A Tribute to the Life
of Simon Wills

This post, and this video, have to be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to produce. It took months, through anguish and tears, through thousands of photos and memories, but it was all necessary and cathartic. In June 2014, my dear baby brother Simon, aged 34 years young, took his own life. This is my tribute to one of the best gifts the world has ever gained, and lost.

Too many great spirits are falling to depression and suicide lately; it’s a disease that is latent but deadly and can take the brightest star and snuff it cruelly out.

Can’t see this video? Watch on YouTube →

Music I used in this video

Yesterday, The Beatles
Lost Together, Blue Rodeo
Let Her Go, Passenger

Please feel free to express any comments below, and share this tribute with anyone you think Simon knew.


Update – January 7th, 2015

Thank you to everyone who messaged me a happy birthday, it is much appreciated, however…

As I turn 38 today and life keeps getting better, it also means that someone else doesn’t get to turn 35 and be able to say the same.

This will be the first time in my life that I don’t get to celebrate “our” birthday with my brother Simon. A wave of “firsts” is hitting me; First Xmas, first NYE, first birthday without Simon. This feels like phantom limb syndrome, only a lot worse.

When I created my tribute video back in September, I had two motives: 1) To give something to everyone who couldn’t attend the memorial and 2) Catharsis.

A torrent of comments followed, and I learned that Simon was a silent hero to many; he brought happiness and laughs to so many, volunteered at animal shelters and spent time with the terminally ill, even bringing those who suffered to our family cottage to “get away”. And that is only the tip of the iceberg.

So what I would really love for “our” birthday is for those of you who knew him to share a memory with me of Simon; a moment, a story, a joke, whatever. Public comment, or in a private message, whichever suits.

Thank you…

Please feel free to express any comments below, and share this tribute with anyone you think Simon knew.

25 Comments

  • Jason Boucher says:

    Beautiful tribute….

  • I clicked this link from a friend’s FB page because I recognized Simon’s face, having met him a few times many years ago. What an incredibly moving and beautiful tribute. Well done. It filled me with empathy for his family and friends, as well as a newfound understanding of fibromyalgia.

  • Véronique Quéry says:

    Beautiful tribute, very touching. Simon was so special to me, he will always be in my heart.

  • I went to Cejep with your brother and trained with him a number of times at the YMCA. I’m completely shocked, even more so since I randomly thought about him JUST yesterday and had no idea about this. I’m empathize with you and wish you and your family only this best.

  • Suzanne says:

    Wonderful, moving, fitting tribute Allan and lovely words too. Well done.

  • Christine Robert says:

    What a beautiful tribute Allan. I can’t say I knew Simon well, but we had some great times in Lea’s basement and in your neighborhood. I was always so envious of the type of atmosphere you guys had at each others homes. I could see that Simon had a part in making everyone feel so welcome in the group of friends that were always around. RIP Simon.

  • This is a most beautiful and loving tribute to our dearest Simon and I, of course shed some tears of sadness looking at those pics of long ago – I saw him grow up like my little boy – He was loved, and he loved us back

  • Caroline says:

    What a beautiful tribute. I went to John Abbott with Simon. We were in a small program, all of us quite close. He was a kind soul, with only nice things to say about everyone and always willing to help out a fellow student. I was shocked to hear about this and would like to offer my deepest sympathies in this time.

  • Sam Mountain says:

    A beautiful tribute to a beautiful person. Simon used to come spend time with kittens I had up for adoption through my work. So very sorry for your loss.

  • Thankyou for creating and sharing this amazing tribute Allan. I was privileged to have gotten to know Simon through yoga and after hearing you speak in this video Allan I can see where he got his traits. Such an easy going personable person. I am deeply sorry for your loss. We all miss him at work. God bless his soul.

  • Val Lonergan says:

    Thank you for sharing this moving tribute with the world. Beautifully done.

  • Tanya Mayar says:

    Thank you Allan for this beautiful and touching piece which will forever resonate in our hearts. Simon was a very special, good natured, gentle heartened person who lit up every room he walked into. I was always excited to see him; from “the best vacation ever” in Miami, to work lunches, to dance offs, to halloween parties, to birthday celebrations, to mcgibbons nights to our daily break chats at work..I loved being in his company. Words cannot express the sadness felt however we can share comfort in knowing Simon is no longer suffering. When reason fails, pray for peace. Simon may your heart and soul find peace and comfort.

  • Daryl (aka Nosey Aunt Daryl - to Simon and Allan) says:

    The relationship we have with a sibling should be the longest in our lives. So very sad that you and Simon won’t grow older together, Allan. You have woven together a beautiful reminder of Simon for all who knew him and it must have hurt so much to do that. You certainly aren’t short of wonderful memories to think back on and have both lived such full lives. The shots of the moon going over the cottage made me think of Simon, released from all his worries and free.

  • Donna Miller says:

    A truly beautiful tribute.

  • michael azoulay says:

    My deepest condolences to the wills family
    I have work with Simon at air Canada
    I always enjoyed my conversations with him
    I always thought that kid was bright, smart and full of life,
    And would make something great of his life.
    I was extremely sadden by his death
    It is definitely a huge loss for everybody

  • Mitch says:

    my condolences to the Wills family and everybody who knew and loved Simon. This tribute video shows all of us how important it is to live in the present moment and enjoy each others company to the fullest. a beautiful homage to a beautiful person who always put others first, may you rest in peace Simon, you will never be forgotten.

  • Pierre A Depatie says:

    Simon’s death came as a shock.I worked with him at Air Canada.This is a fantastic tribute to him. RIP buddy.

  • Gary Bridgman says:

    Awesome job Allan!! And yes…your bro did leave his mark in the world…..a life lived to the fullest….

  • André Parent says:

    Hey Simon … I am blessed to have known you , worked with you at AC . Your passing affected me very deeply . You will never be forgotten Simon . Heaven just called upon another earth´s angel . Thank´s Allan for a very well done tribute to your fabulous little brother , god bless you and your family . RIP my friend

  • Andrea Leckman says:

    I am the girlfriend of one of your brother’s co-workers at Air Canada.
    I never knew you brother, but this beautiful, tender, moving tribute was incredibly touching. thank for sharing this very personal event with the world, and including us all in your brother’s circle of life….
    Andrea Leckman and John Hock

  • Ian W says:

    Just had chance to see this now I finally have a working computer. Allan, that is such a beautiful and moving tribute, it could not have been easy in the slightest but I hope you found it cathartic. I know he’s proud of you guys, mate :-)

  • Nadine says:

    I knew Simon for only a moment in my life, but the impact of who he was stayed with me for a long time after. This news brings me to tears. Allan’s tribute video is incredibly touching and cements the foot prints Simon left on this earth and in our souls. Memories of him will continue to touch and inspire me and many others. He was loved. “Were the’s a Wills, there’s a way” he uesd to say: may he have found his resting place at peace. My most sincere condolences to the Wills family.

  • Anthony De Melo says:

    Very heartwarming tribute. Your words, images, and message not only show moments of your brother’s exceptional life but share his amazing legacy.

  • Steven George Warden says:

    A very beautiful and moving tribute that truly shares with the world what an amazing, shining person Simon was, and remains in our hearts and memories. I met Simon during one of the first few days of university at the course selection carousel, and though his sprit of inclusiveness, met one of my very first “buddies”, who in turn welcomed me into his circle (of ever-growing) friends, leaving this lonely boy from a small town the gift of feeling like “just one of the guys,” and experiencing what it was like to have a network of friends, or rather, bros.

    Thank you for making this.

  • Lee Griffioen says:

    Randomly thought about Simon today and decided to watch the video again. Damn I miss him.

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