Dianne Young has finally learned for certain what she long knew in her heart: her son is dead.
The body located on the shoreline of the North River near Hurry Road Sunday has been identified as Young’s 29-year-old son, Lennon Waterman of Charlottetown.
Dental records confirmed the remains as being those of Waterman’s, the police reported in a short news release Tuesday. Police do not suspect foul play.
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Since her son, as she suspected, went into the North River more than five months ago, Young has been speaking out about what she views as the ultimate cause of her son’s life ending at such an early age.
“My son has been tormented and tortured by drug addiction and mental illness for nine years,’’ Young told The Guardian in November.
“So I have been grieving the loss of my son for nine years. When I would see my son, I wouldn’t really see him. I would see glimpses of him sometimes,’’
Young visited the newsroom just a few short days after her son disappeared. She said at the time she was certain Waterman was dead.
On Nov. 8., police received a call shortly after 10 p.m. of a suspicious male on the North River causeway that resulted in the RCMP finding some clothing. The police suspected a person had gone into the river.
Young would later identify the clothing as belonging to Waterman. That left the mother quickly accepting as fact that her boy had chosen to end his life.
“There was no question as far as I was concerned,’’ Young told The Guardian Tuesday.
“I had no denial about it because I was closest to him and I knew how he was suffering...he feared life more than he feared death.’’
Young finds comfort in having her son’s body recovered, particularly on Easter Sunday.
“I believe there is a heaven and I believe that when we die that is where we go,’’ she says. “On the day that Christ rises, he brings me back my son.’’
What Young also hopes for, as she has stated on numerous occasions, is that her boy did not die in vain.
She is holding her son’s tragic death as a sad illustration of just how much room there is for improvement in mental health and addictions services in Prince Edward Island. Just last week, Young organized a protest at Province House in an attempt to push lawmakers in P.E.I. into doing more to provide services for Islanders struggling with addictions.
Asked Tuesday if she plans to carry on with her campaign, she said: “Absolutely.’’
She adds that Chief Coroner Dr. Charles Trainor told her that she is “doing a good thing.’’
Young says her son’s body will be cremated and the ashes will remain with her at home. There will be visitation Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Belvedere Funeral Home in Charlottetown. The funeral will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Charlottetown.