OLDS — A man whose daughter took her own life is amazed by how much money a foundation in her name has raised and is impressed by the compassion and interest today’s youth have in the issue.
Rick More says the whole thing has been so impactful that he plans to write a book about the family’s experience in the hope it will help others and contribute to his own healing journey.
Red Deer resident Lindsey More, 22, daughter of Rick and Cindy More, committed suicide in September 2015.
Rick More is one of about nine speakers who can be heard during The Conversation Has To Happen (TCHTH), a series on depression and suicide prevention offered in Olds.
In previous years, The Conversation Has To Happen was a one-day seminar. However, for the second year in a row, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, it’s being offered in a variety of media.
Until the end of the month, interviews with or profiles of TCHTH speakers will be featured in The Albertan as well as on the radio stations 96.5CKFM and Rock 104.5 in Olds.
During an interview with The Albertan, More said the Smiles Thru Lindsey foundation has raised more than $500,000 so far for mental health and youth.
“We’re amazed that businesses and people continue to believe in what we’re doing and donating to the cause and Lindsey’s legacy. It’s really humbling to myself and my family that people are still aware of it, very much so,” he said.
More said over the past six years, it’s been extremely difficult to cope with the fact that Lindsey took her life but he’s learned that healing can take place.
More said he still thinks of Lindsey every day and it hurts.
“Obviously the first year is the toughest. You come up with all the dates, but we haven’t stopped living," he said.
“I couldn’t even say ‘suicide’ in the first. I just couldn’t say the word. It was just ‘she lost her life,’ or ‘she lost her battle.’ You know, it was just the harshness that I had trouble dealing with.
“I think it comes down to . . . You know, everyone goes through the stages and as a father it was, ‘I could have done more’ and you know there’s that guilt thing that always happens and ‘why didn’t I see it?”
However, More said he’s come to understand that it is what it is, and “there’s not a lot that we really could have done when the brain takes over on these children, especially, and irrational thoughts come in and they just have trouble battling it.”
A Facebook page has been set up for the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation.
“We really wanted people to know that they’re not alone, the people who are suffering. We understand,” he said.
More is touched by the messages that have been posted to that page, many of which have thanked them for the foundations’ work and said it’s made a positive difference in their own journeys.
“I think that kind of our message is as tough as it’s been, life moves on and you have to sometimes shake it off and just focus on the good things you have in life,” More said.
“We’ve got four wonderful grandsons now and we’ll make sure they know about their aunt, but we also have to focus on the neat things they’re doing.”
Over the years, More has been speaking on youth suicide to students and staff in various schools throughout Central Alberta.
He’s been impressed by those students – the questions they ask, the compassion they show.
"I see a new generation, a young generation that is not afraid to ask the question, ‘How are you doing?’ And actually wanting to hear the answer,” he said.
Today’s youth don’t seem so ready to put their heads in the sand when it comes to suicide as his generation does and that inspires him, he said.
More has just retired as chief executive officer of the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce.
He said he now plans to write a book about the whole experience of Lindsey’s passing, what they’ve learned about how to cope with tragic events like her suicide and perhaps provide some tips for others.
“It's not a matter of how many you sell, it’s can you help the odd person," he said.” It’s going to be not only good for other people, but healing for myself. It'll be emotional, but I think it’s one that needs to be said, read, written.”