Sept. 3, 2020
Dear Cawthra Park Secondary School Families,
It is with great sadness that I write this letter to inform you of the death of one of our students, Nicholas Ramdeyall, who passed away in a tragic accident earlier this week.
We are all saddened by this news, and recognize that this will be a difficult time because of the impact it will have on Nicholas's family and our school community—particularly given that we aren't physically together today to support each other. Nicholas was a caring and well-liked student—a valuable member of our school community. His death is a loss to us all, and we will miss him.
Please know that supports are available for students and families if you need them. It's important that we take care of ourselves and each other, as best we can, during times like this. You can also access support through the following resources:
- Peel Children's Centre Crisis Response Line – 7 days a week – 416-410-8615 – WhereToStart.ca
- Kids Help Phone – 7 days a week – 1-800-668-6868 or by texting CONNECT to 686868
- Canadian Mental Health Association Crisis Support (for those 16 and older) – 905-278-9036 – 1-888-811-2222
- Tangerine Counselling: www.tangerinewalkin.com
- Distress Centre Peel: 905-278-7208
- Bereaved Families of Halton/Peel: www.bereavedfamilies.ca
- The Lighthouse For Grieving Children: www.grievingchildrenlighthouse.org
Next week, guidance counsellors will be available during the school's orientation period for those who may wish to seek additional support.
Nicholas's death is deeply felt by everyone at the school. Even students who did not personally know him may be affected by this loss. Here are some ways you can help your teen deal with the grief and reactions:
- Acknowledge the loss and the emotional upset.
- Be available to your teen. If you don't know the right thing to say, just listen. Acknowledge that we don't always have answers to why these things happen.
- Provide a reassuring environment in which your teen feels comfortable expressing his or her thoughts and feelings.
- Encourage your teen to experience the loss in the way that's most comfortable for them. Some teens are open about their feelings, while others prefer not to talk about them or may only want to talk to their peers.
- Share an experience you might have had with bereavement and what helped you cope.
- Encourage your teen to follow normal routines as much as possible.
- Acknowledge that there's no time limit on grieving.
- Review these ten tips to help your teen deal with the death of a classmate/friend.
Be aware of signs that your teen may need additional support to deal with this loss. Warning signs include: prolonged physical/psychological distress (lack of appetite, sudden weight gain, persistent aches and pains, continued panic, anxiety, apathy or depression), becoming violent towards self or others, or decline in school performance.
Please contact me by email if you would like to speak with a school social worker, psychologist or wish to get additional support. My email address is [email protected]
Our thoughts are with Nicholas's family, friends and loved ones. Our flag will be lowered to half-mast to honour Nicholas's memory. The family will be holding a candle light vigil on September 3rd 2020 from 7:30 pm -8:30 pm at Dixie Road & Blundell Road in Mississauga.
Please take care of yourselves and each other through these challenging times.
Thank you, as always, for your support.