This blog is both inspiring and heart-wrenching. It has the ability to bring together both great triumphs and great sadness. There are blood, sweat, and tears in one man’s ability to create something so magnificent for our fallen brothers. I am not going to beat around the bush. We had this idea to create something special, a memorial, for the men we’ve lost. The last two and a half years have been tough – we’ve lost many alumni in the wake of the opiate epidemic, and others of various other causes.
I was talking with a longtime client about the idea to have a bench to look over the ocean – to remind us that living is not promised, that we must take heed with our addiction, that we must continue to work hard every day, and that we remember those we lost. We won’t forget them – ever. Their memory lives on in our hearts and is the epitome of what the bench represents.
The bench is beautiful and a creative masterpiece. He worked countless hours on it. The skill of the build is inspiring – it’s made with love and from memories of the men he knew too. The best part of my job is seeing the men shift into recovery and seeing their faces change – the clarity evident. Their minds clear and their life begins again. Our crafted bench maker and carpenter extraordinaire embodies this, and it’s been a real treat to be a part of.
So that’s what this is. Addiction doesn’t discriminate, addiction doesn’t choose who makes it out alive and who doesn’t… many of us are still here out of pure luck or chance. There is hope though. There are those who turn it all around and find their meaning and purpose.
There’s nothing fair or any words of comfort that we can say about losing loved ones prematurely. All I can say is that my own recovery journey is helping as many people as I can so other families don’t have to go through it.
The bench now rests outside our new medical unit, looking out onto the Georgia Straight and Texada Island. I promise you, families – we won’t forget those loved ones lost and we will continue fighting for them. No death in vain.