One of three promising young hockey players killed in a crash in Surrey earlier this month was laid to rest at an emotional service on Saturday.
Ronin Sharma, 16, died along with Caleb Reimer, also 16, and Parker Magnuson, 17, when the vehicle they were travelling in left the road near 104 Avenue and 160 Street around 2:45 a.m. on Aug. 21.
Attendance at Saturday’s service was limited to family, but the memorial was livestreamed for the public — signifying just how hard the tragedy has hit the community.
“No words in the world will ever explain how much I miss you,” Ronin’s sister Natasha told mourners through tears.
“I’d do anything in the world to hear your voice and see your smile one more time. I wish there was something I could do to bring you back.”
Outpouring of grief for three hockey players killed in Surrey crash
Ronin’s brother Ryan described the teen as “a natural-born leader.”
“(He was) so full of love, energy, empathy, the list could go on forever,” he said.
“His drive to be the best person he could be inspired me daily to be the best person I could be.”
Sharma played for the BCHL Langley Rivermen, and along with the other two boys, was a veteran of the Delta Hockey Academy.
The three teens have been described as close friends who lived for their sport.
Funerals for Reimer and Magnuson are scheduled for next week, according to a GoFundMe for the victims’ families. As of Saturday, that fundraiser had collected more than $65,000.
A large and growing memorial to the trio remains at the site of the fatal crash, a testament to how deep the tragedy has cut.
Vanessa LaPointe, a registered psychologist and grief counsellor, advised parents to be open and patient with their grieving teens.
Surrey RCMP say high speed a factor in crash that killed three teen hockey players
Grief is a challenging process for anyone, she said, but noted that at their stage of development, teenagers tend to see the world in black and white — and may swing from deep sadness to other strong emotions quickly as they work through it.
“Do not be surprised by the swing, and make a lot of room, have a lot of invitation in you for that kind of swinging, in order to be able to have your youth feel incredibly heard and seen in the process of their grief,” she said.
“Better out than in, because that which stays in festers,” she added. “Even if that’s very loud and noisy and challenging.”
An investigation into the collision is ongoing, but on Friday RCMP said speed was a factor in the crash.
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