The family of Scott Grier is celebrating his life this weekend, painfully aware that his memorial should have been held nine months ago.
Two weeks ago, Glen Grier learned from a Google search that his 35-year-old son died from a fentanyl overdose on May 16, 2022 and had been cremated and buried at Hatley Memorial Gardens without his knowledge.
Having to learn of Scott’s death that way was devastating, Grier said from his home in Stony Plain, Alta.
He and his wife, Michelle Grier, who are raising Scott’s seven-year-old daughter, are still looking for answers about why they weren’t notified of Scott’s death.
This week, Victoria Police Chief Del Manak phoned the Griers to offer his condolences and assure them the file is being reviewed. Deputy Police Chief Jason Laidman also called to tell them he was looking into the case.
“I’m a little frustrated right now. They haven’t given me any answers yet. They say they’re looking into it,” said Grier.
“We don’t want fluff. We just want the truth,” said Michelle Grier.
Glen Grier believes the police will have some information for them early next week, after the celebration of life, set for Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Stony Plain Inn and Suites.
“We’ve got family coming in today and tomorrow,” he said. “So I said: ‘Yeah, we’ll deal with it after the weekend.’ ”
Scott was a fun-loving and adventurous free spirit, who worked in the pipeline industry as a welder’s helper and construction labourer, said his father. He had struggled with addiction for four or five years and moved to Victoria in 2019.
In September 2020, when they hadn’t heard from him in a while, Glen Grier filed a missing person report with Victoria police. He was notified when Scott was located safely.
On Jan. 18, after failing to reach Scott on his birthday, Grier did a Google search for “Scott Grier, Victoria B.C.”
He was dismayed to see an online obituary with Scott’s name, date of birth and date of death.
The Griers called Victoria police, the B.C. Coroners Service and the Ministry for Social Development and Poverty Reduction trying to find out if the news was true.
The coroner confirmed the death.
The family is in the process of having Scott’s ashes unearthed and brought to Alberta. Hatley Park has assured them it’s their priority, said Grier.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking people to donate to local homeless shelters and programs.