On Wednesday May 5, 2021, our beautiful, smart and kind Gillian was tragically taken away from her loving family and friends. She was involved in a workplace incident and was unable to survive her injuries and passed away. No one should go to work and not be able to return home at the end of the day. She had her whole life ahead of her.
Our hearts and lives are shattered. We miss her so much every single moment of every single day. We are left with the heaviest weight in our hearts and a huge hole in our family. She will always be loved by her family, friends and her doggies Scruffy and Stella.
Gillian was born on Friday, June 14, 1996 in Campbell River and lived there till she was 5 when we moved to Richmond where she grew up and went to school. She called Richmond home.
We are beyond proud of the person she had become. Watching her grow into the most amazing young woman was a journey filled with daily joy, fun, and love. She was so full of kindness, love, strength, determination and promise. When Gillian entered a room, it would be immediately filled with laughter and warmth. She greeted and made you feel like she had been waiting eagerly for you and made everyone feel like they mattered to her. She made friends everywhere she went as she had a genuine interest in hearing their stories. Anyone who knew Gillian knew she loved to talk, even when she was a little girl. She had a great sense of humour and you would always hear her infectiously laughing about something or humming a new song. She loved animals of all kinds, always noticing and excitingly pointing out dogs and cats she saw on the street. Our home is very quiet now without her presence, voice and laughter.
There are so many things Gillian will be remembered for. Gillian believed fiercely in social justice, that all voices should be respected, and that helping and kindness was everything. She
wanted to be and was known as a fighter and a supporter of those who needed help. We were not surprised to hear many stories of how she was there for friends when they needed
someone to talk to or just someone to be with when they were struggling in their lives. She greatly valued her friends who stuck with her through thick and thin, hanging in there and
supporting her when the going was tough for her. She became a strong mental health advocate. She was kind and caring but did not hesitate to call out those who were unkind to others. She
enjoyed volunteering and stepping up to take on roles of responsibility. As one friend put it, “she always headed towards things, never running away from anything,” no matter what it was.
You could not have met her without being touched by her drive and determination.
She was only 24 years old and at the beginning of her career as an engineer, graduating from UBC Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2020. It was a huge accomplishment for her. She
was focused on bringing a more human side to the Engineering profession. She was looking forward to having more time to pursue her hobbies. She loved listening to music and podcasts, practicing yoga on our back deck and was enjoying reading all the books she did not have time for while she was at school. She dreamed of creating a library of her favourite books in her future house and being able to adopt her own doggy and guinea pig.
Our grief is deep because our love for Gillian is deep and she loved us deeply. Family was everything to her. She was like a sister to her cousin and a daughter to her aunts. We could not
have asked for a better daughter, sister to Gavin, cousin, niece, granddaughter and friend. Her big personality and even bigger heart will be so missed, never forgotten and forever cherished.
We will never be the same again without her.
To all those who knew and love Gillian, we ask that you remember and honour her by continue talking about her and sharing stories about her. Go read a book or two or 10. Adopt a pet from
a shelter. Volunteer to help those who need a hand up. Look after your own physical and mental health. Celebrate her life by wishing her Happy Birthday every year on her Facebook
page. Please don’t forget about her as time goes by.
Due to covid restrictions, a small family service was held in May. For those who wish to visit with her, her ashes will be interred at Mountain View Cemetery on 41 st Ave and Fraser St in Vancouver, near the fountain. Sit at the steps and have a chat with her. She would love that.