January 19, 2014 10:08 AM
The memory of Trevor Lapierre lives on through a fundraiser benefiting the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of B.C.
On a wall near the front door of the Langley City apartment that Jeff Lapierre shares with his wife Kylee and their nine-month-old son Grayson is a framed photo of a young man, his head down, strumming a guitar.
Etched across the photo are the italicized lyrics from the band Soul Asylum’s smash 1992 hit Runaway Train.
The guitarist in the photo is Jeff’s brother Trevor, and the song was Trevor’s all-time favourite.
Runaway Train was played at Trevor’s funeral in October 2010.
At approximately one o’clock in the morning of Oct. 23, 2010 Trevor quietly slipped out of his bed.
He told his girlfriend that he was going to the bathroom.
He never returned.
A few hours later, a scream filled the Brookswood home that Trevor shared with his parents and younger brother Brad.
Trevor’s dad, Bob, discovered the body of his third-born son in the rec room.
Trevor took his own life, the night before a planned 80th birthday celebration for his grandfather.
He was 23.
He left behind his brothers Jeff, now 31, 32-year-old Derek, 25-year-old Brad, and parents Bob and Maureen.
While there was a four-year age gap between himself and Trevor, Jeff said he was very close to his brother.
They shared the same interests and just seemed to click.
“There wasn’t any real signs [that Trevor was going to take his own life],” Jeff reflected Saturday, a few days away from the second annual The Memory Remains, a fundraiser benefiting the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of B.C.
All proceeds from tonight’s ( Friday, Jan. 24) event at The Fox and the Fiddle at 19530 Langley Bypass will be donated to the centre in Trevor’s memory.
Leading up to his suicide, Trevor seemed to be turning his life around.
He had been attending A.A. meetings for his drinking and was trying hard to get a handle on his anger issues.
Trevor and his girlfriend were in a committed relationship and he had a stable job with a local plastic fabrication manufacturer.
“When he wasn’t drinking he always seemed happy,” Jeff said. “There was no signs of depression; no one thought he had any sort of feelings like that.”
Trevor’s death left his family, including Jeff, in total shock.
“I never, ever, saw it coming. His life was going pretty good which is why it came out of left field,” Jeff reflected. “Really, it brought on a lot of guilt. You feel guilty you didn’t see it coming, you couldn’t do anything to help prevent it.”
A couple of days before his death, Trevor told his doctor that he was mad all the time, and didn’t want to be that way anymore.
He took his first two doses of antidepressants the day before his death, but their effects didn’t factor into his suicide, according to a coroner’s report.
Following his brother’s death, Jeff took a week off work to allow himself time to grieve.
A few days after Trevor’s suicide, Jeff found himself in his brother’s bedroom at their parents’ home.
“I was just sitting by myself and I broke down,” he said. “That’s when it really, really sank in.”
Tonight, the Lapierre family is once again hosting the fundraiser in support of the crisis centre.
The crisis centre has operated since 1969 and helps people through three core programs: 24/7 distress phone services; online distress services (YouthInBC.com, CrisisCentreChat.ca); and community education.
Through the event, the Lapierre family have channeled their grief into helping others who may be contemplating suicide, and help their families catch some of the warning signs.
Funds go directly into the crisis centre’s teen program, Jeff explained.
“They have volunteers that go to schools and they help teach teens how to not only deal with depression thoughts, but they also teach them how to recognize that stuff in their friends and their family,” Jeff said.
Young people are the hardest hit by suicide.
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, suicide is among the leading causes of death in 15- to 24-year-old Canadians, second only to accidents, and that 4,000 people die prematurely each year by suicide.
As well as honouring Trevor’s memory, this is why this second annual fundraiser so important to Jeff and his family.
The first Memory Remains fundraiser, held in June 2012, sold out, and featured former Vancouver Canuck Mason Raymond.
It raised more than $7,000.
Canucks forward Dale Weise is scheduled to take part in Friday’s fundraiser. Weise will sign autographs and have his picture taken with fans.
Mental illness and depression is something that has affected the entire Canucks organization with the death of former Canuck Rick Rypien on Aug. 15, 2011.
Like Trevor, Rypien committed suicide.
Reminiscing about his brother, Jeff said Trevor was a really nice guy who loved being around kids, and adored his nephew Keith.
“He actually talked about working with, maybe, at-risk kids,” Jeff said. “He really loved children.”