timberland shoe An Unexplained Death
Tears flow freely as Jayna Leroux Hendren sorts through hundreds of donated shirts, pants, and even a couple of wedding dresses, bound for those in need in northern communities.
The room in the basement of her rural home in north Woodstock was once filled with furniture and a few other belongings of her son, former Woodstock and London resident Brent Hendren.
was really hard, Leroux Hendren said of dismantling the bedroom. had to go through his stuff a little at a time. transformation of the space from bedroom to collection zone began in the months following the presumed drowning of her 27 year old son.
In April 2015, Hendren was reported missing after being last seen in a rowboat off the coast of Kumdis Island in Haida Gwaii, off the west coast of British Columbia.
To honour their son memories. Dave Hendren and Leroux Hendren have been collecting money, food and clothing to send to northern families in need due to the spiraling prices of food through a group called Helping our Northern Neighbours.
As of the end of October they had sent 600 boxes of items to northern Canada. home because at $32 it was too expensive to buy.
the helping Northern families work helps a lot (with our grief), Leroux Hendren said. think he would have wanted us to do this. Hendren body has never been found, the boat, his boot and backpack and other items were discovered washed up in various locations. An avid outdoorsman and environmentalist, Hendren, who lived in a remote cabin, has been described as wise beyond his years.
Hendren got the travelling bug during high school in Woodstock, and after graduation moved to London, working at various jobs to save up enough for future adventures.
There he started to make like minded friends. In 2009 he went on his first major trip alone to Frontenac Park for a week of hiking and portaging.
In 2012, he headed to Occupy Toronto, where he was surprised to run into his old high school friend Brandon Ball.
was right there, it was so weird, Ball recalled. put our tents up right beside each other. their years of friendship, the two had always bonded over intense conversations about the world and talks about books that included Jack Kerouac The Dharma Bums and On the Road.
At one time, Hendren gave Ball a backpack and taught him how to winter camp.
had this quiet intensity about him all the time, Ball said. could say anything to him he was very thoughtful and mindful, even before I knew what mindfulness was. brilliant and funny, Ball said Hendren could also be incredibly complex and deep.
They argued over concepts such as gravity and quantum physics.
had so many layers, Ball said. there was also chaos inside him. He could talk about poetry and pain. Occupy Toronto, for 40 days and 40 nights they became part of devoted group of anarchists, the disenfranchised, the homeless and Aboriginals protesting corporate greed, economic inequality and the influence of corporations on government.
Drawn together by a intellectual connection, Ball said he was devastated to hear of his friend death.
was the saddest thing ever, he said. was blessed to know this guy. if in death Hendren was trying to do him one last favour,
Ball said at the celebration of life in honour of his deceased friend he met a woman named Julie Walker. She was also a long time friend of Hendren and had visited him at his cabin in Haida Gwaii.
was love at first sight, Ball said. was this connection that was really strong. pair now lives together in Cambridge.
During Occupy Toronto, Hendren also met a couple who had lived in a simple home in India without running water or electricity. In 2012 he travelled there to visit.
was in his element there, Leroux Hendren said. loved it. the seven months he spent travelling in India, her son only spent $1,000, including dental work to repair a broken tooth.
In Nepal, a county he held a special reverence for, he started a trek to the base camp at Mount Everest but was disappointed when had to return home due to a parasite infection.
At home his parents said he looked like Jesus and his hair, which he was growing for Locks of Love, was nine inches long.
we picked him up at the airport, we didn even recognize him, Leroux Hendren said.
But again the travel bug took him west, where he worked in the hospitality industry at Lake Louise. It was there he fell while hiking and injured his foot so severely he was airlifted for surgery, and again he returned home.
There, he worked various jobs to earn money for more travels.
In May 2014 Hendren left to explore Northern Canada, paddling 735 kilometres from Whitehorse to Dawson City, where he met a friend and travelled on to the Klondike.
Along the Yukon banks he spotted moose, a family of bears and endured a torrent of mosquitoes that, Hendren wrote in his journal, were a ninja strike under the cover of night. also wrote in his journal about his from civilization and commented on the rolling rapids that in while I snoozed. there any better way to snooze than afloat, nay, adrift, sprawled in the sun atop the mighty Yukon River? he wrote. hammock dweller, La Z Boy potatoes, beach bums, and the like I challenge the lot of you. above Grizzly Pass, he also described his emotions.
question myself; I question my ability, he wrote. have my map, my compass, I know my way. And yet doubt remains. I will not succumb to this fear. her son constantly travelling the globe, Leroux Hendren said she couldn help but carry with her the heavy weight of constant worry. But when in 2014 he decided to settle into the wilderness of British Columbia Haida Gwaii,
she was able to breathe a little easier.