August 9, 2012

Folk Fest, KD Lang, and Neil Young’s Helpless

With the Edmonton Folk Fest season upon us, I am recalling kd Lang’s powerful rendition of Neil Young’s iconic song, Helpless. I love that song, the haunting melody, the profound lyrics, that refrain that anthems and honours one of our most painful human emotions: helplessness.

Now I know it’s commonly held view, and one recently portrayed in the newly released documentary, Neil Young Journeys, that the song Helpless is about his childhood years in Omemee, Ontario, but I think that is a mistaken conclusion. Yes, Omemee was where Neil’s formative childhood years occurred, but surely Helpless is much more likely about two other truly northern Ontario towns: Thunder Bay and Blind River.…

June 11, 2012

Suicide Bereavement, 7 Ways to Heal

Suicide Bereavement CounsellingDevastating news of the recent suicides of two young adults in my personal circle moves me to write about suicide bereavement.

As a counsellor who has met with hundreds of people grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide, and as one who years ago lost a best friend to suicide, I know that grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide is heart-wrenching, exhausting and complex.…