#BellLetsTalk Day

January 28th, 2015 is Bell Let’s Talk Day; A day to talk openly about mental health issues.

January 28th, 2015 also marks 267 days since Jason (my ex-partner and father of our kids) took his life.

267 days of grief.

267 days of heaviness that fades but never goes away.

267 days of regret.

I’ve been criticized that I’m writing about his death in some sort of self-serving way. But the way I see it is that if I had been louder about his depression while he was still alive … if I had insisted on talking to him and those who love him about what I saw… then maybe…………………………

In any case, it’s time to be loud now. It’s time to make noise and TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH !!!!!!! For Jason, for Rain, for Moxie and for everyone everywhere affected by depression.

I’ve been tasked with explaining depression/suicide to Rain (10) and Moxie (8).  “Why did he do it?” is a conversation that we’ve had numerous times.  Thankfully I have had support from a bereavement group and with their help, have formulated this basic answer.

“Your dad would have done anything to help his friends and family.  But when he needed help, he didn’t ask.  He was embarrassed by how yucky he felt inside and wanted to hide his feelings.  He thought it made him stronger.  But instead it made him feel alone.  There are 3 things we need to take away from this:

1. Your Dad loved you so incredibly much.

2. His death had NOTHING to do with you.

3. Whenever you need help, ask someone.  Talk to someone. Don’t hide your feelings. ever.

Since his death, the kids have talked openly about this disease called depression to their teachers and friends at school.  Their grief has been demonstrated in countless art pieces.  We share tears, laughter and memories daily.  But the important consistency here is that we are talking about it.  We are not hiding it.  We are not ashamed by it.

Join us.. talk about it.  We are not alone.


Team Adventures

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It was the best of times.. It was the worst of times..


This year seemed long.

And yet I remember very little of it prior to the tragic day of May 6th.  Our lives have truly become divided into BDD (Before Daddy Died) and ADD (After Daddy Died). Up until then, I would have said my hardest year was the year after Jason and I separated.  But watching Rain and Moxie grieve the loss of their dad has been beyond heartbreaking.  daily.  for 240 days.  and counting.

Less than 2 months after his death, we embarked on a 3 week road trip across Western Canada.  I had no idea what to expect.  I was going to drive over 6,000km through mountains, prairies, cities and even an island with a 10 and 7 (soon to be 8) year old.   The result was the very best vacation I could have ever imagined.  (and I am a bit of a vacation snob).

Some of the highlights include:

Discovering the beauty of Northern Ontario, (click here for Rain’s Introduction to Wawa)

Counting Canadian Flags (781 in total)!  And catching this small-town Canada Day parade!

Canada Day Parade in Ignace

Canada Day Parade in Ignace

The Twilight Zone of a reptile museum in Manitoba 20140702-220052-79252310.jpg

the badass badlands

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park

The Rocky Mountains

at the top of Kicking Horse mountain

at the top of Kicking Horse mountain

visiting Kim, Dottie and Tim!



the drive of death that led us to one of the most beautiful places in Canada

back at the beach but this time we have full tummies! (hence no bikini ;p)

back at the beach but this time we have full tummies! (hence no bikini ;p)

Vancouver Island: visiting, Joel, Andrew, Leanne and Carmanah and – the chickens!!!!

Good-bye chickens (Rain is holding Friendy and Moxie is holding Snow)

Good-bye chickens (Rain is holding Friendy and Moxie is holding Snow)

rockstar photo shoot in Ucluelet

Rockers on the Rocks

Rockers on the Rocks

partying like rock stars with our cousin Jill in Vancouver

Storm and guest appearance by Jill

Storm and guest appearance by Jill

…. Seriously, Can we do it again? I usually link to all of my writing in these year in reviews posts, but this year pretty much everything I’ve written is found on this site (exception was this published poem, Broken).  So take a minute and browse our Team Adventurers website (there’s a little bit for everyone). Both Rain and Moxie have done some of their own writing this year. Rain wrote about being a goalie (future sport columnist?) and Moxie wrote about watching her brother play video games (future investigative reporter?)

A writing highlight was watching my Dear Jerk post go international.  It was posted on Manifest-Station and within 24 hours it received over 5,000 views, and hundreds of shares and likes.  (let’s continue to increase awareness of mental illness as well as suicide survivors). My twitter followers exceeded the 200 count.  Just earlier this year I celebrated when I hit the 40 mark.  And no, this is not how I count my life value, but increasing a network of like-minded individuals is kinda cool. (psst.. follow us for witty randomness @pixiepaperdoll7)  On that note, our Team Adventurers blog site was viewed about 11,000 times this year – wow!  For those statistic buffs out there, here is the annual report analysis (We seem to have a following in Israel..interesting).  Also, we created our own YouTube channel – check it out here!  Could my dream of living aside the ocean and making a career out of writing be getting closer…???  Apparently a lot can happen in a year so I’m not ready to discount anything at this point.

Moving forward, I don’t believe that a new year gives you a new page or a clean slate with which to write your life.  The bad shit you did, the bad shit that happened to you..it stays with you even after that magical stroke of midnight.  Sorry.  But, you don’t have to let yourself get stuck in that.  Use it. Grow from it.  But most of all, don’t hide from it – feel it. (and if you are so inclined, write about it.  You may be surprised at how much we can support each other just by speaking our truth)

With no resolutions, only reflection and wishes:

♥May 2015 be filled with love, adventure and kick ass music.♥

peace out,

Team Adventurers  (@PixiePaperDoll7)

PS: On New Year’s Eve we decided to take a picture of ourselves dressed in attire that represents how we want to spend 2015.  It is maybe a little hard to see but Rain chose hockey gear and a soccer ball (2015 athlete of the year), Moxie chose her Canada is Awesome shirt and binoculars (Canada exploration!) and I chose my headphones and shades (warm weather and good music).  Lucy… well… Lucy continues to be Lucy….

New Year's Eve Take 1

New Year’s Eve Take 1

New Year's Eve: Take 2

New Year’s Eve: Take 2

PSS: We also got a New Year’s Cake – yum!!

Happy New Year - let's eat cake!

Happy New Year – let’s eat cake!