Canucks and Beyond

Goodbye to Rick

08/20/2011 at 5:29pm EDT

NHL toughguy Rick Rypien returned to the arena where he played his minor hockey in Saturday just days after his sudden death in his southern Alberta home.

Close to 1,000 people turned out on a bright sunny day at Albert Stella Arena in this Crowsnest Pass community for the funeral for Rypien, 27, who was found in his home in nearby Coleman earlier this week.

- Winnipeg Free Press

There’s not much more I can say about Rick Rypien that I haven’t already said. But I do think a lot of people have been affected by his death, more than they might have expected, so perhaps something good can come out of this. Not to say there’s anything ‘good’ about this horrible situation in itself, but maybe we’ll all be a little more aware, in our own lives, when we see people we know are struggling.

Of course, none of us can ‘save’ people, but maybe there’s a lesson in knowing that it doesn’t matter how privileged someone else’s life looks like from the outside, they can still use our help and understanding. It’s certainly a lesson that’s resonated with me… and I didn’t even know the man. But his uncle did, and he had this to say:

“My overwhelming question is why? How could this happen,”? said his uncle Allan Rypien Jr.

“He had a great family, great friends and a great job.”

Rypien said his nephew was battling a disease not unlike cancer.

“He fought this disease with everything he had in him,” he said. “If you knew Rick he fought with everything he had in him. Unfortunately the disease won the battle.”

Courtesy of a pointer from JJ,a look back at some of Rypien’s time on the ice…

You can also find his career fight card with videos over at hockeyfights.com.

CTV and the CP note that donations in memory of Rick Rypien will be accepted toward Kids’ Sport Alberta, if anyone wishes to contribute:

Kids’ Sport Alberta
“Crowsnest Pass Branch,”
Box 415, Blairmore, AB
T0K 0E0
Canada

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