An Inspiration, Lost

My accountability post will be published a little later today because I want to talk about something significantly more important.

Late yesterday evening I got a very sad message from my mother. She said that she hated to have to tell me this, but my cousin Ryan Gillis died earlier that day in a car accident. He was only about my age.

Growing up, Ryan had a lot of problems with drugs. He struggled with them and went through the system more than once, and in those days we all worried whether anything would ever become of him. But in past years Ryan has pulled his life together in a way that was absolutely incredible. He went completely clean and sober, and got huge into yoga and fitness. He visited less-fortunate countries to bring love and support to the people there, and he traveled all over the country to visit schools and talk to them about just exactly what drugs do to a person. I have seen his name pop up so often on Facebook as students from every province took to their status updates to talk about this amazing guy who shared his story with them. It always amazed me to see what an impact he was making.

The most important thing in his life over the past few years has been staying positive, spreading the message of love and faith and pulling yourself through the bad times, and so it seems terribly unfair that he should be taken from the world now, when he was doing so much good and finally truly living his life.

So on behalf of Ryan, I want to say to everyone: Whatever you’re going through – no matter how bad it gets – there are ways out. You can find help, you can be stronger than you think you are, and you can turn your life into something that you’re proud of. You just have to have a little faith and be willing to fight for it.

We all love you and the world will miss you, Ryan.

Ryan

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29 thoughts on “An Inspiration, Lost

  1. So sorry for your loss,, and everyone who knew him .. He surely inspired many, he will always be remembered & truely missed,, RIP,,

  2. This is a tragic loss to Ryan family and friends and also to strangers who came across his incredible story of how this young man fought long and hard with his addictions and found his way and finally started to enjoy his life once again. I admired this young courageous man for having the strength to turn his life around and spread that powerful message called “HOPE” Ryan, we all can take a page from your book and keep your message alive. That there is hope even in our darkest hours, make the choice to turn the corner and run with it….”LOVE LIFE”
    Heavy hearts for the Gillis Family, God Bless you all
    Rest in peace Angel,
    Norma

  3. Absolutely heartbreaking but for Ryan to have the chance to prove his abilities and show the world just what he was capable of doing which took an immense amount of power on his part his Family couldn’t be left with better memories of him after everything they have been through with him they will for ever be so proud of him and may God bless every one of them and give them the strength to get through this!!!

  4. Today I watched Ryan’s video message. I was inspired and so proud to see his inner strength and love. I felt his pain and his pride. I will always remember his message. I look around my small world and see so many who have no legacy. Ryan is a legacy of hope and freedom. We need the world to know this young man. His story will save lives. Ryan is an angel we know. Ryan did and will continue to teach us to share and love life.
    Sending sincere sympathy to all who are feeling the loss of this exceptional human being.
    Beverly Shea-Langille

  5. Truly inspiring. What a wonderful soul. Hope his goodness and memory continues to be shared for a long time. Sincere condolences.

  6. I was moved to tears when I read his story 6months or so ago. He has left a legacy & an impact on many people, already. He has accomplished his vision … now it’s up to others to continue it. I have no doubt that he will in the future, due to his past, move mountains. In the meantime, hugs and blessings on your entire extended family. So sorry for such unexplained pain.

  7. An amazing story of hope & recovery. A life cut too short for sure, heartbreaking. Condolences to all who loved him ♥

  8. OMG, Ii heard his message and thought what an inspiration to others and Wished him well while being told a short time after he had passes away, My heart broke for him and all who knew him, Thoughts and Prayers and May He Rest In Peace, Gone Far Too Early, God Bless!

  9. I heard Ryan speak at one of the elementary schools, I work in. He was an inspiration to the kids and the staff. I agree, he is an inspiration lost….but his efforts, video and classroom presentations have already made the world a better place and will continue their impact for a long time to come. My condolences to the people who loved him. He will be missed.

  10. I have watched Ryan. was so moved by his message I can relate to his message,When i heard of his passing i cried, Ryan had a great message I am so sorry for your loss ,I have lost two sons through this terrible addiction,I only wish they could have met Ryan and heard his message.My heart goes out to the family as i know what you are going through.I have no way to tell you how to cope as each person has to deal in their own way.(Safe in the arms of Jesus)

  11. Hey TraceyLynn, Watched the video on Ryan a while back just as yoga was becoming an important part of my life. Sorry for your loss. I hate hearing about people who struggle and overcome things only to have it taken away in such a random way. Its a weird coincidence but the person who introduced yoga to a wide audience in North America and helped people understand its true power to heal not only physical issues but addiction etc. passed away today at 95. I hope
    he and Ryan cross paths. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/world/asia/bks-iyengar-who-helped-bring-yoga-to-west-dies-at-95.html?_r=0

  12. Why is it that good people are often taken away early in their lives? Why douchebags continue to haunt their earth until the end. Why?

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