Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

In winter’s icy grip


It is snowing today. Spring has slipped back into the shadows of winter’s icy grip.

A tragic event in our city yesterday left me, along with everyone in our city, reeling.

C.C. picked me up from the C-train and drove off to spend some time with his daughter. Two of the victims were close friends.

I talked to my eldest daughter on the phone as I walked up the street towards the house. She and her sister both knew the suspect’s sister. They are reeling.

I know the suspect’s father. Admire him. Respect him.

My heart aches for all the families.

I came home and did what I like to do when I do not have answers, when I can not make sense of what has happened.

I moved all the furniture in the living room around.

And then, I went to meet my youngest daughter for dinner and we avoided conversation of the day’s events until we could no longer avoid it.

It is too real. Too raw. Too incomprehensible.

There is pain. There is sorrow. There is heartbreak.

And there are many lives affected.

Many lives lost.

Many more broken.

And nothing can undo what was done.

Nothing can bring these five young people back.

And nothing can heal the space where once they laughed and sang and lived their lives with such promise for a future they will never see.

And nothing can undo the future for this man and his family whose son did this. Nothing can undo the pain he caused. Nothing can erase his deeds.

There is no sense to made. No words of comfort big enough to ease the pain.

There is only this moment right now where we must breathe. We must continue to take one step forward.

Just like time. Time moves forward, it cannot flow backwards.


It is all there is in this moment.

And I am saddened for everyone. For all the young people whose lives were taken and all their family and friends who are trying to come to grips with such a devastating loss. And their fellow students at UofC who collectively must mourn what no young person should ever have to mourn.

It is snowing today. Spring has slipped back into the shadows of winter’s icy grip.

There is no sunshining. No birds singing.

But, there is Love. Always, in the sadness and the grief, the sorrow and the pain, there is Love.

It is all we can hold onto.


Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

29 thoughts on “In winter’s icy grip

  1. I am deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy. So senseless. My thoughts and prayers are with you and daughters for your personal loss.
    Diana xo


  2. Like Diana, my prayers are with you and yours Louise. I hadn’t even realized this had happened and will now begin special prayers and reflections on how – if at all – I can be of any help. I will hold onto Love with you Louise.
    xo Gina


  3. The random acts of violence seem to be increasing– I will forever talk about gun control and mental health. Sorry for your losses, Calgary. We are with you.


    • Thank you Lisa. This is the same neighbourhood where very dear friends of mine lost their son to a stabbing last year. He too was a student at the UofC. He too was full of promise. In his case, the young girl who was just convicted did what she did with intention. It is so sad. So senseless. Thank you Lisa for standing and praying with us. Love to you.


  4. Louise I can feel your pain. I wish peace and love for you all…may you find comfort.


    • Thank you Lorrie. It saddens my heart. Burdens my thinking. And still, I know that we cannot move forward with the pain. We must pray and believe in peace and Love. Thank you dear one. I feel your presence in the darkness of the sorrow of everyone here.


      • Even in your pain you take the time to make me feel good…you are very special to me…The tears fall from my heart because I truly can feel your pain. I am sending all love, light, peace be unto you all. Blessitude


  5. So sorry to hear about this. Always tragic but so much harder when you knew the people.


  6. a bushel of beans being sent to you


  7. My daughter is a student at the U of C and it is hard to comprehend this tragedy for all those involved. My kids went to school with Brett in Ponoka and his death sent shock waves through our community. Now five more lives lost, all similar age as two of my kids makes it really hit home. I am deeply saddened for all involved, the victims, the family’s of the victims, but also the young man accused and what he and his family will now face. One thing that I feel in my heart is that we should not judge this young man and his family unless we have walked a mile in their shoes. What he did was tragic, but we don’t know why and we must find compassion and forgiveness in our hearts for him as well. We don’t know what demons he struggles with. My heart goes out to his family as what they are facing is tragic. My heart also goes out to the victims and the promise of their futures which have been taken and the lost dreams never to be realized by them or their families! But please, let us all remember that this young man is human and god will ultimately be the judge of his sins. Let us all not jump to conclusions until the answers are presented as there is still much unknown. Let us also remember we have not walked in his shoes. My Condolences to all and deepest heartfelt sympathy does not feel like enough, but we are all human and I can’t imagine the pain that all these people are now in. I pray for healing for all of you!


    • Cory — thank you for the beauty of your words, and your heart. You light up this darkness with your compassion and love. Thank you my friend. I pray for healing for you too, and for Brett’s family.


      • Thank you Louise! I also thank you for your beautiful messages, always. I also pray for healing for the Weise family, and the families involved this week. They all need our prayers.


      • Hugs and love Cory — Prayers are powerful, and when we can do nothing else, we can always give voice to our prayers for peace and healing.


  8. I feel your pain.
    So many people plunged into darkness.
    It is hard to see if there can be any light in such a situation.


  9. There is always Love……yes. You will see Love brighten in the days after a tragedy. Despite the tragic loss, others may awaken as they see the blinding Light of Truth.


  10. I love this post from your open heart. Thank you for sharing. Hugs to you and yours and those who could do with one tonight. Love brings us together.


  11. I didn’t know about this until now.


  12. Thank you for letting us know. It will now be in my heart. Your words, as ever, are beautiful. I’m so sorry!


  13. I just watched the press release given by the accused’s family and my heart is breaking for them. As tears stream down my face and I truly feel their pain, I ask that we all remember them in our prayers. Also, we need to remember to not judge as we as humans are so quick to do so. Any of us who are parents must remember that this is their son and they love him with all their hearts. He has caused immeasurable pain to five families but he is a young man who has obviously suffered his own pain and tragedy to be able to commit these acts. Let’s remember to pray for him and that he finds healing. His family has done their best in raising him and they are not to blame. They all need our prayers for strength to get through what they are facing, not our condemnation! There is just so much pain for all of these families. I don’t know any of them, but yet I feel all this pain so deeply. Maybe it is because I am a mother to seven children of my own and I know that I have done my best to raise them well, yet at a certain point in life we no longer can control THEIR actions and choices. We set them free to fly on their own and sometimes they make good choices and sometimes they make bad ones. When they falter it is our job to love them through their mistakes and be there for them. We may not understand the choices they make but we must remember that it is out of our control. I know this all too well and maybe this is why my heart breaks for this family. When you have walked a mile in their shoes, you can understand. I extend my deepest sympathies to all the families and to the accused and his family, my prayers are with you all for peace, healing, and strength. This tragedy has touched so many and I hope they know they are not alone! Knowing people are behind you is what got me through a tragic time in my life and I hope it will help them.


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