Family members of a 14-year-old Ottawa girl who killed herself have spoken publicly about the death, in an effort to help other young people with suicidal thoughts.
Daron Richardson died on November 13, after trying to hang herself in the basement of the family home. She was rushed to hospital, but her life could not be saved.
Thousands of people attended a memorial service for the girl, whose father is Ottawa Senators assistant coach Luke Richardson.
Many wore hockey jerseys in memory of Daron, who was recognized as a skilled hockey player.
"She embraced every moment and lived life to the fullest. She had a love for life," CTV News quoted her godfather Michael Dagenais, as saying.
In his eulogy, Dagenais shared the story of how Morgan Richardson spent the last 40 hours of her younger sister’s life at her hospital bedside, holding her hand and placing iPod headphones over the girl’s ears so she would hear music instead of the beeping of hospital machines.
Daron's family has spoken publicly about the death, in hopes of removing the stigma connected with suicide, and to spread awareness which they hope will stop others from taking their own lives.
"The family chose the road that is less travelled and sometimes that road is more difficult, but it doesn't mean it's not the right path to choose," Senators president Cyril Leeder said in an article on the Ottawa Senators website. "They wanted to make something good happen out of a tragedy ... raise the awareness about teen suicide and also provide organ donations so four others could go forward."
Daron’s family said they want people to remember her final act, not as taking her own life, but as giving life to others.
They requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a new youth program at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.