Ricky (age 10)
No need to shed another tear
No one wants to spank or beat you, call you names or sexually assault you
You are safe. I will protect you
Spend your time…playing, laughing, enjoying nature…and just being silly
You have experienced ecstasy and hell
You’re just a teenager, but forced to grow up fast
No one sees YOU, the “real” you
You have taken it upon yourself to be the Protector
But now I need to protect myself
You are my sexual being, and you left me in a teenage mindset when navigating relationships
I know you were hurt by older married men – physically and emotionally
I know that you are still scared of “Daddy”
For God’s sake – your pen pal was raped and murdered at 15…by Daddy?
Did he order this to be done? I have no proof, just gut instinct
Elisa…We wrote openly and honestly, and I thank you for our friendship
Elisa…I am sorry. I miss you. I love you. You are an angel
You are no longer in danger
Don’t be angry
Don’t feel like you are missing out
Stop blaming others and just…LIVE
Try to be happy
Try to love. You are lovable, you know.
Kind, funny, sensitive, wicked sense of humour…
That is what we love about YOU
Richard (age 56)
It is ok to fear the unknown
Life is one big – What if? Maybe? Why? Why not?
LIVE LAUGH LOVE
You say it. You want that to be your life’s motto
It is a blessed life shared with a loving husband, supportive friends and family
Work consumed you, but was also your security blanket
“I’m too busy” was your excuse to keep people away
Now that you are retired…say YES or say MAYBE
Teach yourself to not say NO
Life is short
All we have when someone dies are memories
Fill the rest of your life with emotions and memories that are happy, sharing, loving and true to yourself
You have supported your community for over four decades, and it is ok if you need some help. Ask. Try to find your voice. Helping others helps you
Be strong, sensitive, silly, and vulnerable – let Ricky go
Be sexy, protective, and confident – let Rick go
Ricky and Rick are a part of you
They will always be there…in spirit, in memories
Rest your mind. Heal your body. Let your spirit soar
Eulogy for me, by me, for some time in the distant future:
Ricky – We Honestly Love You
“I honestly love you” is Ricky’s favourite Olivia Newton-John song
Rick – Dance like no one is watching, because “You Look Like A Dick To Me” (Olivia Newton-John song from Sordid Lives)
Richard – You are a Survivor and Thriver. Your infectious laugh, kindness and humour will be missed. You gave so much to your family (biological and chosen), friends and community. We love you. Namaste!
“How lucky I am to have known somebody and something that saying goodbye to is so damned awful…
He came to me to be a friend, and I knew some how he couldn’t stay
That he was someone I would know a little while
He brought a smile, and he was free, and he came to give it all to me
The chance to see the way he sees, so I could fly…
I tried to see, all that he saw in me, looking through Richard’s Window in the sky” (from Oscar nominated Olivia song, “Richard’s Window”)
Steve (my husband) - “No Other Love” is an Olivia song on her album, GAIA, which became our wedding song. I never thought in my lifetime I would experience sharing my life with someone, and truly feeling loved. Thank you for 27 years of shared happiness, adventure, and wedded bliss.
My Love…I’m too busy
My Sweet…You got to eat
I love you!
Eggplant emoji. Peach emoji. Heart emoji.
This past year, I asked for help.
I struggle with anxiety, depression and dissociation. I started attending weekly psychotherapy sessions and found them to be extremely helpful.
Life is a journey and I want to participate in all that it offers.
Darkness is like daylight only blacker
In the darkness you can be standing within a multitude
And not know anyone is near you
I feel the same way in daylight, only I know no one is near me
A plea for help might come from a man with a fatal disease,
he cannot be helped
It might come from a condemned man for whom people have no mercy,
he cannot be helped
It might from a man who lived a long life and it is his time to go
He cannot be helped
Yet, I have neither old age, fatal disease nor crime to condemn me
Whe don’t they try to comprehend me?
I must be un-understandable. There is a cold war in this house
At night going to bed I feel so alone, like I am the only human left on earth
From 8am to 11pm I’ve spoken less than 40 words to someone other than me. I hate ME!
I need people to talk to and my world is empty of people
It’s me against a huge overpowering monster and I’m losing!
Mercenaries help fight a war...You need loyal people to really win
People who care
People who care don’t dump the war on the mercenaries lap and say fight it!
People who care get in and fight harder than the rest
They have most to lose!
How can a person be…mad alone…happy alone
He needs someone…to be mad at…to be happy with
Loneliness is terrible because you have no one to tell…you feel so alone
Help…I’m drowning in nothing
Why can I not be helped
Please help me!
This poem was written in the 1960’s when I was a young teenage boy undergoing different forms of gay conversion and behaviour therapies.
I have retired from a successful business life as Founder and President of a Canadian company, and garnered awards and accolades, including a lifetime achievement award.
I am happily married and celebrating 27 years together.
I have survived an epic moment
Sensed but not selected
Tied to this background
Support is an offering
The flow of strategy, an
Opportunity to share
Learning to practice
Implementation of this project
Blindly scribbling on paper
Reading that is encouraged
Reclaiming hope to see
Trauma and my brain
Winding down the brightest
Collars collapse into Bibles
It's about what I believe
Insight real, controlled hatred
Going towards home
Similarities from strategies
The health care provides
My journey full of resources
The healer proud of treatment
Experiences tender to the fold
Following the instructions on how I should proceed
I wrote this poem to describe the journey, the healing journey I have been on the past year and how I use the tools that I’ve been given to help me cope with the stress of daily life. I tried to show how art and poetry can help me overcome the challenges that I face everyday. This describes what I do in order to make art and how I feel about my life and how it progresses, while I make light out of Darkness.