Aysa was a beautiful soul, full of life with a bubbly and energetic presence. He walked into every room with a confident and friendly “hey how you doing?” presence. All his friends migrated towards wherever Aysa was and he was key to ensuring they all kept in contact, no matter where they ended up. He was also a natural born leader and could pull everyone together. He accepted everyone for who they were and was inclusive of all. He never passed judgment. He always showed an interest in others beyond a simple “hi how are you?” and could strike up a conversation with both friends and strangers alike. Aysa could also talk to pretty much anyone, although he thought himself to be shy. He genuinely wanted to know you better. Aysa was also very giving of himself. If he had anything that he could share, he would.
At an early age, Aysa loved books, art and reading. He was always curious and asked questions in such a way that indicated he was a deeper thinker than most. As Aysa grew, he developed a love of music and writing, along with artistic endeavours. He was able to “school” his father with his knowledge of classic rock and was much more rounded in his musical tastes as he got older. Many of his first concerts were with his parents to see as many classic bands as possible. Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, Neil Young…you name it, Aysa loved them all. Aysa created artwork that was later featured on a band’s music release.
Aysa’s love and skill as an artist was evident at a very early age (2 years). He drew many pictures that included the concept of creating depth, size and scale, something seldom seen at such a young age. He was curious, adventurous and not afraid of exploring new situations and places.
Aysa and his family moved to Chilliwack when he was going into Grade 8. This can be a difficult time to move and be the “new kid” in class. Aysa didn’t warm to the structure of school life and he often did not see the benefit of having to take certain subjects. He was also not interested in sports or other extra-curricular school activities. He gravitated to friends that shared his interests and frustrations around school. He did take part in smoking marijuana and skipping class from time to time, just as his peers were doing. Aysa did smoke marijuana fairly frequently and soon was experimenting with other drugs, including cocaine, but did not typically like anything “man made”. If you could grow it yourself naturally, he was much more interested. He often read books about the benefits of certain types of drugs.
In later years, Aysa felt like many of his friends were moving on through life at a faster pace than he was and that he felt he was falling behind. He was worried that everyone else was “making it”- moving ahead and he was concerned that he was not moving ahead fast enough, and this caused him a fair amount of stress and anxiety.
Aysa did have wonderful dreams for the future. His biggest dream was to open a record shop with a café at the back and an area where live music could be enjoyed by everyone. He would have enjoyed hours of conversations with music lovers of all genres. His parents very much wanted to see him succeed at this. Aysa was all about people (and animals too). He enjoyed chatting with people, and he always remembered who he met and what they had to offer.
Music was a big part of Aysa’s life. Most of his music came as a result of what he was feeling in the moment and he would build off that. He made music in the “math rock” genre which is typified by complex rhythmic patterns, angular chords and melodic structures, often featuring odd time signatures, resulting in a "mathematical" sound. His music could have easily been used as background music for movies and other media. You will find an example of Aysa playing music using the link below.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5smNVn1S6d0
The stigma of being a person who uses drugs had an impact on Aysa. Although he knew that people, even relatives, might judge him for his involvement with drugs, he dealt with the mixed observations as best he could. It wasn’t always easy for him or his parents.
From time to time Aysa was known to use cocaine. He once told his mother that he wished cocaine was legal as it was the only thing that helped him focus and get things done. Aysa had been diagnosed with ADHD in elementary school but struggled with prescribed medications, which often made him lethargic and unmotivated. Access to a safe supply would have made a huge difference for Aysa. His parents firmly believe he would be alive today if he has access to a safe supply. A Compassion Club model would have worked well for him. Although cocaine was not his drug of choice it was ultimately a poisoned dose that claimed his life, like so many others. On the evening of Jan 4 2021, he purchased some cocaine from a dealer which ultimately contained a lethal level of fentanyl. The horror of that choice led to him passing away on Jan 5 2021.
With Aysa’s leaving, something very special was lost. He had a great sense of humour and had a zest for life. Aysa connected people and was a huge positive power that transcended onto whomever he was with. His parents Dwayne and Michele, miss Aysa every day. “His openness and willingness to talk to us regarding life and the struggles that come with it will always be cherished, no matter how hard some of these conversations were. We had many honest, open talks. Aysa was never ever shy to show us that he loved us – if you meant something to him, you knew it. He had awesome hugs, and was so open about what we meant to him. He gave us great hugs and was very affectionate. He was often the one initiating the affection and didn’t care if it was in front of his friends.
We will forever feel the loss of our son, Aysa!”