A Young Man With Many Gifts Kills Himself and a Year Later His Community Still Mourns
A remarkable human being, David Howler Fletcher chose to commit suicide last summer at the Diversity Festival on Texada Island by walking out to the depths of the ocean.
He was a person who saw depths in others and touched them there. With his charismatic nature, he made a huge impact on a diverse group of people from many communities in Vancouver. When a memorial event was held last July 2009 to help the huge grieving that went through his community with his passing, over 200 people showed up. His Facebook memorial fan page acquired 445 friends with astonishing speed. To this day, people continue to send messages to him on this page.
This article about Howler is just my opinion as someone who knew and watched him for seven years.
Howler the Jester was a powerful presence in many lives, called a 'dear friend' by people who have attested to his infuriating nature while freely praising the gifts he offered others. It has been suggested that he suffered from a Saviour Complex and perhaps he was an "unhealed Heyoka energy."
He could “see” the shadow in others and relentlessly pushed people’s buttons to catalyze change in them. He may not have had the necessary tools to always help others effectively or in the best way, but as his friend Jaia ‘Quarian told me, Howler was passionately engaged in his life’s work of "making sure we all loved each other as honestly as possible."
He did not know how to help himself with his own alienation, loneliness, and pain. Yet, Jaia said, he put his own needs to the side to be in service, compassion and love to others.
A couple of months prior to his passing, Howler put up a blog advertising his services as a window washer. Like many of us struggling to live in this old world as the new world is being birthed, Howler had difficulty supporting himself financially. Howler’s great gifts as a human being have no monetary value in the current surface reality of our dominant white North American society. There is no paying job for love.
As well, “normal society” has never heard of Howler until today. He was not valued and honoured and seen by the mainstream and he is one of many, many, many young people currently co-existing side by side with the mainstream world and yet invisible to it.
The outpouring of grief that I witnessed at his memorial last summer has stayed with me. When Jaia took his turn to tell his story, he said that Howler had asked for a naming ceremony for his secret name so he could be known as that by the whole world. His secret name was “love”.
At the memorial last July, we were presented with this moving tribute to him. This is a glimpse into Howler’s world assembled by mazeguider:
Fool's Paradise, a fundraiser for a scholarship in Howler's name, will be happening on Thursday April 1st, 2010 at the Legion on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. This will be a celebration of all things Foolish and Fun. It will be the kickoff to raising $10,000 toward the creation of a Memorial Scholarship in his name to aid folks 25-40 who would like to expand their creative education.