Playing for Tyeshia

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As of today, there are very few answers – only more questions. There will always be so much about the story that we will never know. How did she end up there? What led up to that moment? What was she thinking when it happened? Did she remember that there were people that loved her and that would never forget her? And, above all of them, the biggest question of all: why?Tyeshia Jones went missing from Duncan, B.C., early in the morning on Saturday, January 22, 2011. The community pulled together and by Monday morning, the desperate search for her was in full swing. Days later, the search ended in a painful and shocking discovery. Her body was found in the woods on Cowichan Tribes land on January 28. Tyeshia was 18.BondlessHer body was laid to rest on February 4 in Duncan. The community came out to share their grief and honour her brief, inspiring life. A few days later, LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) was in Duncan, BC, invited to be a part of the event in Duncan called, “Take Back the Night”. Two thousand people gathered, to raise awareness and honour Tyeshia and several other girls in the Vancouver Island Aboriginal community that had been tragically murdered in recent months. There were drum circles, songs, and community spokespeople on the stage. Among those, by special invite, was Bondless, one of the bands currently on tour with LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute).

When we arrived at the event we had no idea what to expect. Me and the guys were contacted by Tyeshia’s mother two weeks before and asked to be a part of the night. We just happened to be in town at the right time and were able to be there. We had met Tyeshia briefly at a concert we played a year before on Vancouver Island called ‘Alive Inside’. We may have only said two or three words to her and taken a picture, but still I remembered her and recognized her face.When it came time for the band to perform, we were introduced as “Tyeshia’s favourite music group”. When I heard that, it hit me like a brick. This girl I met briefly a year before had been following us the entire time. She was 18 years old when she died. There were grad pictures of her around the room that had been taken only a few months before her death. It made me really pay attention to how I treat the kids that are at our shows. Obviously, those few moments for Tyeshia meant so much more than I had realized. That night, hundreds of Tyeshia’s friends and school mates were at the event and we got to spend time with them just like we had with Tyeshia Jones. I realized just how much impact even a smile can have on someone. I think about Tyeshia every show now and I’ll never forget her story.

Alive InsideThe bands that tour with us in the high schools across Canada are each passionate about why they do what they do. They are musicians with a gift to share, but they are also individuals choosing to make a difference with what they have. Bondless chose to invest in that event a year ago because they believed in the positive message that it was sending to everyone that came out: you matter. Each day we have the privilege of living our lives with the world around us. In the daily grind of what we do we can forget one very important detail about ourselves: how powerful our lives really are. Our choices, our treatment of others, our view of what we bring to the world leaves a lasting residue on those around us. Our life is but a breath in terms of time, but what we choose to do with that is what resounds long after we have been there. In some way, Tyeshia was impacted by her encounter with Bondless, and in some way, they were able to give back to her.When Bondless stood on that stage that night, they weren’t playing for the 2000 people they were looking out at. They were playing for Tyeshia, one final time.LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) road teams tour across Canada, working to create a movement of love, hope, and change. To find out more about our school assemblies and how you can get involved through our School of Leadership, check out

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: April 7th, 2011