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October 31, 1977 to November 2, 2018.
Jay was born on October 31, 1977, in Swift Current. He grew up on the family farm near Gull Lake and went to school in Gull Lake and Swift Current. He also lived in Calgary, Edmonton and Medicine Hat. Jay LOVED motorbikes from the time he was two years old and was always happy when he could be out on the road, on his bike.
Jay could make any story funny. He had a big smile and sense of humour that drew people to him. He worked hard and his work took him all over Canada and the United States. He made friends from Oklahoma to Quebec City, and everywhere in between.
He was good-natured and kind, sympathetic to anyone who was lonely or hurt. But Jay's big smile and even bigger laugh covered dark depression and anxiety. His heart was too big for this world. For years he self-medicated.
As his disease worsened, he stayed determined and warm. He could talk to anyone and get them laughing. When you were with him you were so glad to be there. We loved him as a son, brother, nephew, cousin, friend and father.
Jay loved his family and friends too, but more than anything, he loved his boys, Zane, who was born in 2000 and Jarvis, who was born in 2010. He tried as hard as he could to stay clean and be a good dad. But he was trapped in the stigma around mental illness and addiction, reluctant to talk about it and unable to find successful treatment. He thought he should be able to beat addiction and depression with willpower. When he was unable to white-knuckle his way through, he dropped deeper and deeper into self-doubt and criticism.
We believed that he would beat it, but addiction stalked him and stole him away. We would have done anything to have him back, but this disease would not let him go.
We are grateful that when he lost his fight and died from suicide, he was safe at home and near his family.
Jay is survived by his sons, Zane and Jarvis; his mother Coralie Brodie; his father Harold Brodie and Harold's partner Leona McNabb; his girlfriend Mandy Massini and her daughter Amirah, fondly called Meems by Jay; his sister Feona Brodie Sorenson, her husband Matt Sorenson and their children Acacia, Caine and McCoy; his sister Felechia Brodie, her son Indigo Brodie and her husband Ron Blackwell; his aunt Keitha Friesen; many cousins, and many other aunts and uncles, including the Perrys, Ramseys and Gillens.
He is predeceased by his brother Travis, his much-loved maternal grandparents, Herb and Flora Couch, his uncles Ed Friesen, Jim Brodie, Kenneth and Howard Couch, his aunt Gloria Couch, and his paternal grandparents, Mary and Daniel Brodie.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the memorial service honouring Jay's life on November 12th in Gull Lake. Special thanks to Randy for the wonderful eulogy that captured Jay's honesty, humour and spirit, and to Reverend Chris Dowdeswell for leading a beautiful, hopeful service.
If you are fighting depression or addiction, know that everyone who has lost someone to these diseases is cheering for you. There is help available. It is never too late.
If you are reading this and making judgments, please educate yourself about these diseases, because that is what they are. Mental illness is as real as physical illness. The stigma around it only prevents people from getting the help they need. Addiction is not a choice or a weakness. Chances are you know someone who is struggling and needs your kindness and support.
We take comfort in knowing that Jay is free from the darkness and the struggle that haunted him. We would have given anything for him to experience that freedom in this lifetime.
Warren's Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements. For further information, call 306-773-8831 or visit our website at www.warrensfuneralhome.com and express your sympathy to family members in our book of condolences.