GIRLING, Garret James

August 31, 1982 – December 24, 2021


It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of our beloved Garret. Garret was a kind and gentle soul with a generous heart and great compassion for others. What Garret valued and cherished most was his family. He was our gentle giant. He had a quick and intelligent sense of humor. He kept us all entertained and in stitches for hours. Garret was very creative and had an interest in all forms of the Arts. He studied Theatrical Arts at Mount Royal University in the hopes of one day pursuing an acting career. In his younger years, Garret enjoyed many outdoor adventures and activities with family and friends, including biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, snowboarding, hockey and basketball. Though Garret was challenged with mental illness in his later years, he faced those challenges courageously, with the grace and strength few could have matched. He filled in his “Dash” to the best of his abilities. He will be lovingly remembered and sorely missed by his parents, Ken and Helen Girling, brother Curtis (Holly), nieces Sierra and Samantha, grandfather Bus (Brenda) Girling and his many special uncles, aunts, cousins and friends. Garret was predeceased by his grandparents, Dolores Girling and Steve and Angela Lupyczuk. Garret will always hold a special place in all our hearts. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, a private service will be held in his honour. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Dr. Sellmer, Rachel and all the support team at the Foothills Hospital Adult Psychosis Program, for their dedicated care and compassion. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Diabetes Association or the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Arrangements entrusted to Florence (Flo) Simpson, Funeral Director

Cochrane Country Funeral Home – cochrane@piersons.ca – 403-932-1039

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  1. On 30/12/2021 at 3:49 pm Ann & Dave Said:

    Garret: I have been playing Gord Downie’s “Fiddler’s Green” on my guitar a lot over the last few days. Thanks for all the times we got to jam together. Thanks for all the sweet memories. We will hold you in our hearts forever.
    Ann & Dave

  2. On 30/12/2021 at 6:21 pm Linus Clark Said:

    Ken and Helen we are so sorry for your loss, our deepest condolences.
    Linus, Shari, Jaycee and Carlee

  3. On 30/12/2021 at 6:42 pm The Hutchisons Said:

    Ken, Helen, Curtis and Holly. Our deepest condolences to you all. We have so many fond memories of Garret. His quick sense of humor will always be a cherished memory. All of us trying to out do one another during many family golf tournaments. Lots of banter back and forth, lots of laughs and pokes! Garret always had a comeback or phrase that made us giggle.
    Thinking of you all during this most difficult time.
    May Garret spread his wings and glide through the clouds to be joined with those who went before him. Godspeed Garret, Godspeed.
    All of our love,
    Dave, Connie, Robbe and Megan Hutchison

  4. On 30/12/2021 at 8:06 pm Angela Orme (Clark) Said:

    Garrett will be deeply missed. I remember so vividly when we went on a canoe trip together through the Badlands – me, my dad Tom, Ken, Garrett, Dave, Jason, Murray when me and Garret were maybe 10 or 11 years old. He and I forged a special connection on the banks of the Red Deer while everyone was packing up and getting ready to go. Me and Garrett played in the mud on the shores of the river and he made me fall over laughing doing impressions and with his quick wit. We always held onto that connection and from then on checked in on each other throughout the years. I will miss oh so much those periodic, sincere, messages from him. I love you Garrett.

  5. On 31/12/2021 at 8:09 am Marcel Carpenter Said:

    Ken, Helen, and family, my heart goes out to you on the loss of Garrett. Even though I never met him I was challenged to live life to the fullest through your stories, adventures, and uncompromising love for him. I pray God’s comfort for you all at this difficult time.

  6. On 31/12/2021 at 8:47 am Glenn & Claire Gradeen Said:

    Ken and Helen,
    Our sincerest condolences – our hearts go out to you… How does one lose such a bright, artist young man – your child – and still go on? While we lost touch with Garret over the years – we do remember some of those outdoor adventures – including the Red Deer River and some fun times sitting around the fire. so very sorry for your loss. Stay strong and know that you – Ken and Helen and Curtis and Garret are all loved and in our thoughts. Garret has gone to a better, peaceful place.

    Claire, Alexandra, Rachael, Erika and Glenn…

  7. On 31/12/2021 at 10:41 am Al, Deb and all of our family Said:

    Kenny, Helen, Curtis and Holly. We send deepest sympathy and all of our love to you.
    You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
    Love Deb, Al and our family

  8. On 31/12/2021 at 11:12 am Judy & Mike Peacock Said:

    Girling Family – we are truly sorry to hear of the loss of your Garret. Please accept our deepest condolences. Much love from all of The Peacock Family.

  9. On 31/12/2021 at 11:45 am Lorne and Daphne Aebig Said:

    Ken, Helen, Curtis,Holly, Sierra and Samantha,

    What a lovely tribute for a son, brother and uncle. We wish we could have known him better. Sending heartfelt condolences to all.

    Lots of love,,
    Lorne and Daphne

  10. On 31/12/2021 at 11:53 am Joyce, Chris & Murray Castle Said:

    Bowron Lakes, Group W Bench, that mischievous smile. Broken Islands, paddling in sea fog. Moab, warm desert sun, Garrett grinning as he pedals over ancient slick rock landscape. Drifting down the Red Deer River, Garrett leaned back in the canoe, paddle at rest, sunning himself. Garrett and Chris, loading “special” rocks into their backpacks on the Waterton Lakes hike. Building bows and arrows at Mirror Lake. Quoting, with hilarious accent, Monty Python or Doctor Evil or Austin Powers. Thank you, kind and gentle friend, for being in our lives. RIP.

  11. On 31/12/2021 at 12:15 pm Judy and Clarence Burke Said:

    Clarence and I were so saddened to hear of your loss. Our hearts go our to you and we are keeping you in our thoughts. Clarence and Judy

  12. On 31/12/2021 at 4:10 pm Libby Britton Said:

    Dear family of Garret,
    Our son Matthew was also born in August of 1982, and also passed away suddenly & unexpectedly, due to mental illness.
    After reading this Obit, I felt compelled to reach out to you. Although, no two situations or circumstances are the same, I felt an immediate empathy for you and understand some of what you are going through. My heart aches for you all…
    When our Matt died (almost 13 years ago), a wise cousin said to me “he hung on as long as he did because of the love he had for his family”. That gave me a small degree of comfort. Also, thinking about the truth that none of us has a right to judge another persons mental anguish, also helped us.
    Know that you are not alone, and there are strangers thinking of you and sending big love…
    Libby Britton

  13. On 31/12/2021 at 4:15 pm Darcy and Ginette Wallace Said:

    Ken, Helen, and family, we are sad to hear of your loss and would like to pass along our sincerest condolences. Darcy and Ginette Wallace

  14. On 31/12/2021 at 4:17 pm Sandy Bautz Said:

    Helen and family.
    Your sorrow must be deafening.
    You are in the thoughts of many. Take care.
    Sandy

  15. On 31/12/2021 at 5:02 pm Cathy, jean and Family Said:

    Ken, Helen, Curtis, Holly and family
    Our Hearts are broken for you all at this loss of your dear Garrret. We all have such fond memories of his wicked giggle, his creative spirit, and the many camping adventures and special holiday moments we have shared. We think of Garret and you all every day. We are so honoured to be his family. Our love and strength to you
    Cathy, Jean, Cybelle and Nick

  16. On 31/12/2021 at 8:35 pm Pete/Judy Klazinga Said:

    Ken, Helen, Curtis, Holly, Sierra & Samantha,
    We are so sorry to hear of Garret’s passing, losing a beloved family member is difficult at any time, but to lose a child is so much more. We hope that sharing every precious memory together will help in time to ease the sorrow and give you comfort. These are the things that will keep him close to your hearts for a lifetime.
    We are honoured to have met him and so grateful that he welcomed our daughter into your family – he said she made his big brother happy.
    Thinking of you all with love and hugs.
    Pete and Judy Klazinga

  17. On 01/01/2022 at 1:13 pm Susan Heinzig Said:

    Ken & Helen , Curtis & Holly and family , and all of your extended families

    Please accept our families heartfelt condolences on the news of Garret’s passing.
    You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
    I will always remember Garret and his wonderful smile.

    Love Sue , Darcy and family

  18. On 01/01/2022 at 1:59 pm Todd Green Said:

    Helen and Ken,

    I was saddened when I received this news – heartfelt sympathy for your loss of Garret.

    Todd

  19. On 01/01/2022 at 4:13 pm Lisa Said:

    Sending love and our sincere condolences.
    Lisa, Lucas, Samuel and Norah

  20. On 01/01/2022 at 11:00 pm Blaine Sato Said:

    To the Girlings, I’m deeply sorry to hear this heartbreaking news. My thoughts are with your family during this difficult time. Garret was such an outstanding friend, whose positive spirit was a big part of more teenage memories than I could possibly try to recall. Adventures, schemes, day trips, camping, parties, video games, band practices, jokes and impressions, driving, sharing music, working together at Blockbuster, and on and on. They’re all coming back strong these days. You’ll be missed and remembered always. Rest In Peace, “Gare Bear”.

  21. On 02/01/2022 at 2:06 pm Joe and Kim Puglia Said:

    Ken and Helen, our deepest condolences for your loss. You are in our prayers.

  22. On 03/01/2022 at 11:33 am Bill and Carol Lupyczuk Said:

    We were so saddened to hear about the passing of our nephew Garret. He was such a kind person who was always willing to help. Garret had such a great sense of humor and he would always bring a smile to our faces and give us a chuckle with his wit. We will always remember the fun times we had at family gatherings. Our hearts go out to Helen and Ken, Curtis, Holly, Sierra and Samantha, you are always in our thoughts. Garret will be truly missed by our family.
    Love Uncle Bill and Auntie Carol.

  23. On 04/01/2022 at 11:47 am Eric and Carolyn Reinhart Said:

    It is with deep regret that we heard of Garrett’s passing. What can we really say at this time of grief other than that a parent should never have to bury their child. We can only begin to imagine the loss and hurt you experience each day as you call to memory all the cherished times you had with Garrett. Our last memories of Garrett were at some of ‘Bubba’s’ golf tournaments where we would gather as an extended family and enjoy keeping up with the nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. May God grant you comfort, Helen, Ken, Curtis and those closest to Garrett throughout the coming days, weeks and months. Our most heartfelt condolences to all. Love Eric, Carolyn and Family

  24. On 07/01/2022 at 10:44 am Wayne & Debbie Woodward Said:

    It is with deep sadness that we heard about the passing of your dear Garrett. We wanted to let you know we are thinking of you, holding you in our hearts, sending you much love & hugs to all!

  25. On 09/01/2022 at 3:48 pm Ken and Helen Girling Said:

    Dear Ken, Helen and family,
    Our condolences to you in the passing of Garret. Treasure all the special memories you have from the times you shared together.
    Thinking of you.
    Tim and Myra Huston

  26. On 10/01/2022 at 3:37 pm The Hutchings Family Said:

    Dear Ken, Helen, Curtis, Holly, the girls and the rest of the extended family; please accept our most sincere condolences for your loss; we were gutted to here the news of Garret’s passing. He was a big, gentle soul with an amazing smile and sense of humour, and a heart as good as gold. Who else but Garret could have been the “inside man” for Jeff’s proposal? And of course he was a gifted musician, playing guitar like the best of them.
    Each one of you take the time you need to grieve, Garret held a special place in many hearts and the sorrow of his loss will be a tough one to heal. May the many happy memories you have with him give you the strength to bear through your heartbreak.
    With love, Jeff, Rachelle, Owen and Isaac.

  27. On 14/01/2022 at 4:48 pm Bonnie Toering Said:

    Dear Helen, Ken, Curtis and Holly, please accept our deepest condolences for your loss. I will always remember Garret’s sense of humor. He always had a joke or quick witted comment to make everyone laugh. He will be greatly missed. Sending all our love to you during this difficult time. Bonnie, Brian, Jessica & Samme