"Sunset Mooring, Nova Scotia"
William H. Hays
A Song from Beyond
Travis Sent Us a Gift!
After only a few days living in the home where Travis was raised, I could feel the presence of his spirit. On a quiet June evening I felt compelled to sit and write the lyrics and composition to a song I could only believe was a message from beyond this realm.
"Feel Me" came to me effortlessly and has hints of styling and knowledge I did not possess. It was a gift to his loved ones and I feel honoured to have been the channel.
A Tribute from Mom
What an honour to have had Travis Lefebvre Dosch in my life! He was a delightful child and an inspiring adult. He had a brilliance about him that made you crave his presence. He excelled in academics, music, arts and sports. His goal was to become a writer, living in a home with a white picket fence, a wife, two kids and a faithful dog.
He earned a degree in psychology at the University of Alberta in 1999. He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia in July 1999 and died January 31, 2000.
He had struggled silently with his illness.
When I pleaded with him, “Trav please let me tell folks that you are ill so they will cut you some slack. If you had cancer they'd raise funds and send flowers; if you had a physical challenge they'd build ramps and push your wheelchair. Schizophrenia is a biological disease. You didn't cause it or deserve it. You're becoming devastated by it. Please let folks know so they can support you."
"No, Mom. It's bad enough I have to live with this disease. I won't live with the stigma of it as well.”
Silence perpetuates the stigma.
We must talk openly about problems with mental health. We need to be aware of how common it is and to give compassion to those who are suffering – for the pain is worse than physical pain.
Schizophrenia is a biological brain disorder which affects one in one hundred people. My son had no more control over his illness than he would have had over heart disease.
Travis was clever, articulate and had a gift for socializing. These positive traits betrayed him in that they masked his illness. Early diagnosis, medical intervention and strong support from family, friends and society can help people with mental illness to lead lives of quality.
Travis continues to contribute to his mother's life from "Beyond the Blue". He would often patiently remind me that he didn't believe in coincidence. "Synchronicity Mom," he would quietly prompt.
To honour him I have given a new word to those experiences: Divincidence. Having the Gypsy Butterfly in my world is one of those and I am truly grateful for the love she brings. How can I ever thank her for the gift of this song? I shall pass on the love and look for opportunities to help people with mental illness in whatever ways I can.
With tears of pain and mountains of gratitude,
Gypsy Butterfly's "Feel Me" - Listen