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Thank You--Remembering Rick Rypien


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#1 RFK

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:08 PM

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I do not post very often here but felt this was an opportune time to share a memory of mine.

I struggled with depression for much of last year and my negative emotions peaked last Summer. After confiding in a friend on the evening of August 14th, I did some reading on the internet the following morning to cope with my anxiety. I found some useful contact information at the end of an article and, unbeknownst to me, ended up calling a suicide hotline. It was a real surprise but I've since realized that I really needed someone to talk to and really appreciated that someone was willing to listen and help.

Remembering that Rick Rypien had some mental health issues over the course of his career in Vancouver, I decided to do some reading on him that afternoon. Upon entering his name on Wikipedia, I was stunned to see that the date of his death (August 15th, 2011) was listed. I could not believe it. I wheeled around and told my brother that there was no way this could be true but the reports soon came in. The Wikipedia entry had been modified mere minutes before I accessed it. It was, without question, the strangest coincidence I have ever experienced.

As many of you remember, we lost Rick Rypien a year ago; the anniversary of his passing is tomorrow. I was really moved by all the tributes that poured in that day. If memory serves, a thread that was created to honour his memory was several pages long and many of you offered fond recollections of this fine player and his brief career.

As Rick's struggles and tragic end really resonated with me, I felt I had an obligation to explain what I had been going through recently. Some of you even personally messaged me and offered advice when I explained what had happened in the preceding 24 hours. I cannot thank those individuals enough. I cannot say anything with certainty apart from the fact that this was a day that gave me perspective on my life and I'll never forget it.

I wish to express my gratitude to all of you. This franchise has been dealt some unfortunate blows in the last few years but these tragedies have also elicited genuine concern and compassion from kind-hearted people like yourselves. In the final analysis, I genuinely believe we have the best fans in the NHL. Thank you.

A year later, Mr. Rypien is still sorely missed but we should take solace in the fact that his passing will remain a point of inspiration.

Edited by RFK, 14 August 2012 - 07:08 PM.

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#2 The Brahma Bull

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:18 PM

RIP Rick!!! What a warrior. I wish he was still here. He would have taught Duncan Keith a lesson.

Hope you're feeling better, RFK. :)
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#3 Standing_Tall#37

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:27 PM

God damnit, tomorrows gonna be hard... I still miss Ryp.

R.I.P. Rick, you were the best, I know your still slaying giants wherever you are.
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#4 bryguy26

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:39 PM

Pound for pound, we will never see a better fighter in a Canucks uniform.

RIP Rick... represent the crowsnest pass up there
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#5 Peaches

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:45 PM

RIP Rick
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#6 Jägermeister

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:49 PM

Even with his troubles Rick did more in his 27 years than most of us could wish to do in a lifetime.
RIP Rick.
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#7 DocHouse

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:52 PM

Well said RFK, and I'm glad you're doing better now. I can't believe it's been a year since Rick's death already. Time certainly does fly by...

RIP Rick. We all miss you.
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#8 crosbyheadshot

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:06 PM

Pound for pound, we will never see a better fighter in a Canucks uniform.

RIP Rick... represent the crowsnest pass up there

not just a Canucks uniform ANY uniform!
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#9 debluvscanucks

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:17 PM

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Thank you for this post. It honestly brought tears and I am so glad that you reached out and made some connections. :) Very heartfelt and touching.

A year ago March I spent a week in ER with someone who "couldn't do it anymore". She is my world - my only daughter - and I can only really just bring myself to talk about it now.

I knew she'd been battling with insomnia and other issues for some time, but then came the hammer over the head realization during that month of March that it was something much more - something very severe and drastic that left us feeling helpless. It was very intense and, for me, caught me totally off guard. At the stem of everything was deep rooted depression and anxiety and I really had no idea of the magnitude. My daughter had silently been suffering for some time before it all blew apart.

A long period of darkness, death and despair had preceded this breakdown and it culminated into something very scary.

The stuff with Rick really hit home for me...left me feeling empty all over again. Good people shouldn't suffer this way - no one should. And Rick, with his impish grin and huge heart, certainly was a huge loss to all whose lives he touched. He was fearless. Who would ever connect depression with someone so brave? But that's how it happens - not always as obvious as we'd expect. Isn't selective - anyone is fair game. Can creep up slowly and just simmer, then boil over at any given time. But, as discussed before, it isn't something someone can just "fix" or shake off. It isn't a sign of weakness - moreso, strength. Because to battle that battle everyday isn't easy and it takes incredible strength and courage just to get through the daily grind. To put on a brave face. Often, to fake it so as not to worry or disrupt others.

I remember seeing KB talk so openly and frankly about Rick and was proud that our team was one that supported each other during the hard times - not just in search of the good times. The brotherhood in it all.

And that's what it's all about in the end - we're all in this thing together. When you strip away possessions, status, accomplishments and other stuff that really is irrelevant in the end, we're all just people. It takes a village to get through anything intact.

Thanks again for this post...with all the drivel of the off season, it's nice to read something so meaningful. We miss you, Rick, but will never forget the important message that you've sent through your struggles and your strength that hid it so well at times. Very sad to know that the turmoil was too much in the end...may you truly rest in peace.
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#10 Tearloch7

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:23 PM

My warmest "hugs" to Deb, and also all of Ryp's family and friends .. the more we talk about "it", the better we all will be ..

Edited by Tearloch7, 14 August 2012 - 08:23 PM.

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#11 debluvscanucks

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:38 PM

Thanks TL...I should add that my daughter was one of the lucky ones who made it. She has battled hard - is in therapy, yoga, does meditation, acupuncture and is also on medication (which I was opposed to, but learned that sometimes it's completely necessary). It's still a daily struggle, but she's learned to cope.

RFK I really commend you for doing two things - for reaching out to others by sharing your story (there's strength in numbers) and in educating yourself. I wish you all the best in your journey...
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#12 mabbott

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:51 PM

RIP Rick and I'm glad your in a better spot. As bitter as the people on here appear we are always here to lend an ear
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#13 nucklehead2

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:26 PM

I do not post very often here but felt this was an opportune time to share a memory of mine.

I struggled with depression for much of last year and my negative emotions peaked last Summer. After confiding in a friend on the evening of August 14th, I did some reading on the internet the following morning to cope with my anxiety. I found some useful contact information at the end of an article and, unbeknownst to me, ended up calling a suicide hotline. It was a real surprise but I've since realized that I really needed someone to talk to and really appreciated that someone was willing to listen and help.

Remembering that Rick Rypien had some mental health issues over the course of his career in Vancouver, I decided to do some reading on him that afternoon. Upon entering his name on Wikipedia, I was stunned to see that the date of his death (August 15th, 2011) was listed. I could not believe it. I wheeled around and told my brother that there was no way this could be true but the reports soon came in. The Wikipedia entry had been modified mere minutes before I accessed it. It was, without question, the strangest coincidence I have ever experienced.

As many of you remember, we lost Rick Rypien a year ago; the anniversary of his passing is tomorrow. I was really moved by all the tributes that poured in that day. If memory serves, a thread that was created to honour his memory was several pages long and many of you offered fond recollections of this fine player and his brief career.

As Rick's struggles and tragic end really resonated with me, I felt I had an obligation to explain what I had been going through recently. Some of you even personally messaged me and offered advice when I explained what had happened in the preceding 24 hours. I cannot thank those individuals enough. I cannot say anything with certainty apart from the fact that this was a day that gave me perspective on my life and I'll never forget it.

I wish to express my gratitude to all of you. This franchise has been dealt some unfortunate blows in the last few years but these tragedies have also elicited genuine concern and compassion from kind-hearted people like yourselves. In the final analysis, I genuinely believe we have the best fans in the NHL. Thank you.

A year later, Mr. Rypien is still sorely missed but we should take solace in the fact that his passing will remain a point of inspiration.

Great post thanks for sharing. Im sure if any of the players come on or management they would be really impressed, as i am that u opened up and Ryp had an effect on you
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#14 Mase_Raymond_21

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 10:22 PM

this brought tears to my eyes reading this... i wish all the best to RFK and all the others struggling with depression -bk
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#15 Raiun

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:03 PM

I was at the Canucks - Oilers game on January 23rd, 2012, when they were highlighting Bieksa's involvement with and the imminent launch of Mindcheck.ca, and I have always regretted not buying one of those RYP shirts...

I've struggled with depression at some level for my entire life I think. I was bullied and ostracized in Elementary school, didn't have many friends. Throughout high school I was just angry and lashed out at everyone because of it, leaving me alone and often depressed. In university I struggled for years while trying to dig myself out of that hole while building relationships with people. My parents split up in my second year of university and my family has not been the same since, my relationship with my parents and sister is rocky at the best of times and nonexistent at others, but I relied on my circle of friends to help me cope.

Eventually I found myself alone again as my friends graduated or dropped out, or moved on in other ways. It was a big struggle then, but I finally went to my doctor. Interestingly, I was running late for my doctors appointment (where I was going to talk about my depression) and ended up getting my first and only speeding ticket... just the worst timing. I still made it to my appointment though, I got on some medication and referred to counselling. This is a year and a half later, I'm off the medication, living on my own, graduated university and in a healthy, happy relationship that has lasted just over a year now.

It's sometimes a hard struggle.. I've probably had it easier than a lot of people, but it's no joke. The most difficult thing is seeking help, but that isn't the end of the battle by any means.

So that's my (abridged) story. Thanks for reading.
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#16 Peaches

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:48 PM

Glad to see this is pinned :)

Ripper played with almost as much heart as Trevor Linden.

You will be missed rick.
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Feminism will be outlawed. Mostly because it's a backwards idiotic viewpoint that doesn't serve any real progressive purpose.

Credit to -Vintage Canuck-


#17 Alex the Great

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:04 AM

RIP Ryp
Heart and soul kind of guy.
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#18 John.Tallhouse

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:14 AM

amazing post! :towel:
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#19 crosbyheadshot

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:38 AM

amazing post! :towel:

I'll second that
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#20 crosbyheadshot

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:41 AM

I do not post very often here but felt this was an opportune time to share a memory of mine.

I struggled with depression for much of last year and my negative emotions peaked last Summer. After confiding in a friend on the evening of August 14th, I did some reading on the internet the following morning to cope with my anxiety. I found some useful contact information at the end of an article and, unbeknownst to me, ended up calling a suicide hotline. It was a real surprise but I've since realized that I really needed someone to talk to and really appreciated that someone was willing to listen and help.

Remembering that Rick Rypien had some mental health issues over the course of his career in Vancouver, I decided to do some reading on him that afternoon. Upon entering his name on Wikipedia, I was stunned to see that the date of his death (August 15th, 2011) was listed. I could not believe it. I wheeled around and told my brother that there was no way this could be true but the reports soon came in. The Wikipedia entry had been modified mere minutes before I accessed it. It was, without question, the strangest coincidence I have ever experienced.

As many of you remember, we lost Rick Rypien a year ago; the anniversary of his passing is tomorrow. I was really moved by all the tributes that poured in that day. If memory serves, a thread that was created to honour his memory was several pages long and many of you offered fond recollections of this fine player and his brief career.

As Rick's struggles and tragic end really resonated with me, I felt I had an obligation to explain what I had been going through recently. Some of you even personally messaged me and offered advice when I explained what had happened in the preceding 24 hours. I cannot thank those individuals enough. I cannot say anything with certainty apart from the fact that this was a day that gave me perspective on my life and I'll never forget it.

I wish to express my gratitude to all of you. This franchise has been dealt some unfortunate blows in the last few years but these tragedies have also elicited genuine concern and compassion from kind-hearted people like yourselves. In the final analysis, I genuinely believe we have the best fans in the NHL. Thank you.

A year later, Mr. Rypien is still sorely missed but we should take solace in the fact that his passing will remain a point of inspiration.

Probably the best post ive seen to date. Keep on being positive!
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#21 smedsy

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:40 AM

Very well done RFK. It was very nice to read something related to the canucks that will not ever cause an argument between the members. I commend you for that, good job. I am glad to see that you too are doing better with your own issues. ::D

R.I.P. RR37
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#22 Niloc009

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:56 AM

Wow... Can't believe its already been a year. Still miss you Rick.
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#23 Hocker16

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:48 AM

Rip Rick You will always be remembered for what you did both on and off the ice and you gave us a model that we should all follow and try and model our lives after.
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#24 Bodee

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:52 AM

A word here for Deb and Kevin Bieksa from someone who has been in their position and knows how hard it is to see someone you love suffer the roller coaster ride that is depression.

The phone calls that go on for hours because you are not there with them and you are never sure when to say good night or bye bye because you never think you have said enough of of the right things or listened as well as you could.

The follow up calls, pretending you had forgotten to tell them something because you are unsure if you have helped at all in the previous call.

The days or evenings spent out together that seem to go well but you are never sure because you catch that sad and vulnerable look just before they walk away.

Worrying when a meeting is missed or you feel too much time has gone by since you last spoke, although it was usually only the day before.

Above all constantly over analysing what's been said, looking for signs, mood changes, or times when you feel you are not doing enough

Like Deb, the person I love is fine now, has got married and started a family. I still look back on these days and think I should have done more, but that is part of the other side of this cruel illness you always think you can do more and end up almost wanting to wrap them up in a permanent shield of your presence, but that's not what they want or what they need either.

She still has the odd dark day but seems to be coping well and is in a good place in her life just now.
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#25 -Vintage Canuck-

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:40 AM

RIP Rick Rypien. Forever a Canuck #37.
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#26 shawn antoski

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:40 PM

RIP RYP
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#27 Common sense

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:06 PM

The impact of RR37 will be much larger than the presence he provided on the ice. It's tragic that it was only his death that led to something as resourceful as mindcheck.ca and the Canucks' support to fight mental illnesses.
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#28 Niloc009

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:07 PM

Part of my attire today.

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Edited by Niloc009, 15 August 2012 - 01:08 PM.

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#29 Pears

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:44 PM

RIP Rick.
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In my eyes drouin is overrated he can score in the qmjhl but did nothing in last two gold medal games that canada lost. Fox will be better pro than him talk to me in five yrs

Gaudreau has one NHL goal whereas all your "prized" prospects have none.

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#30 Mike Versace ESQ

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:00 PM

I've battled with depression for a very long time so I know what the OP and countless others who battle with it go through on a day to day basis. I like many others, turned to self medication and that developed into a bad drug problem. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news of RR's death. I'll be honest, I was in my car waiting for my dealer to meet me when the report came on over the radio.

I've had those feelings. I've sat on my bed, crying my eyes out, with a hand full of pills, slowly bringing them to my mouth only to have a sudden image of my daughter flashing in my mind. That image was the only thing from swallowing the pills.

Mental illness is a very serious thing. I remember Michael Lansberg writing an article after the suicide of Wade Belak talking about his fight with depression. I understood every word of it. Anyone who deals with depression and anxiety would. We're masters of putting on the strong front, the manufactured smile.

If you or someone you know suffers from this or if u suspect someone u know may be contemplating suicide, don't leave anything to chance. DO SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Talking from experience, we will tell you everything is "fine" when it isn't.

Edited by Mr Soprano, 16 August 2012 - 03:08 AM.

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