To honour KAINE CARLSON (KIRKE), and his short yet impactful life by creating community, a sense of belonging, a safe place to “just be”, and to act as a catalyst for youth so that his untimely death, like so many others, can carry a deeper purpose.
On July 25th 2022, I lost my son, Kaine Marcel Carlson Kirke.
This new, gross reality of mine is parallel to over 10,000 more mothers in BC who have lost their children due to the poison drug supply epidemic.
In Kaine's absence, we struggle to find meaning and purpose in the foreseeable future. My heart, the hearts of Kaine’s family and closest friends, as well as the countless hearts he touched in his short yet impactful life, have been absolutely shattered. There are truly no words to express the vastness that falls before you when you lose a child. How can one recover from such devastation? It is happening far too often, and something has to change.
Over the past weeks we have discussed many ways in which we can honor our Kaine and have arrived at the glaringly obvious conclusion - to Kaine it Forward.
While the idea of Kaine it Forward is still evolving, please bear with me while I try to give a sense of some of our ideas, with new ones coming to light daily….
Who was Kaine?
Who was my son? Kaine found community and comfort at a very young age in his chosen sport of skateboarding. He spent countless hours on his board, filming his friends, compiling footage into incredible full-length movies and researching new spots. He skated most of his life, and it became a failsafe whenever he needed a time and a place to persevere through his frustrations and challenges. Anyone who knew Kaine knew how special skateboarding and the associated culture was to him. His network of friends within the sport was so vast and so connected, it was like a second family. Kaine took diligent care of the younger group members and sought their well-being, while those senior to Kaine looked out for him in the same light. He was always down to skate, no matter one's skill level or friend group.
In addition to skateboarding, Kaine was also an artist, designer and creator. Clothing brands he created include Slayyworld and Jimsoja. These brands were successfully marketed along with music beats and music videos he produced for rappers in Canada and the US. Kaine was always doodling, drawing, tagging, repurposing and researching new ways to spread his messages and ideas.
As so many have, Kaine started down a harmful path, flirting with drug use to numb himself as he navigated his way through his late teens and early adulthood. He knew it wasn’t a path that he wanted to be on and tried several different avenues to find support and keep himself sober, and was making progress until that fateful day… He struggled to find the path that fit best, and ultimately it was in one weak moment, when he reached out to obtain his drug of choice, that he was poisoned and will now never be able to choose again.
As his Mother, I cannot tell you how enraging this is… how devastating this is… how life altering it is, for not only myself but the rest of his family and friends. One moment of weakness should NEVER be a death sentence.
The Kaine it Forward Fund
Our hope in starting this organization is that we will be able to help in as many places as possible. Sounds ambitious I know, but even with money alone, we can help organizations that are already working in our community. The Bridge Youth and Family Services is a resource within our community put in place to support youth that find themselves on the same dangerous path. The goal is to help even one mother not find herself in the same boat as I and 10,000 plus others have.
As the past 5 weeks have been full of trying to plan a celebration of life for my boy, I have realized the impact my sons life had on so many. I have had countless people reach out asking how they can help, from close friends and family to complete strangers. I realize there is an opportunity here to bring together something. As I am still completely raw and can’t form much in the way of formal thoughts, I can’t say exactly where the Kaine It Forward organization will end up. What I do know is that we have an opportunity to step forward and do what we can to turn this tragedy into a way for our youth to seek healthy coping mechanisms when faced with hardships, in contrast to mind-numbing substances.
We have had songs made in honour of Kaine that are being released with all proceeds going to the fund. There have been Slayworld t-shirts made and donated in honour of Kaine, with proceeds again going to the fund. We have received monetary donations, donations of items to raffle along with so much support from people wanting to know where and how they can volunteer to help with any functions we are planning.
This is all absolutely amazing, and I can’t express how much it means to be able to take the memory of Kaine, who meant so much to so many people, and use it for good in our community.
Initially, our hope is to work hand in hand with our local community organizations that work with youth to support their endeavors. Bachelor Suite Boards has partnered with the Kaine it Forward fund and plans to provide skateboards to kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn to skate. We have several of Kaine’s friends who are very big in the skateboarding community who will be volunteering time to hold skate sessions at the local skate parks in honor of Kaine.
Kaine it Forward will start with young minds, and extend to those who have struggled a lifetime... to inspire the positive ripple effect, and help create a generation geared towards acting in service of each other. The idea is to invoke passion and help youth find positive outlets for their creativity and energy, and to help bring meaning and purpose to the lives of those struggling. We need to bring forth the desire for a reciprocal, inclusive and loving community.
Many of us are aware of the confusion, fear and pressures of society that our youth are forced to grow up in. Some of us are also aware that the resources for mental health and addiction can be so few and far between. It is no secret that little of our available resources are tailored to the uniqueness of each personal battle. When we Kaine it Forward, we do so with that understanding. If our efforts can support the journey of even one young person, then we may become one of the few safe resources for youth to turn to in their most challenging times.
Help us to turn this tragedy into fuel for a brighter future.
We cannot bring our Kaine back, but we can honor him and others who have lost their lives in a similar, needless way by doing everything in our power to pull addiction out at its roots.
Please click the link below to be directed to The Central Okanagan Foundation where you can donate to the Kaine it Forward fund.
If you would like to donate to us directly, there is also a PayPal linked to the site. Funds received here will go directly towards purchasing boards and gear for our after school skate program.
Kaine it Forward
Copyright © 2023 Kaine it Forward - All Rights Reserved.