In my 15 years as a broadcaster, I have never done this on the air before this morning. I took a moment of silence. I was drawn to do it because I truly believe in the power of sending positive and loving thoughts to someone. Even if they are a stranger? Why do I believe this? Because last year after my husband killed himself I was on the receiving end of such a strong surge of love from complete strangers and it held me up. It still does, on today, the ten month mark.
When I first saw the news of the horrific crash involving the Humboldt Broncos, my heart broke. In fact, it was unimaginable. Like a scene from a movie. But Saturday as news starting pouring in, I just couldn't take my eyes off Twitter. I was overcome with sadness and tears for everyone involved. Crying for complete strangers may not sound like something one should do, but I did. Like so many Canadians, I feel so deeply for their pain, this weekend but also for the complete alteration in the trajectory of their lives. Both of those who had loved ones pass away and those who survived. I can relate to having your life change in an instant, so many people can. Whether it's a sudden death, a health diagnosis or any number of things. Life changes in an instant.
I feel a sense of responsibility as a radio announcer to provide humour, comfort, and a moment for listeners to be swept away from whatever they are dealing with. I know this first-hand again, from being on the other side. When my son Thomas underwent is cochlear implant surgery at BC Children's Hospital, we drove to the hospital every eight weeks for months and months. We relied on morning radio to make us laugh and give us a distraction. I came away from that experience knowing that was my job, on the air.
But sometimes, during a tragedy like this, I feel I have to talk about it. To remind people it's ok to talk about it. In fact, it's necessary. I spent years not sharing my truth about Thomas' special needs and Jeremy's mental health. I was in survival mode. But now I know that talking about it, sharing emotion and not keeping it inside is incredibly therapeutic. You help yourself by realizing you are not alone.
So, I encouraged listeners to send positive and loving thoughts to those affected this morning. Even just for a moment. They aren't alone. You aren't alone.