It’s so sad to hear that someone whose persona, energy and work was so lovingly admired, has taken their own life. I am so glad for all of the open conversations that are popping up all across the media and social media. I haven’t heard one sick joke about his death, which is refreshing, instead I’ve heard compassion and understanding and an out pouring of not just grief, but of people sharing their own experiences of depression and mental health problems.
Talking seems to help everyone: it helps people to understand depression better, it helps people who have been struggling, to get the help that they need. It inspires people to help others, it stops people suffering from depression from feeling so isolated. I only hope that people can show as much concern, care and empathy for those of us who have never won an Oscar or made millions of children laugh or become a household name. Depression can and will affect all of us in some way during our lives. It is a fight to the death for many, for others it is like taming a vicious beast, controlling a part of us that can lash out and destroy not only ourselves but everyone and everything around us.
Perhaps, despite all of our famous friend's many creative offerings, this has been one of his greatest gifts to the world. There is nothing romantic in this suggestion, simply a wish for this level of openness to continue to make waves, for the chain of support to continue, for the stigma to be washed away, for us to recognise the similarities between us, instead of the differences; to keep seeking truth and safety and sanity together as we, as a people, were always meant to.
It’s time to educate, don’t discriminate and let compassion be our greatest guide of all.
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