Riley Dennehy was at a critical juncture in her life when she died unexpectedly of heart complications brought on by medication for a separated shoulder in Thailand in October of 2009.
At 23, Dennehy had finally learned a healthy way to handle the emotional stress left by the suicide of her brother Kelty in 2003.
Yoga had become a focal point for the young woman, and after completing 200 hours of teacher training at YYoga in Whistler she was in Thailand to complete further coursework.
Her parents, Ginny and Kerry Dennehy, are grateful their child found a level of peace in her life before she passed away, though it makes the loss that much more profound.
"The good thing is that Riley really found what she was looking for... the really sad thing about it is that she had just found happiness," said Ginny, who has since taken up yoga. "My brother at her service wrote a song for her and one of the lines that was so perfect was 'In a coffee shop in Thailand she finally got the news that the person she'd been looking for was standing in her shoes.'
"It is so true, these kids search for different things and there she was and she was just at this pinnacle part of her life, finding herself and moving on."
To commemorate their daughter, the Dennehys have set up the $1,000 Riley Dennehy Breathe Fore Life Yoga Teacher Training Scholarship Program to be granted to an individual interested in teaching yoga.
"As hard as it is you can never bring back your kid, but maybe you can help somebody else," said Ginny. "We wanted to give something to the community because the community has given so much to us.
They've been so unbelievably supportive of our foundation and that's when I decided there was no better thing than to give a scholarship in Riley's name for someone who wants to pursue a career teaching in yoga."
When Kelty passed away the Dennehys started a foundation to educate and offer support to families and individuals struggling with depression and suicide.
Applications for the yoga scholarship are available through the Whistler Yoga Conference website under latest updates ( www.whistleryogaconference.com ). More information on suicide prevention and depression can be found at www.thekeltyfoundation.org.
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