Sudden Silence: Hidden Voices
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Sudden Silence: Hidden Voices is an adaptation of a photo voice project funded through a Vancouver Community Action Grant. The purpose of this project is to highlight the tragedy of the overdose crisis and introduce some of those who have been lost. Their loss is most keenly felt through their loved ones. Their grief cannot be described in words and is their constant companion. This project also focusses on the impact of the stigma for using drugs and of how safe supply might have made a difference.
Photo by Gabrielle Beer
Caring, Funny, Sensitive
Marco had a laugh that was infectious and silly. He could also be incredibly meticulous and particular about everything he did. He grew up with a life-long love of cooking and eventually became a chef. As a young boy Marco refused to order something from the kid’s menu! He didn’t like how the kid’s chicken strips were presented. He always cruised the adult menu and would choose oysters, or whatever was the most expensive thing on the menu.
As a professional chef, Marco was very particular about how he set himself up in the kitchen to cook. He was also very meticulous about the way he presented himself. Everything he wore had to be crisp and clean. There could not be a single scuff mark on his shoes, or a crease in his jeans. Clothes had to be hung in a way that he deemed perfect. His mom Dawn recalls, “I will never forget the day I came home from work and found him taking his jeans out of the freezer because it ‘kept the lines crisp’. When I accidentally threw his clothes in the drier, he then insisted no one was ever going to do his laundry but him. However, eventually, I had to ban him from doing so much laundry because he would be doing the washing everyday!”
Dawn, Marco’s mom says “Marco was also a perceptive and thoughtful guy. One Mother’s Day, Marco and his sister were preparing an amazing eggs benny for me. He looked over at me and said, “mama are you ok?” I was every much enjoying seeing the two of them together and cherishing that moment. He was so sensitive to other people’s feelings”.
Drugs entered into Marco’s life in his teenage years. He began to use drugs to help with his emotional pain.
Marco did worry about the stigma of being a user and he tried to hide his drug use. He was embarrassed over his using. If safe supply had been available to him, Marco might still be here.
The world is missing a talented chef, a son, brother, friend, and partner. He was someone who wanted to live, and to love the people he loved.
Marco was not perfect, but he shined.