as much as we can!!!! Thanks for making me think Jill!!! Hope you have a great day, and I am sure your murder mystery will be a great success! I hope to attend one of these years, it looks like so much fun!

Stacy said...

I wonder if we got that ribbon right in the car rally...I am pretty sure we put it was to support the gay community or something....regardless, it is a very sad and tragic event and does make me think very hard. I just don't get it - at 14 what could be soooo bad in your life that you need to end it...what was going through her mind, what made her do this? Like you said, we will probably never know! It's sad!

Jill said...

Stace - I'd have to check, but I think the purple ribbon may have started because of gay teens being bullied. (so we may have been right if that's what we put!) - the colour purple is now representing victims of violence, bullying, and suicide.

Thanks Mandy, glad today's post was thought-provoking. I hope everyone is hugging their kids today and letting them know they are loved.

Stacy said...

I saw somewhere on the D.I.F.D facebook page that they were wearing purple because that was her favorite color...lots of reasons I guess!

Nicole said...

Wow! You have to wonder why someone would think that was the only way out of whatever was wrong. It's sad!