I wasn’t going to go there. I don’t feel like I lost a long lost friend or some of the emotional connections to childhood movies that other people have expressed. I don’t want it to seem as though I am taking his death lightly, but the truth is, he is a celebrity that has not had any impact on my life. I did not know him personally, nor do I follow celebrity news to know of the great things he had done or the struggles he was facing.
I do, however, feel the deep pain of a loss due to suicide. It brings back old feelings; it makes me grieve in a completely different way for his family; it makes me remember the heartbreak and shock. The phone call in the burger joint comes to mind. It makes me remember the people who came around us and lifted our family up in prayer, kept us fed, took care of our son, and helped us keep moving when chaos was around us. I pray that his family and children are lifted up and cared for the way we were.
Fittingly enough, August 12th marks the beginning of the “new year” after a week or so of memories of grief for our family. This was on my Timehop this morning, and it still fits today.
Mental illness is just that, an illness–not a weakness, not a stigma, not a taboo. My prayer is that awareness can be heightened and others can be helped through this tragedy. I pray that those left behind can remember the precious lives of their loved ones rather than the way they left this life.