We are heartbroken by the sudden death of our son, Nicholas John O’Connor at home on May 6th, 2020 in Vancouver, BC. He will be forever cherished by his Mom, Patricia, “Pops” Damian, his partner and love of his life, Alanna, his Gramma, Lorraine O’Connor and his many aunts, uncles and cousins, both here and overseas and his extended family in Australia.
Our little Nicky Nickster was born on November 8, 1989 in Edmonton, AB.
Nicholas was the cuddliest happy bubala who became a loving beautiful boy full of confidence, energy and mischief. He always talked to strangers, loved to draw and sing, and he could climb anything!
He grew into the type of man who would never ever leave without telling you he loved you and giving you the biggest kisses and one of his tremendous hugs.
He loved the sky and the stars, and to go for long walks, or ‘adventures’ as he called them. He was all about the little things in life and would always stop to pet any dogs or cats he met along the way. He was a traveller in his own way … riding the bus all around the city, just for the journey, was one of his favourite things to do.
Nick always focused on the positive, and whenever you asked how he was ‘out of 10’ the answer was always an enthusiastic 11! And he loooved his coffee!
He and Alanna could walk and talk for hours about anything, and just as he did as a child, Nick would smile and say hello to everyone. He would always stop if he thought anybody needed anything and always helped in any way he could.
We will all miss his infectious laugh.
Over the last seven years of his life, Nicholas worked very hard to stay on the path to good mental health, and freedom from substance use, and was only a couple of weeks away from completing high school, a milestone we were all looking forward to with pride in his tremendous application and effort.
There were many bumps in the road but he could always depend on Alanna, and our family had never been closer.
His death from an accidental overdose of the evil drug fentanyl has been devastating.
We would like to thank everyone who helped Nicholas over the years. There have been so many healthcare professionals, mental health workers and housing folks who saw Nick’s potential and so often went way beyond their professional responsibilities to help him. We will never forget their support, patience and kindness and especially want to thank Anna K. and Dr. D to whom we will always be grateful.
Please consider a donation to Moms Stop the Harm, a group working to stop the overdose crisis that is killing our children.
We want to leave you with something that our huckleberry friend and his Mom said in each farewell, without fail, as it is our wish for all:
Good choices, Healthy boundaries, Be safe.
Rest in peace Nicholas.
We were only 15-years old the first time we met, and I thought you were the most handsome guy I’d ever seen. Over the many years we shared, you were the most amazing and unique person who taught me the meaning of true love.
No matter what challenge presented itself, we always pulled through – together. Nick, you were the love and light of my life! Just being near you was enough to make any day the best one ever. You had a laugh that lit the room and a smile so sweet.
Despite the many hurdles you faced, you never let the situation get the better of you. And you never stopped caring about the people you loved, not for one second. Your soul was and always will be beautiful!
Nick, I was always there for you in this life, and would have never left your side; there to hold your hand when you needed it most. You meant the world to me.
I’m so sorry that you had to leave us so young (but you always were a traveling man). Death is not the end, but the beginning of something new and exciting. When the time comes to meet again, we can start our next adventure together, the way you would have wanted it to be.
Find the peace you deserve so much! Travel safely and watch over us from above. You left your imprint on my soul and will live on in my heart forever.
I love my bear with all my heart! Until we meet again.
Kim & Jim Alexander
As everyone is, we are heartbroken at the loss of our nephew & godson. Nicholas had the brightest smile and best hugs! He will be ever remembered with love & laughter as he gave love & laughter freely. He had a beautiful heart, which he shared with all. These will always be my Nicholas memories.
Nicholas was a beautiful baby, who grew up into a very handsome young man. He oozed personality and good will. He and Alanna were a great team, a very hard time for her. We were so thrilled at the way Nicholas bonded with our son, who became his “pops”.
Good memories now will sustain Patricia and Damian, as they face a future without the love of their special boy. Believe me, he will be watching over you and wanting you to remember him with great fondness. We are sending blessings from Australia. With love, pat and Desley.
It’s so good to see all these photos of Nicholas’ bright, shining face. He was such a smart kid, and his big heart only grew bigger with time. And boy, did he know how to climb! We’ve been remembering the times we shared with Nick, with smiles, with laughter, and with lots of tears. We’re so very sorry for your loss. Mandy (Amanda) O’Connor and Kevin McGeough
David & Marlene O'Connor
I’m sorry I never got to meet your son Nicholas , but I can tell that a lot of people admired him ! We our thinking of you during this time. Please accept our deepest condolences .
What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful, kind and gentle soul. The pictures are so gorgeous and what a handsome man you became from a cheeky little boy. We were so happy to have met you Nick and remain super proud of your achievements, and the obstacles you overcame in the past few years. Your Aussie cousins were very sad to hear of your passing. They will miss not having the opportunity to get to know you better, as will we all. Your loving parents and devoted soul mate Alanna will never be the same without you because you were so loved but they will remember the joy you bought to them during your life to sustain them. Wherever you are, we hope you are at peace. Save us a seat on the bus for when we get there Nick. Lots of love from your Aussie family – Brett, Nerida, Rex and Ziggy xxxx
You will be missed dearly and loved always. Forever in our hearts. Rest in sweet paradise Nick.
I can’t begin to imagine the hole you must have right now in your heart. I can’t imagine how a mother can go on after losing a child. There are no words I can offer that can heal the pain of this loss but may the comfort of your loved ones console you during this devastating time. I do know the bonds of love do eventually transcend those of grief but it is long journey to get there. May your fond, warm memories of your beloved son help you as you go through this time.
Thinking of you, sending my love and best wishes to you, your family and the loved ones of Nicholas. He was precious and clearly deeply loved.
What moves through us is a silence,a quiet sadness. We may not understand why you left this earth so soon,but little by little ,we begin to remember not just that you died,but that you lived.And that your life gave memories too beautiful to forget.R.I.P Nick . Grandma Patti
I didn’t know Nick but knew of the the way he was welcomed into the Loth family. I saw what love he brought out in others especially in his Mum. I hope the memories you all have from the good times are a comfort now. And that the scourge of drugs of dependence and the lack of proper support for mental illness is countered in a meaningful, kind and enduring way soon.
A very difficult time for all involved but rest assured that he let his light shine for all to see and we are grateful for the experience. Our sincerest condolences to Patricia and Damian who had the love and patience to allow Nick to be the wonderful soul he is.
David ,Lynda and family
Geoff & Sarah Thin
Over the years, you and Lothy spoke with such love and affection about Nick, so we always knew he was a good man. Although he will be terribly missed, he will always give you joy.
Our deepest condolences to you and Lothy, and all of Nick’s loved ones.
With love from Sarah, Geoff & Henry
It’s overwhelming to read all of the messages on this memorial page.
Patricia, thank you for sharing the heartwarming pictures and your thoughts and memories. I think of you and want you to know that I can feel your loss. Fentanyl is such a cruel, evil and seductive deceiver. May time be kind to you in your own time of healing.
Although don’t know you Alanna, I want to say that my heart and hopes are with you, as I try to understand the depth of your loss.
Nicholas was always so warm, so helpful, and so conscientious. It feels so strange to not have those simple, pleasant interactions that I had grown accustomed to having so regularly with him. My deepest condolences to those close to Nicholas. I can see that he was, and continues to be, well-loved.
It’s so sad to hear this news. All the years that have gone by, have never taken away my memories of you and family. I remember the news of your son’s birth. I think of you Patty, and of your heartbreaking loss. Please accept my sincere condolences. Danny.
I can still see Nicholas proudly walking Patricia down the aisle on her wedding day. He looked so composed and handsome.
I remember his cheeky smile, Alanna by his side and Nick’s calm presence. I know Nicholas to be a gentle and generous soul despite the demons he battled at times. We are all so proud of his determination to achieve his studies and work so hard to be the best person he could. Rest in peace Nick. I wish I’d joined you on one of your walks especially with you wearing your Collingwood football club beanie! Lots of love, Amanda
What a fight you have put for life and everybody else who loved you and believed in you Nick! You have never disappointed with hope and determination to keep coming back what makes your life meaningful and worthwhile! I am sad that we lost you too early, but I am also happy that I knew you, I will proud of you forever my friend! Rest In Peace!
Dearest Patricia and Damian and Alana it was you people created that beautiful land and it’s healthy soil for Nick to be able to grounded and nourish his soul. It was such an incredible experience to witness your unconditional commitment to one another as a family. I am so sorry for your loss. My heartfelt condolences. Love, Paul D
Diana (Boulton) Shawa
Thank you for contacting me. The pictures of you and Nicholas show the strong love and bond that the two of you had. I can’t say that I know what you are going through or how you are feeling. Nobody can ever do that but even though we lost touch through the years, your description of Nicholas reminds me so much of Dylan. Two loving souls who had their own struggles but managed to stay close and always be a friend and true to themselves. He was a beautiful baby who turned into a handsome man and I would like to send my condolences to all of the people whose lives he touched. You both looked so happy together and my heart breaks for you and the most terrible loss that any mother could possibly have. I talk to Dylan every day and for the first year he spent a lot of time saying it’s going to be okay mom. He gave good hugs too. I think that if Nicholas could, he would give you a great big hug and say it’s going to be okay. Words cannot express how sorry I am to hear of this devastating news and the pain you must be going through.
John & Margie Elkington
Our sincere sympathy to Patricia, Damian and Alanna. Thank you Patricia for sharing the lovely photos of Nicholas. He was a much loved son and friend to many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. With our love, John & Margie Elkington (Australia).
Dear Damian. Patricia and Alanna
It is a sad and lonely time for you all.
Be assured that you are not alone……We are right with you in our thoughts and prayers.
Love. Marcia Jim and Family
Dear Patricia, Damian and Alana, we are very saddened by your loss and our thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing the lovely photos.
Love Gerard, Lorraine and Family
We are saddened to hear of the loss of Nicholas,our thoughts are with you at this very sad time .
Love Terry, Robyn and Family
John and Moya Pullinger
Dear Patricia, Damian and Alanna
We were so very sad for you and the family and friends in Canada to hear of your great loss. Please be assured that our hugs from afar are sent to you and our prayers and thoughts are with you all. Thank you Patricia for the lovely photos and even though we never met Nicholas we felt we knew him from the images. Such great memories. We, as part of your extended family in Australia, are thinking of you.
God bless you and give you comfort and may Nicholas rest with God in peace.
Love John, Moya, Cath, Colin and Ben
Smell the sea, see the sky Let your soul and spirit fly. You were a wonderful Grandson Nicholas. When I worked for the RCMP I took you and you had such a great times. The summers you spent with me in Creston were so great and you kept us all entertained, especially your stories when Terry took you to the Brewery. We will never forget the love you gave us Nick. Love Gramma Lou.
My first memory of Nicholas was his Mom giving him a bath in Auntie Alanna’s sink in her house in Lloydminister. What a beautiful baby boy. His intelligence, mischievous and creative nature was much admired by his cousins. I remember when he was at my house in Saskatoon and demonstrated to his cousins and their friends how much more fun the outdoor play house slide could be if you added water. They thought he was fantastic! The wonderful loving boy grew into a sensitive loving man, and as Gramma Lou would say, extremely good looking to boot. My family was so lucky to have Nick, Patty and Damien at our house for Christmas two years ago. It gave my kids the opportunity to get to know Nick better. You could never mistake how much love Nick had to give when he gave you what my son North calls, “the best man hugs ever”. When he gave you one of those hugs you felt like one of the most appreciated people in the whole world. Nick loved and appreciated his Mom and Dad. He knew he was completely loved for who he was without judgement. I think he has always felt he had the smartest and most patient Mother that a son could have. She was his rock and he knew no matter what he could count on her love and support. Damien was in all ways a true father to him. We will miss you so much Nick. Love Auntie Laurel, Uncle Cam, North and Versailles
Betty Gasper (Smith)
Patti, Brennan shared this sad news with me. I remember driving in a snow storm from Lloydminster to Edmonton with you and Nick when he was only a few weeks old. He was a beautiful baby. And Patti I will always remember you telling me on that snowy drive that you were so in love with this little person. I am so sorry you and your family are going through this.
Margaret and Bernie
Nick, You have left Us now, I never got to meet You, You were always a very welcome addition to Our family, You bonded so well with Damian and He was able to know the joy of a family of His own, all the happy memories Your Mum, Pop’s, and Alanna have will help them through times of sadness they all loved You so much and know You loved them back. Keep watch over Your family Nick and laugh when they remember fun and happy times You all shared.
My late partner Jim and I enjoyed the honour of being Nick’s ‘Fairy God Fathers” and watched him grow up. Like so many teens he got into the drugs. After cycles of relapse/rehab for the last two years he had gotten his life back on track and was just on the cusp of finishing his high school courses. I last saw him on Christmas Eve and he was great – happy, outgoing, grateful. I can’t help but believe that his death is a product of Covid. Had he been following his regular routine of going to school and visiting with his mother and ‘pops’, instead of being bored and cooped up at home, this would not have happened. It’s so sad, tragic really, and yet his story is not unique. My heart goes out to his devastated mother. What consolation can one offer? Time and endurance of overwhelming grief. Nick is not forgotten, and forever loved.
Colleen Morrell Henning
Oh, Patty—I think I have taken so long to write this because there are no words really that touch the sadness of Nicholas’s passing. My heart goes out to you, and also to Damian and Alanna. He was just so young and vibrant, with so much that would have been so good still ahead of him.
I only knew him as a child, of course, when you lived in Edmonton. I remember how happy you were when you were expecting him. I remember sewing a quilt for him as a baby gift then. After he was born, I remember visiting the two of you in your house in Strathcona, and what a beautiful baby he was, and later taking Caroline there—you and me hanging out with our babies. It honestly seems like such a short time ago.
I had heard that Nicholas struggled with addictions. And I believe I know some of what you would have gone through with that as my son also is an addict. He has been clean and sober for 8 years now, but I know that can always change at any time. When covid hit, and all the supports were taken away from your son and mine and all the others who needed them, it was terrifying. Terrifying. And when I heard that your sweet Nicholas was one of the ones who paid the price of that, Patty, my heart just broke for you. I hated to think of Nicholas gone, and you living in that dreaded ultimate nightmare. I wish I could say something that would help, but I don’t think there are words for that. I guess I just hope that those of you whom Nicholas loved and left can hold and help each other survive the dark parts, and remember the joyous light that he was in life.
It’s been 78-days since I saw your face. If I had known that night would be our last goodbye, I would have never let you go. I miss you more than you could ever know, and I love you with all my heart.
What it do bro. Haven’t spoke to you in years but remembering all the times we had back at Franklin . RIP buddy , see you soon!
Mom & Pops
We miss you every single minute of every day. We are very very sad but also so grateful to have had you in our lives and for all the wonderful memories. You will always be our Nicky Nickster and we will never stop loving you, Sweetheart.
Dear Patricia, this is Marie Martin. We were neighbors in Edmonton. I babysat little Nicholas. My daughter Lindsay has wanted to contact Nicholas for several years. Tonight we found out about the devastating news. I am so very sorry dear Patricia. He was a beautiful, little boy, always wanting to climb a tree , play on the swings and water my garden. I always think about you.
We also had a loss. My husband of 37 years passed away June 20 2018. We are devastated
I hope I can hear from you. I send you love and greetings. Marie Martin
Thinking of you tonight. Every night. Wishing I could hear your voice once more. I miss you.
Darling boy, Pops and I think about you every single day. We miss you so much.but always try to remember how much we all loved each other and how lucky we were to have had you in our lives. I will never forget the moment I first saw you, held you in my arms and told you how much I loved you. And the last time, our last hug and kiss and that last I love you. Happy Birthday sweet boy.
Merry Christmas Sweetheart. We miss you more than you can ever know. We decorated your special tree at home. It’s supposed to snow here tomorrow so we’ll visit you on the hill. We love you sweet boy and hold you in our hearts everyday.
So hard to believe that it’s been two years since I last saw your beautiful smile, told you that I loved you and had one of your enormous hugs. So many times every day, I think about you, laughing at some memories, missing you so much and crying for your loss. It’s very very hard and I am very sad but I try to always remember how much we all loved each other and be grateful for the time we got to have you in our lives. I love you Bubala.
Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!
I remember once you wanted me to call you to wake up so you could watch your self in the mirror as you turned another year older. So I did that for you today.
Today, we’ll go for lunch at your favourite spot and visit your tree with Alanna.
But most of all, I’ll remember the wonderful day I had you and how.fortunate I was to love and be loved by you.
And I’ll never forget that we’ll always have you because we’ll always love you.
Another Christmas without my darling boy. My heart is breaking, sweetheart. I miss you so so much and love you more with every day that passes.
Your tree is decorated and I filled your stocking for Alanna and have a lovely present for her just as you would have. We’ll always take care of her.
I wish I could believe I would see you again someday but I try to take what comfort I can in remembering all the Christmases we spent together and how much we all loved each other and always, always will.
Three years of sadness and missing you. Three years of gratitude that I was your Mom and for the time we had together.
I miss your funny laugh, your sweet smile and especially your enormous hugs. So many times, every single day, I think of you. Sometimes remembering times past, sometimes wishing you were here to enjoy happy times in the present. I know as long as I keep you in my thoughts and heart that you will always be here, a part of everything. I cherish that.
All the aunties, uncles, cousins, your gramma and especially Alanna miss you. We talk about you all the time – the funny things you said as a baby and a child, how absolutely adorable you were and what a handsome, respectful and personable adult you became.
I love you Nicholas. And always will. Thank you for the honour of being your mother.
It’s hard to think of the past three years without you. You’re never far from my mind and I still see you on every street, around every corner. Sometimes when the Fraser bus drives past I still expect to see you standing at the back door. Yesterday at Hastings someone ordered two coffees for themselves, I think the drink lady thought of you in that moment too. I love your bear, always and forever.