Carter Jay Dumont
born May 29, 2023 at 10:57 am (Wàbigon Kìzis – Flower Moon)
passed away July 9, 2023 at 2:15 am (Odeyimin Kìzis – Heartberry Moon)
The Dumont family holds him up today as we would a great chief at the time of his passing: Carter Jay Dumont, son of Kyrstin Dumont and Cameron Shaver.
Though Carter was with us for only a short while, he left us with a great legacy. Because of him, we will, from this day forward, be more compassionate human beings. No elders, no matter how old they lived to be, no matter the amount of wisdom they acquired over a long life, could never, ever have in their teaching bundles, the knowledge Carter shared with us. Carter reminded us with each breath he took, of the message passed from one generation of Anishinabe Algonquin to the next: “never give up!” He reminded us also that the “Encouragement Song”, sung many thousands of years ago, is needed today more now than at any other time in the past. Carter taught us through his mere presence, to keep well the purity and innocence alive in the human heart, to bring forth a helping hand when you see a young human being in a state of despair. Carter inspired and motivated! All who met him were instantly in awe and in wonder of him. He was so very brave! He was so very courageous! He was the physical presence of a Good Spirit! He had the most beautiful Algonquin eyes! The doctors were all amazed at his strength and willpower. His heart was small, but what a powerhouse!
I have a place in my mind’s eye (we all do) which allows me the gift of seeing spirit. Today I see a glowing Carter, he is in a cradleboard made of fine cedar, being proudly carried by my mother (deceased March 27, 2002). Thick dark coloured hair, adorns his handsome head. My mother came to me in a dream before Carter was born. “I will look after Kyrstin’s baby,” she told me. She keeps her promise now! Carter is safe with her in this sacred space where many long dead relatives spiritually stand, in a line stretching for miles, waiting to take Carter into their arms. A grand feast in his honour will surely take place.
The day Carter was born I went to the forest to perform ceremony with the placenta. His spirit name was revealed to me, “Asin” meaning “Rock”. A few days later I awoke from a deep sleep with a lullaby on my lips. I shared it with Kyrstin and sang it to Carter many times over the short days of his blessed life. I awoke at 3 o’clock one morning and wrote a poem about Carter (see below). I say this now to all, if I live 100 summers, my heart, with every vibration it sends forth, will carry in it the memory of Asin. Kizàgìhin (I love you) is a word I repeated many hundreds of times as I sat near Carter’s bedside. Carter will forever be in my heart as will all of my other grandchildren.
Carter, through my spiritual travels with him (something we did together while I sat close to him at CHEO) takes with him to his new home the songs of my favourite birds, the robin, the oriole, the blue jay! He knows so very well now, the softness and healing energy of the touch of his parents and grandparents. His mom and dad saw a shooting star one night outside of the Roger Neilson House. No doubt, I say, a sign of reassurance from loved ones in the great Spirit Land. Kyrstin and I gave Carter a cedar bath, together, to cleanse him of any negative energy lingering in a palliative care ward.
They say “it takes a community to raise a child.” If this is true, then I say it also takes a community to mourn a child as well. Babies should never be regarded as only “young” human beings. Babies are spirit! They are the wisest of the wise, the strongest of the strong! They are blessed by Creator! When they die, they should be properly grieved by the community, for a great loss has occurred. When we fail to recognize this, it means we have lost our way. Asin, Rock touched many hearts. Tears were shed and sadness entered the hearts of both family and friends. Now that this extraordinary little boy is gone from our midst, let us cast a mournful heart into a swift moving cloud passing over our sky and replace it with a heart filled with gratitude, for a beautiful baby who came among us, to make us better.
In the final hours of my great-grandson’s life, I sang him songs, I recited funny rhymes to him from old country songs, I shared memories, the good and the not so good. Carter laughed with me and he cried with me, of this I am certain! We should never take the life of a child for granted, nor should we take the death of one for granted either. A child dies. There are trails in the human heart that have never been journeyed upon. We must be careful on such a pathway, lest we allow despair and heartache to destroy us. May my beloved great-grandson rest in peace (I know he is being fussed over now by my mother). May his parents, Kyrstin and Cameron, heal in a good way. May Creator bless everyone who cared about us in the weeks of Carter’s short life.
Though physically only a small bundle of human flesh, blood and bone, Carter was a full universe of Creator’s purity and innocence. I spoke to him as such and also as a representative of my future bloodline of my past wrongs and my regrets for perpetrating them. I spoke to him also about my hopes and dreams and joys of life. We, their loved ones, can have such conversations with a dying baby only days old, for they are so in harmony with Creator’s grace and we trust fully that they will speak on our behalf to those of that great spiritual council in the Land of Souls who decide if we are deserving or not of an Honour Song, at the time of our passing. What on this earth is more spiritually powerful than a dying baby? Nothing!
Loved ones never left Carter’s bedside. He was never alone! His gigantic spirit will relate to all relatives, those from Kyrstin’s bloodline and those of Cameron’s, how the love of people in the room with him comforted him every moment of his short life. Migwech Carter, for all you did in making us stronger and better than we were before you came into our lives.
He is a fearless warrior
He is my Little Big Man
He is my Rock
Now and forever
He will inspire and motivate me
I will draw strength from him
All the days
That remain in my life
He is Asin, my Rock
He is Asin, my son
Though I have yet to hold him
Close to my bosom
He is fully aware
Of the love contained
In the drumming of my heart
He has been loved
For many thousands of years
I know it is so
For I have loved him
Long before his first breath of life
We are a People
Who love our future generations
My ancestors, his ancestors
Love him as they love me
Love all my future generations
It is the way of our People
Keep the Circle Strong,
South Wind (Albert Dumont)