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Youth and Trauma: Remembering Wade

From that moment we spent almost every day together, laughing, sharing, and talking about anything. Together we cried about the sadness in our lives, but we also laughed about the crazy times in our individual grown up years. We got closer as the months went by and I realized he loved me and I loved him too. It was great to have someone in my life that truly cared for me.

Our small community has faced so much loss. Last week as the Two Row Times was invited to the P.A.R.T.Y program, it was still astounding to see how youth reacted to an open discussion on trauma.

A video re-enactment of a motor vehicle accident was shown and a number of youth left the theatre overwhelmed with emotion. New Directions was very prepared to help with counsellors standing by, but it is never easy to re-visit the pain once you’ve lost someone so suddenly. When an accident affects you or the ones you love so directly, things are never the same. We invited Six Nations Youth Celina Hill to share her thoughts on trauma.

I met Wade back when I lived at the Youth Lodge. It was a quiet peaceful evening in April and I was cooking supper for the staff and myself. I suddenly sensed that someone was in the room with me, so I turned around only to see that tall skinny stick figure sitting at the table. He looked at me, smiled, and said, “What you cooking me?” I laughed at him and said, “Sausages and potatoes to be exact. You look like you are hungry and need to eat.” We both looked at each other and laughed.

From that moment we spent almost every day together, laughing, sharing, and talking about anything. Together we cried about the sadness in our lives, but we also laughed about the crazy times in our individual grown up years. We got closer as the months went by and I realized he loved me and I loved him too. It was great to have someone in my life that truly cared for me.

When I woke up at 6:00 am I checked my phone to see if I had any texts and I read one from my cousin that said, “He’s gone Bean, Wade’s gone”. I was in disbelief thinking it was only a dream. I instantly became sick to my stomach. I wanted to cry, but no tears came out. I will relive that tragic morning for the rest of my life. It was the most devastating news anyone could ever tell me. This wasn’t my first experience with death, but it was one of the most painful experiences.

The day of his funeral I felt like I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other. My whole body was drained of emotion and I felt that I couldn’t cry any more. In my grief I thought of Wade’s favourite colour. I grabbed my red blouse to wear in honour of his spiritual journey and I carried a red rose in my right hand. Walking up the funeral home steps I knew it would be the last time I’d see his handsome face. I never once thought I would lose someone close to me again.

After the service I gave the family members all a hug and my deepest condolences. When the procession reached the church, I got out of the vehicle. I felt the warm sun shining on my face and the cool breeze gently caressing my skin. It was almost the most beautiful day I’d ever seen; it was so perfect and serene. I managed to smile, despite my sadness and I looked at the beautiful array of flowers. Wade always loved nature. He liked the outdoors and he enjoyed the freedom that it gave him. Picking wild flowers was one of his passions, especially when he picked flowers for me.

At the gravesite, the priest gave many comforting words of his prayers to everyone. I made my way through the crowd and held my rose tightly. Fortunately, I was the first one there and I gently threw my rose downward. As it slipped through my fingers, good-bye tears warmly ran down my face. I watched it drop onto his casket like it was my heart that dropped and shattered into a million pieces. I turned to walk away, and it felt a piece of me drifted away.

In my young life I have experienced different heart breaks and pain. Wade always listened to my fears and sorrow about my terrible upbringing and past. He gave me that hope and inspiration to keep going and be somebody important. I hang on to the words we shared and the promises that we both kept to help keep my strong mind going to move ahead in my future. He was my best friend and it was difficult to lose him. I thank him every day for what he taught me, to love again and to have faith. I will always love him.

Celina Hill is a Grade 12 student at McKinnon Park Secondary. She plans on heading to college for journalism and graphic design. She says, “Education is my main focus in life, because it encourages other people to finish school. Going to school sets my mind to become successful for myself and my future. I couldn’t have pushed my way through highschool without the help of my Totah and Aunts. Nyewah.”

If you or anyone you know is having a hard time dealing with loss or trauma please reach out for help.

Six Nations Mobile Crisis Line 24 hours a day: 1-866-445-2204.

New Directions Group: 519-445-2947

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

For more information on the P.A.R.T.Y. Program at Sunnybrook Hospital you can call Sarah Gallsworthy
416-480-6100 ext 83736 or 
sarah.gallsworthy@sunnybrook.ca

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