I was prompted to write this by the news that Christopher Peloso had passed away. Christopher was the husband of George Smitherman, the former Deputy Premier of Ontario and candidate for Mayor of Toronto. I knew him as a loving father, a dedicated husband, and a good man. My heart and my prayers go out to George and Christopher’s three children (two of which he and George shared).

I do not want this piece to be about how Christopher passed away. He was more than that. He was how he lived. He was his dedication to community and family. And that is how we will remember him. George Smitherman, my friend and mentor, released the following statement early Monday morning:

“Toronto Police just confirmed that my darling Christopher Peloso has been found dead.

We will celebrate his life and we will find comfort somehow in knowing that he has found peace from the depression that has wreaked havoc on his mind.

A son and brother, a husband and father of 3 he will always be remembered for his dedication to others.

We have been greatly aided by the compassion of the Toronto Police service and we will find strength going forward from the legions of people in our extended family who loved him so.”

Christopher will be missed.

But I hope his passing will not go unnoticed by the greater community. Christopher suffered from depression. Although it was never a matter we discussed, this was a diagnosis we shared.

Depression, in all its various forms, can leave one in an utter state of darkness. For many there is a feeling that there is no way out. I do not know the exact circumstances surrounding Christopher’s passing, but I do know when my wife informed me of what had occurred I felt compelled to apologize to her if I had ever made her feel like there was a possibility that this could ever happen to me.

I was deeply saddened to hear that Christopher lost his battle with depression. But I hope this knowledge gives people the awareness to not let this happen again. If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression there are outlets you can turn to. Please try talking to a friend or loved one or take a look at the information provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association at www.cmha.ca.

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