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General News · 2nd October 2019
Edward Colley & Kira MacDuffee
Charles Crossland

July 30,1969 – September 29, 2019

We are deeply saddened to let everyone know that our dear friend Charles passed away Sunday evening (Sept 29/19) of an apparent drug overdose while visiting his family on Salt Spring Island.

Charles was in good spirits as he left for his trip to Victoria and then on to Salt Spring, and his mother told us that he was in positive mood during his visit. Life had not always been easy for Charles, but we believe his death was accidental, a by-product of an on and off again drug experimentation.

Many Cortesians will know Charles from his work at the co-op, where he enjoyed connecting with people, speaking French to fellow francophone whenever possible, and genuinely seeking to do the best job he could do. Several people said that his curly handlebar mustache was as well known as he was. Charles was also passionate about mental health and was in the process of organizing a support group on Cortes.

Charles’ deep listening presence made people feel deeply heard and seen. His quirky sense of humour made us laugh and occasionally cringe. He had a thirst for knowledge and a desire to share what he had learned with others. A strong wish to know himself more fully, Charles participated in numerous enlightenment intensives and spiritual ceremonies. It was a true gift to witness his many moments of awakening self-awareness.

Not only missed by humans, Charles’ winged crow friends who would flock to meet him will caw to no avail. Dogs and cats will miss his never-ending supply of treats, including catnip in his socks, and love. He had a strong empathy for all their needs.

We will miss Charles, possibly more than he ever could have realized or taken in. Shock and grief are not our only companions though, our love for this unique and caring man shines brightly. We ask everyone to hold Charles in your hearts so that he may move forward with ease into his next phase of this mysterious life process.

We love you Charles!

We are in touch with the Crossland family and will post updates on Tideline regarding their plans for a funeral/celebration ceremony, to be held in either Salt Spring Island or Victoria. We hope some of you will make the journey, as we will. We will also post a notice about a Cortes Island ceremony to follow.
For Charkes
Comment by Jana Lynne White on 10th October 2019
His eyes twinkled
Light sparkling from a deep reservoir
Of aliveness.

He spoke directly
Greeting by name as you entered his domain
Noticing and remembering
Keeping current in the river of so many lives.

He had a troubled past
Imprisoned by youthful mistakes
He claimed Cortes freedom
With a delicious determination
And sweet appreciation
That infused every smile -
Radiating from a heart
That had broken and healed
From painful
And persistent

Charles was not a gossip
He was a guardian of giving
And receiving
He made people feel

Too soon, too early, too sad.
We are aching with the missing of you
As we stand before a great fire
We commend your Spirit to the great Light ...
From which you came
And to which you go
With our united love.

Rest In Peace, Charles.

You showed us true sweetness - and we will truly never forget it.
A Poem by Charles
Comment by Carina DM-Community Member Vic on 4th October 2019
You Are A Rainbow
by Charles Crossland (2013)
You are a Rainbow, a being of light, All possibility contained within you. The conditions uniquely right so that you appear. And I, mid-step, as happenstance chance to look up. Glorious apparition-intangible, ephemeral. Passerby around me pass on; the crows and clouds indifferent to your presence. Your spectacle fluoresces regardless. Awestruck, i stop and smile, amazed. I revel in the kiss of sunshine on the back of my neck yet feel grateful for the rain that has brought you. How fortunate I am that I see you, that I witness your brief, yet glorious existence!

Published in Divergent/Convergent, UVic, 2013
Mass for Charles October 11th
Comment by Edward Colley & Kira MacDuffee on 4th October 2019
A Mass will be held for Charles Crossland at 2pm on Friday, October 11th at Our Lady of Grace Parish, 135 Drake Street, Salt Spring Island, BC.

Charles left this world for another. He will be deeply missed by his parents Bob and Josée Crossland, his sister Natalie Ariane, her family, as well as many of his loving friends.

In lieu of flowers a donation to a charity of your choice would be appreciated.

We hope many of you will be able to attend this service for Charles.
In addition to your personal events to honour and remember Charles on Cortes, another memorial event will be planned for early November. More info as things unfold.
Comment by Jeramie on 2nd October 2019
Even though I did not know him closely Charles had a loving impact on my life during his time on Cortes. Specifically, when I was going through a transitional time in my life this summer Charles provided comforting support and laughter each time I encountered him. I am sad that he is gone all too soon. Charles, you are so dearly missed!
Comment by Carrie Saxifrage on 2nd October 2019
I thought the notices couldn't be for him but they were. I specifically looked forward to seeing him at the co-op, something warm in his presence that made me feel really good and now I have tears for his passing. I'm wishing his family and close friends comfort and love and the knowledge that he was a special person who touched people with how he was. I am so sorry.
words of love
Comment by Jennifer Stevens on 2nd October 2019
I love you Charles and miss you so much. We are all so happy that you shared the last few years with us in the open arms of the Cortes, love love. I need a hug.
A Bright Light
Comment by Lucretia Schanfarber on 2nd October 2019
His warm glow of friendliness will be greatly missed.
So sad.
Comment by Jenny Wilson on 2nd October 2019
Dear Charles - your open heart and creative self was a true pleasure to get to know. I am saddened to hear of your death. Much too soon for you. I was looking forward to dancing with you this fall/winter. I hope, where ever you rest - you will find joy and love.

What a fellow...
Comment by Max on 2nd October 2019
Charles recently told me that some his best days have been working as a team and being helpful at the coop. I found that touching and an example of him being a good person, happy to serve others in this community.
He joined the FOCI board this summer and his presence there was well appreciated both personally and professionally.
Thank you Charles.
You will be missed
Comment by Bertha Jeffery on 2nd October 2019
We will miss your smile and friendliness which we enjoyed when you came to the store. Hope you rest in peace.
Comment by Stephen Reid on 2nd October 2019
Deeply saddened.
Comment by Samantha Statton on 2nd October 2019
I will miss you Charles, you were a lovely lovely man, a bright spark in my day. I always looked forward to seeing you at the Co-op. I will miss your smile and your friendship.
Love & Peace