Aric Fionnlagh McPherson
January 20, 1996-January 6, 2019
Born at home on January 20, 1996, Aric immediately brought light into this world. He had a thirst for knowledge and wasn’t about to wait for others to quench it. He would listen in to his sister’s latin lessons and quite often chime in with the answer before she had a chance to respond. He loved reading and had finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy before his 8th birthday. He would make trips to the local library and come back with a backpack full of books on subjects ranging from nature and wildlife, to psychology. He had a university credit in Bioethics at 15 years old.
Aric started to become more and more withdrawn and at the age of 17, called us from CHEO. He was scared and dealing with depression and anxiety. Greg drove to CHEO and spent the night awake with Aric at the hospital. Aric was admitted to the mental health unit the next day and spent a few weeks under their care.
As an outpatient, Aric had access to services through CHEO and often found support at Youth Services Bureau.
When he aged out of the youth services, he tried to make an appointment at the Royal Ottawa Hospital but was facing a 3-4 month wait. Aric started ‘self-medicating’ when he felt that he couldn’t get the help that he needed and over time, his dependency grew. He received counselling, had a stint at rehab, we flew him out west where he would stay with family members and work to try to break the cycle but it wasn’t enough to break the addiction.
On January 2, 2019, he moved into his new apartment in Gatineau and on January 6, 2019, we received the call that no parent should ever have to get.
January 3, 1997-January 27, 2021
I remember meeting Madeleine for the first time in a parking lot on Rideau St and Cumberland St., downtown Ottawa. We were dropping Aric off for a homeschooling event and that was the drop-off/meeting point.
Maddie’s smile had her standing out from the crowd and she immediately made an impression with her energy and confidence.
I had the privilege of being the chaperone for many homeschooling events that Maddie and her sister took part in and I will always be thankful for that opportunity.
Aric and Maddie had a special friendship and although they were often on different paths, whenever they were together, I felt a sense of the world being as it should be.
After losing Aric, Maddie commented often on the Facebook posts about Aric. She never got over losing him and tragically, we lost her one week after what would have been Aric’s 25th birthday.
Madeleine had a loving and very supportive family who fought for her every step of the way.