The Big Epiphany – That’s Why I’m Here

“Fortune and fame’s such a curious game.
Perfect strangers can call you by name.
Pay good money to hear Fire and Rain
Again and again and again.
Some are like summer coming back every year,
Got your baby, got your blanket
Got your bucket of beer.
I break into a grin from ear to ear
And suddenly it’s perfectly clear.
That’s why I’m here.”

One of my faves James Taylor wrote this 35 years ago. He had an epiphany about his purpose on the planet. He spent years working on his career to the detriment of everything else around him, constantly fighting against the legacy of incredible music he had created to focus on the music to come. After a slew of personal tragedy, he realized the simplicity of his existence. His main job was to entertain, to enlighten, to relieve the burden of everyday life from the world – if only for the 2 hours he played. People “paid good money to hear “Fire and Rain again and again and again”. So that’s what he would do. He said himself that he hasn’t been the same since.

I’m taking my lead from old JT.

I’ve been very reflective the past few weeks. A lot has gone on. And through it all, something became very clear to me. My Mom always said to her children that the only way to guarantee a legacy is to positively influence at least one person. Of course, like everything else in life, the gravity of this statement never really occurred to me until I got much older. I always doubted this about myself. I always felt like a bit of an imposter – that people’s expectations of me were far higher than I could ever achieve. But recent events have since brought me to the realization that I have left a positive mark on this earth – no matter how small – and that focusing on those things will lead me to a fulfilled future. So I am taking it seriously.

A lot of you will have noticed that I have doubled down on promotion the past few weeks. I know it may seem self-serving, but the reason is plain. I have been very lucky in my life, and I am profoundly grateful. It’s time for me to focus on using that gratitude to ramp up my ability to make positive change – whether through business podcasts, mental health advocacy, or other creative endeavours. It’s become very clear that – just like JT – that’s why I’m here.

So here’s my new FB Page, which will allow me a better audience reach to help me facilitate that change. It will also allow me to keep my personal profile a little more private because who the fuck wants to take the chance of being hacked again lol.

I’m hoping you will all like this new page and follow me as I try to make a difference. I can’t guarantee success, but I can assure you that we will have an amazing time trying 😊

The Continuing Radiance of Marc Cooper

Well you did it again, you vile fuck.  You took another one.

I get it.  He was one of the greatest humans alive.  Always putting others first.  Always.  No matter what.  He built his entire existence around it.  Gleaning joy from the joy of others.  But that is not anything you tolerate or even understand, do you?  The whole joy thing.  You shit on it every minute of every day.

I’ve been thinking about it non-stop since Ellen called me yesterday morning, as I suppose most of the people who knew him are doing.  I’m no different.  The past 10 years we had grown super close, though, after my daughter Sophie started at Tamarack.  I could always count on receiving random pics of him and her all summer, in various states of hair or hat or attitude.  We spoke endlessly during the year, mostly about our mental health and trying to help each other with it.  There is a very basic connection between people with mental illness who share similar lives.  We were both fathers, husbands, leaders – blessed with the voice and the opportunity to affect our communities positively and driven by creativity that could barely be contained.  But it was you that monopolized our conversations.  You were inescapable as usual.  But somehow, gradually, and in tiny ways, we would fight you off.  Until the next time you showed your ugly fucking face.  And you always did. 

Plenty of people are going to be writing eloquently about Marc Cooper.  And they should.  He was indeed among the greatest humans alive.  He touched thousands with his unique light and unceasing positivity.  He changed people.  He changed me.  And that’s just the kind of shit you hate.  The better they are, the more you need them.  I know this very well because you killed my brother in the same way.

My other brother is a psychiatrist who has dedicated his own life to stopping your vicious crusade.  He deals with your shit daily, even hourly.  And he has said to me many times in the past, and again yesterday, that the only certain thing about determining if someone is about to cause harm to themselves is that there is no certainty.  There is no way to jump in front of you at that singular moment when the decision is made.  It can happen anytime, anywhere, no matter who you are or what you do or how profoundly your kindness, charm, generosity, and humour have affected the people around you.

Carly and Jack, the real tragedy of all this is you. There is a lot of collateral damage to families. It is the hardest road you will ever walk. Just know that your community – the one that Marc had a profound hand in building – are right here beside you always. And forever – even if it’s just to remind you of the kind of incredible person he was.

All I know now is this.  To the thousands of people – children and adults – that Marc has left his glorious imprint on, this is their time to shine.  Talk about him.  Loudly.  They must talk to their children about their own mental health, and about suicide, and about how Marc battled the darkness until he just couldn’t anymore.  And talk about how there is no shame in that. We must fight the stigma of suicide more than ever, and talking about it will do just that.

The last text message I got from Marc was a few weeks ago, saying simply, “I love you.  That’s all have in my tank right now, and I wanted you to have it.”  That’s the kind of guy you wiped off the planet.  But I will tell you this, we will figure you out, you unredeemable, useless fuck.  Eventually we will.  And when that happens, no one will enjoy watching you die more than me.


THE GLOBE AND MAIL – Remembering my brother and Robin Williams

Thrilled that one of our national publications – The Globe and Mail – published my piece on my brother Carey and Robin Williams on the 2nd anniversary of Robin’s passing.

Art Credit: Irma Kniivila

Art Credit: Irma Kniivila

Battling the darkness: Remembering my brother and Robin Williams – The Globe and Mail


Every year on this day I try to post or write some kind of remembrance that would do my brother Carey justice, if only to summon the sound of his voice in my head one more time. As I had in previous years, I published it to Facebook as I hadn’t really established my web presence yet. The response was overwhelming – my family and I are grateful and appreciative, and I for one am thrilled that there are many people that are comforted by the fact that they are not the only ones digging through this stuff.

I am happy and humbled to say that the very distinguished magazine The Walrus has picked up and published this story on the website. I am really encouraged by this because any additional eyes on this matter means more understanding and less stigma – which can only be good. Visit the link below to read.

Dear Carey – A letter to a brother two decades after his death