the other end of the pen

Behind the stories in The Fraser Canyon Express

Death in a Small Town

The last five months have been tough in the canyon.  We lost a young father of two boys to suicide and a middle aged father of three succumbed to Cancer.  A young dad of two daughters died last weekend in a house fire and an old fella who many loved and admired succumbed to old age.   Go back to summer and you’re looking at five more deaths just from Cancer including my good friend Patricia, a very talented artist.  

The thing is that in a small town of about 300 souls, to lose that many people in such a short time span, quite frankly, I’m feeling a little shell shocked.  9 out of 300 is roughly 3% of our population. Let me put that into perspective- if we had a population of 10,000, it would be the equivalent of 300 local people dying in a five month period.   Now, imagine that you personally know every one of them.  That gives you an idea of how I feel.

 I must admit that living here there are a few things we prepare for; in winter, we steel ourselves for reports of car accidents involving locals. In the old days, locals would prepare themselves mentally for death of loved ones by drowning.   But death by Cancer is becoming more and more insidious in our community. Also since I just turned 40, I suddenly  realized that the older I get, the more people I know are going to be dying off. It may sound morbid, but I find myself looking around me and silently asking myself, who’s next?

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2 Comments»

  jjbaker wrote @

Death is no fun, espcially in a small town. but Ithinkyou are personalizing it too much. Death happens, and youhit it on the head when you said that your getting older.
more people in general aren’t dying, you just now know more people who are dying. Remember as a kid, your parents going to funerals of people you didn’t
even know? That’s what this is, you are getting older and so are your friends, as as people get older they die.
It’s the cycle of life, (to be trite)

  someone wrote @

its quite true ,as you get older people are going to leave, its a fact of life but you should take the memories and lessons youve learned from those people with you and never forget them. That way they will always be with you in your soul even though they cant be with you in person.


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