RIP RCMP Corporal Ron Francis

Image: Keith Minchin National Post Imelda Pearly, an elder from St. Mary's First Nation, accompanies RCMP Cpl. Ron Francis, as he arrives at RCMP J Division Headquarters to turn in his red serge uniform.

Image: Keith Minchin National Post
Imelda Pearly, an elder from St. Mary’s First Nation, accompanies RCMP Cpl. Ron Francis, as he arrives at RCMP J Division Headquarters to turn in his red serge uniform.

RIP RCMP Corporal Ron Francis

I am so sad to see this tragic end.  I remember the last interview I saw of him when they took his uniform away and he sobbed.  He was legally prescribed and legally taking this medication which happened to be called Marijuana.

The problem wasn’t that he smoked a prescribed medication but rather that many uneducated  people started to gripe about something they know so little about.  These same people are probably comprised of some people who have been busted by him on drug offences and perhaps even for Marijuana.

Some of these people are the type who simply look to find anything wrong with the police that they can and then start hate campaigns targeting them for it.  A few short months ago there were two RCMP officers who were murdered by a citizen who is awaiting now awaiting trial.  Would you believe a 20 year old young man in Pennsylvania set up pages calling the murderer a hero?  I found out who he was and that he created several pages, all of which I reported as did many others.

People will look at anything to harm someone else won’t they?  Look at the trolls all over Facebook and the net.  You can find them in chat rooms, forums, social media sites and with sites all their own to target people like you and me (see www.bewytchme.ca).

No one knows what was going through his mind when he decided he had lost it and death was a better solution than the pain of life.  None of us have a right to judge him or anyone else who takes their own life.  We have never walked in his shoes or spent a day in his mind.  It’s not for us to judge him based on what we think is right.  Our right may not be the same right for others.

I’m not going to try and say what I think is the reason for his choice because I just don’t know.  I can say that from the last interview I saw, I felt a very dark shadow come over him and I think I knew he would take these final steps.  I don’t think anyone could have prevented it, although, there are many people left behind wondering just that.

If you have known someone who was living in the basement of life with depression & who took their life or failed at their attempt, you understand this.  If not, you may not understand.

People who are truly suicidal may not show one sign or symptom which their family and friends may see.  They don’t tell anyone that they are suicidal.  If they did, they would not be at the point of taking their own life, they would still be reaching out to the world for help.

You may feel kind of icky if your friend or family member starts to do things like give away their favorite and most personal items or stop seeing friends or family & answering or texting their phone.

If you do get that icky feeling in the pit of your stomach, ask them if they are okay.  Sometimes that is all that is necessary to save their life.  Someone, just one person, you…to care.  What’s the worst that could happen if you do?  It’s a lot better than if you don’t.  You might be left asking yourself over and over again why you didn’t ask that one simple question.

If someone is home and not answering the phone, acting strange or withdrawing, stop by or call their local police department and ask them to do a welfare check on them.  What’s the worst that could happen if you did either?

So now back to the death of RCMP Corporal Ron Francis.  He died because he was already feeling bad after the national media attention and lost of his job and beloved uniform.  He died because people decided to put their personal thorns into his side to cause him as much pain as they could.  He died because trolls targeted him online and off.  He died because he couldn’t take life anymore.  He died because breathing was painful.  He died because he lived with pain which no one could ever understand.  Why he died is important.

You realize that our first responders are out on the front line day in and day out, seeing things which would mentally blind us?  Everyday.  We then expect them to go home, sleep, eat, get up and do it all over again without feeling any strain from what they see on a daily basis.  Where is their help and support?  Why are we content to allow law enforcement and other first responders to protect us and not think they are human and have human emotions with scars that refuse to heal.

It’s not about what he was doing which got the media attention or about the stupid people out there who instantly jumped on the anti-police band wagon but it’s about a man named Ron Francis who loved his job but who lost his life far too young.

As long as there are deaths out there of first responders, in particular law enforcement, celebrities or regular folks like 15 year old Amanda Todd, we need to talk about what we can do to stop this.

How can we help end the suffering and take away the astygmatsm of depression and suicide?  By having the conversation even if it’s uncomfortable for us.  We need to educate ourselves about depression and other mental health issues.  Heck, maybe we even need to take some courses on empathy and sympathy.  All I know is that we need to do something because doing nothing could be and will be deadly and has already been deadly.

I am so sorry for the loss of Cpl. Francis and his family and friends.  Please know that not every Canadian judged you or judge you now.  There are many of us who understand what the darkness is like and the whispers which call us over to what we are told will be an easier life, removed of pain.

For those who are suffering with mental health issues and or may be suicidal, please reach out.  Reach out to me if you have no one else.  I will care about you and I will let you tell me how you feel.  I will hold you and whisper nothing but positive words to stop the negative words.  I will be here for you when you need me and know that you are never, ever alone.  You are worth it.  You matter.  You are lovable.  You can do this.  The only thing you cannot change is the past.  Tomorrow is a new page to start your story fresh.  Forgive yourself.  Love who you are.  Be the best you that you can be.  Love the person who looks back at you in the mirror.

RIP Corporal Ron Francis #rcmp #suicide #mentalhealth #help #support #military #firstresponders #depression #worldmentalhealthday #lightuppurple #AmandaToddLegacy #AmandaTodd #love

Image: Keith Minchin National Post

Image: Keith Minchin National Post Cpl. Ron Francis, RCMP, collects his uniform and service equipment that is about to be collected by RCMP officers.

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