EDMONTON — A Fort Saskatchewan mother who was found dead outside her home early Friday morning is being remembered as an incredible woman with a zest for life.
“She just had a knack for making you feel good,” Michael Cameron said of his girlfriend, Colleen Sillito.
“She’s probably the most present, mindful person I’ve ever met in my life. The perfect balance of head and heart.”
Sillito, a 46-year-old mother of five, was the victim of an apparent murder-suicide at the hands of an ex-boyfriend.
Cameron said Sillito was an avid rock climber, yoga instructor and cross-fit enthusiast who had a wonderful outlook on life. She also had a passion for capturing people’s spirits through photography.
“She seized every moment,” said Cameron. “She just loved living… I don’t think you’ll find anybody that met her that didn’t love her.”
Cameron, who had been dating Sillito since early May, said her approach to life was easily summed up in one of her favourite quotes by author Kurt Vonnegut.
“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘It might have been.'”
Cameron last saw Sillito early Friday morning when she left his house to go teach a class. Their alarm clock went off at 5 a.m.
“She went and got dressed, came around to my side of the bed and leaned in and gave me a kiss. And I said, ‘Have fun at yoga.’ And she was gone. That was it,” Cameron recalled.
The pair usually touched base after Sillito’s yoga class, and when Cameron didn’t hear from her he began to worry.
“I sent her a good morning text. Nothing back. Sent her a couple more over the course of the morning: ‘I’m worried about you, let me know you’re alright.’ And then I got the phone call.”
The phone call was from the police and it confirmed the unimaginable.
“This can’t be real. This just can’t be real,” said Cameron.
On Saturday, Cameron took to Facebook to express his grief. He posted a video compilation of the two of them together, saying “her legacy will live on.”
Thank you so much to everyone for your support. I am doing as well as can be expected and your love means the world to me. Because I hate cryptic posts I will clarify for those that do not know. My girlfriend Colleen was shot and killed yesterday morning in a murder/suicide incident after leaving my house at 5:30am to go teach yoga. Please have a look at some of the joy she brought to my life. Her legacy will live on I can assure you of that. If there is something you are waiting for "the right time" to do she would tell you to get off your ass and do it because you just never know what life has in store.Posted by Michael Cameron on Saturday, 3 October 2015
Cameron put together the slideshow as a way to honour Sillito, but also as a way to make sure the story of the woman he loves doesn’t end with her death.
“She’s gone, so let’s not let it be in vain. Even if you didn’t know her and you’re listening to this, have a look at your life and stop waiting for the right time. Stop waiting for, ‘When this comes together, then I’ll do that.’ Just live. Just live and love.”
With files from Shallima Maharaj, Global News.