Letter - Part 1

I recently came upon an article about retired RCMP officer, Cpl Ken Barker, who committed suicide this past week.  He had been suffering from PTSD for some time.


Dear friends and family of Cpl Ken Barker:

I don’t know you.  But my heart breaks for you.  My soul mourns for you.  My mind cries for you.

I’m so sorry for your loss.  Losing a friend or family member to death is devastating, but to lose someone to suicide is also confusing and frustrating.

He dedicated his life to police work and the communities he worked in.  I am so sorry he had to deal with PTSD.  

My heart goes out to you.  I wish there was something I could do to ease the pain.  I, myself, have dealt with the loss of someone I love to suicide.  Time heals.  The pain will stop, I promise.  You may never understand it, but you will, at some point, become at peace with it. 

Please know that it is not your fault.  It’s no ones fault.  There’s nothing more you could have done.  I’m sure there are many “what ifs” going through your mind.  “What could I have done?”  “What if I helped more?”  “What if I had been there more for him?”  It’s already tough enough dealing with this loss, please do not blame yourself.  Be patient with yourself.  This is probably the hardest thing you will ever do.

The anger and pain and frustration you are feeling is 100% normal.  The grief you are feeling is normal.  Everyone grieves differently so however you are grieving, it is normal.  It’s okay to cry and scream and yell and break down.  It is okay.

It's not fair.  Suicide is not fair.  Mental illness is not fair.

Please latch onto your fellow RCMP families during this time.  We are all thinking of you.  We are one big family.

Love, Ashley




(There will be a 2nd part of this blog related to PTSD but I don't feel it appropriate to continue right after this post.)