Kyle Hickey: Living the Dream



“He hugged you hello. He hugged you goodbye.
He said I love you.”
 - Estella Hickey

And then, one day, on March 13, 2008, he stopped. On that day, Kyle Hickey, Estella and Paul Hickey’s son, was burned in an explosion at the autobody shop where he was working. He died the next day. Leaving his family, friends, and loved ones with a hole in their lives that will never be filled. At not yet 23 years old, he left a void where a beautiful life could have been lived. 

The shock of a sudden loss is a familiar agony to those who’ve experienced it. It begins with an initial fog, disbelief, and wounding trauma. As time passes, it becomes a pain that ebbs and flows but never really goes away. An emptiness. An empty room where they should be. A silence where a laugh might have been heard. Special occasions that are never entirely joyful because they are not there to share in the celebration. A forever spent wondering what they’d be doing right now if they hadn’t been torn away. For Estella and Paul, and all who loved Kyle, it is all those things. A smile not smiled—a hug not given—an “I love you” not said.

For Kyle’s family, the pain they suffer is only intensified by the knowledge that his death could have been prevented. Workplace fatalities and injuries are never an accident. They result from not taking all possible steps to prevent them. Workplace safety in Nova Scotia continues to improve year by year. But much work still needs to be done.