Yesterday we heard the extremely sad news that Jason Arbour, a second-year Computer Engineering student, had died. There are no words to express the deep sadness I felt when I heard this news. I spoke to Jason’s family this morning and heard from his father Kerry about what a thoughtful, adventuresome and kind person Jason was. In Kerry’s words, although Jason was only 20 years old he had lived a very full life.
Jason’s parents, Kerry and Anne, asked me to share the following message with our community:
"It is with a very heavy heart that we send you this email. Our son Jason, 20 yrs. old, passed away over the weekend in his sleep at school in Waterloo. This was his choice. Jason was a loving, thoughtful soul and his life ended far too soon. We are grateful for the friendships he made at UW and the communities he was a part of.”
Information about family services for Jason can be found here. This information has been shared with the faculty, staff and students of the Computer Engineering program.
There will be a private funeral for Jason tomorrow. As Jason and his family are Jewish there will be a visitation after the funeral (Shiva for 7 days) at Jason’s family home in Maple, Ontario. If anyone would like to visit Jason’s family during Shiva please contact me directly to make arrangements for contacting his family.
Death can be difficult for us to understand, especially when it is sudden. Many of us may be confronted with a variety of emotions which might include shock, sadness, and confusion. I want to assure you that we care about you and the feelings you may be experiencing as you hear this news. I have asked Leah Foster in ECE and our other wellness coordinators and counsellors to reach out to some of the people who may have known Jason to see how they are feeling and how we can support them. For those of you who would prefer to reach out to a private counsellor, there are many resources noted below.
The University will lower the flags tomorrow, Thursday, October 15th, as we honour the short life of Jason Arbour.
Take care of yourselves and please know that if you are grieving and need any support, people are there for you. Campus Wellness has counsellors who work specifically with students in Engineering. The counsellors have been notified of Jason’s passing and are available to anyone who needs support. Currently, they are offering phone or virtual counselling. To arrange a session with a counsellor, please call x 32655 or email ENGWellness@uwaterloo.ca.
Please contact any of the additional resources:
Counselling Services - 519-888-4567 ext. 32655
Here 24/7 - 1-844-437-3247
Health Services - Student Medical Clinic - 519-888-4096
Grand River Hospital - 519-749-4300
St. Mary's Hospital - 519-744-3311
Good2Talk - 1-866-925-5454
Crisis Services Canada - 1-833-456-4566 or by text 45645