Anytime someone begins the journey to the North there is a rollercoaster of emotions to go through. You will feel fear, dread, excitement, anticipation and wonder to name a few. What makes it an easier transition is to make friends when you arrive. They will provide the necessary support and sage advice you will need to adjust to your new surroundings.
The second person I met when I got of the plane was Terry Girouard. The big fellow with the long hair and scraggly goatee met me with a friendly smile and a helping hand with all the luggage. I found out the next day that his cubicle was close to mine and I stopped by after introductions to thank him for helping me with the luggage. We soon learned we had much in common and a friendship quickly developed.
A couple months ago Terry went to the health center complaining of sever pains in his side and was soon medivacted to Iqaluit for more test. Soon after that it was off to Ottawa for even more test. I seen his wife Barb walking and stopped to ask how Terry was. With tears in her eyes and a shaking voice she told me he had oesophagus cancer and it has spread to his liver. Barb and the children were leaving immediately to fly to Ottawa to see Terry in the hospital.
After a brief battle Terry died last night around supper. He was a lot of things to many people. A husband, father, son, brother, musician, poker player, co-worker. To me and many people in Cape Dorset he was, and will always be, a friend.