Family, friends bury Sylvain Degrasse
“We do not have the power to judge him”
Family, friends and community leaders packed Iqaluit’s Catholic church June 28 to say goodbye to Sylvain Degrasse.
Degrasse, 44, was found dead in the Iqaluit cemetery June 7 with a rifle across his chest.
Shortly afterwards, police discovered the bodies of Degrasse’s wife and two young daughters in their Tundra Valley home.
Father Daniel Perreault, the parish priest at Our Lady of Assumption church, spoke of Degrasse as a “good man” whose death can only be explained by his own suffering.
“There is no explanation for this,” Perrault said. “The only thing that we can understand is that Sylvain was probably out of his mind when this happened. We can say that what he did is absolutely unacceptable, [but] we do not have the power to judge him.”
Only Perreault spoke during the ceremony, attended by Degrasse’s father, Jean-Guy, and other family members.
Perreault challenged people to reach out to others in need to prevent future tragedies.
“Sometimes, suicide can look like an easy way to solve problems,” he said. “Do we feel like a problem has been solved? Such things make more pain and suffering than anything else.
“We are all a human family — let us be there for others.”
Degrasse was buried later, close to his late mother and sister.
Although Degrasse has been laid to rest, the police investigation surrounding what happened June 7 is ongoing.
Autopsies on Degrasse, Enuaraq and their daughters Alexandra and Aliyah have been completed, showing all four died from gunshot wounds to the head.
But the full autopsy results have yet to be made public.
Police have said they aren’t seeking suspects in connection with the shootings.
The RCMP have speculated that the tragedy appears to be a murder-suicide and it that’s what the investigation concludes, police involvement will end there.
All four bodies were released to family members June 24; Enuaraq and her daughters are expected to be laid to rest in Pond Inlet sometime this week.