FACES OF SUICIDE: The Story of Brad

The people featured in this blog are of those who struggle with mental health and are no longer with us. Their struggle has helped bring awareness to Bullying, Anxiety, Depression. These people are faces of suicide. If you or you know someone in a crisis, having thoughts of suicide or self harm call 911 immediately or contact The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-8255 (24/7 – 365 days) Together we can break the stigma of mental health. To check out these amazing people and how their struggle impacted our lives click on the links below.

INTRODUCTION

Today I cried to point I couldn’t cry anymore.  If only I could’ve been there to help. If only I knew what to say. I would plead my case in the hopes of having my desperate pleads heard.  If only he could see the tears of pain begging him to stay. If only I can tell him how much he is loved.

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March 3, 1972 - June 25, 2009 Suicide by Hanging https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasmine_(singer)

Yasmine Hilde Rens
Singer/Actress
March 3, 1972 – June 25, 2009
Suicide by Hanging

Yasmine struggled with serve depression. Depressed by her breakup and divorce, Yasmine hung herself on a tree close to her sister home. She was 37.

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Hello all you wizards of words today’s blog post is inspired by suicide. Twenty-nineteen was a year of endings. With the end of the decade in my group of champions our lives has dramatically changed. This is the story of Brad his struggle with mental health and his outcome.

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Lee Thompson Young
Actor
February 1, 1984 – August 19, 2003
Suicide by Gunshot

Little is known of Lee final moments. Lee was diagnosed with bipolar and suffered from depression. Police were called to perform a wellness check when the actor didn’t show up for work. He was discovered deceased. He was 29.

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This blog feature familiar faces who struggled with depression, bipolarism and varies mental illness. The goal here is to show mental illness doesn’t have age limits or discriminate nor know any boundaries. Your neighbor, co-worker, brother, sister, parents anyone can struggle with mental illness. Just because the picture appears to be perfect behind that smile is someone contemplating suicide. Your act of kindness and compassion can be the difference between life and death.

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Kelly Yeomans
Pre-teen
May 22, 1984 – Sept. 28, 1997
Suicide by Overdose

Kelly is victim of school bullying. Described as a pleasant teen her tormentors were unmerciful in their attacks on Kelly. “It is nothing to do with you Daddy, nothing to do with you Mummy, and nothing to do with you Sarah (her sister). I have had enough and I’m going to take an overdose.” True to her word she took overdose. She was 13.

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TODAY

Brad had many different faces. Some were sad but most of the time it was the happy Brad that was on display. He always made jokes about dying. We never thought he would act upon it. If you knew my friend you know he’s a regular guy, you know the boy next store. Always greeting you with a huge hug and a big smile.

Sergei Yesenin
Sept. 21, 1895 – Dec. 28, 1925
Poet
Suicide by Hanging

Last known written work titled: “Goodbye my friend, goodbye” Sergei would complain of no ink in his hotel room writing his final poem in his blood. Sergei struggled with depression. The next day Sergei will hang himself. He was 30.

“Farewell, my good friend, farewell.
In my heart, forever, you’ll stay.
May the fated parting foretell
That again we’ll meet up someday.
Let no words, no handshakes ensue,
No saddened brows in remorse, –
To die, in this life, is not new,
And living’s no newer, of course.”

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SIGNS

All the signs were there but Brad didn’t like to show his vulnerability however we seen it. Brad had a lot on his plate, he was still dealing with a breakup, unemployment and I believe he was a bit home sick. His mental disorder lead him down a dangerous road of addiction which is a constant struggle. Its this side of Brad we didn’t pay attention. I can say we were shocked by his decision to end it all. Now a year later we’re looking at each other wondering if we could’ve been proactive and help our friend.

If you are or know someone struggling with thoughts of suicide or self harm call 911 immediately or contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 24/7 – 365 days.

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Richard Jeni (comedian, 49)
Diane Arbus (photographer, 48)
George Washington Adams (attorney/politician, 28)
Uday Kiran (actor, 33)
Keith Andes (actor, 85)

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YESTERDAY

Yesterday I had my friend who was beautiful in every way. It’s hard not to speak about Brad without a smile. Brad love music, food and socializing. Brad and I share a love for many thing, writing is one. Brad loved to write. He would tell stories of heroism. He particularly wrote stories about his cat. A cat he rescued. A cat he loved. When he rescued his cat it was like a mother meeting her child for the first time. They bonded well. Brad will go on to rescue six cats finding them homes.

He and I also shared a love for music. We love the rock group Men At Work, in particular Colin Hay solo LP Looking For Jack. Spending hours listening from start to finish. We would debate about what is the best song. Brad’s favorite song “Fisherman’s Friend fitting considering he loved the ocean vs my favorite “Ways of the World”. I always make Brad laugh trying to convince him to take my side. Brad had flaws like we all do but he never lived in judgement. Brad lived in compassion, empathy, love and light. He struggled with mental illness that lead him to addiction. Brad worked hard to overcome his addiction. Through it all he always encouraged us all to do better.

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Phyllis Hyman (singer, 45)
Spalding Gray (actor/stage performer, 62)
Holly Glynn (unidentified American woman, 21)
Helen Palmer Geisel (children author, 69) Mrs. Dr. Seuss
George Eastman (businessman/inventor, 77)
Peg Entwistle (actress, 24)
Etika Desmond Daniel Amofah (youtube celebrity, 29)

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TRUTH

Brad a former service man lost his job of twelve years. Brad couldn’t afford his medication. He took the last pill and that was it. He managed for awhile but we seen changes in him. He really struggled with the voices inside. Looking for solutions, we did research after research. This is what I found NOTHING! Nothing in America is free. Everything comes at a cost. The sad fact is that people like Brad viewed as able body perfectly capable of finding employment. His mental state has nothing to do with finding employment I was told. Your either too old or too young or made too much money or not enough for government programs. Brad served in US Marines doing two tours and we couldn’t get any assistances from anyone. Military programs are suspended due to lack of funding. And the programs that are available comes with a long waiting list. It will take months before Brad can see a doctor however that doesn’t guarantee medication.

Danny Chen
US Soldier
May 26, 1992 – October 3, 2011
Suicide by Gunshot

Chen was the subject of abuse from fellow soldiers. On the day of his death, Chen was forced to crawl on gavel 330 ft carrying heavy equipment. Chen was later found in his living quarters with a single gunshot womb. He was 19

The ass-a-tude from the people on the end of the phone is frustrating. The lack of compassion is very disturbing because on the turn of a dime you could be that family shuddering from hotel to hotel or living out of a van or homeless.  You can face the same thing Brad is facing. They say that the US is the country that gives to charity the most so I’m putting that to task. I wonder if anyone reading this blog will donate to a cause that can say lives.

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Donny Hathaway (singer, 33)
Elizabeth Hartman (actress, 43)
Frederick Fleet (Titanic Survivor, 77)
Lyle Stevik (alias, 25)
Megan Taylor Meier (bullied teen, 13)
Ruslana Korshunova (model, 20)
Sam Sarpong (model/actor, 40)

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TOMORROW

For a long time I have been fighting not realizing that my fight is without purpose. For a long time I fought for jobs that doesn’t give six-thousands rat asses about anyone. We all do this. We put everything into dead-end job some living paycheck to paycheck with nothing to show for it. In Brad case he worked for a country that believed in him when it’s necessary. Many factors played their part but two things are crucial. Brad stayed in part because he believed in a cause. The other factor is stayed because of the medical benefits that allowed him to maintain his mental health.

I once said to Brad “when you’re diagnosed with a mental disorder no one cares. To them you’re just another crazy person running lose. Everyone is out to dinner when you locked up.”

His response “life is for living, moments are for sharing and having a disorder makes you special. It takes a special kind of person to deal with the stress of mental illness. Having mental disorder trains you to become a teacher. You are teaching this; people struggling with mental health aren’t monsters. We’re bankers, rockstars, parents so many faces to mental disorders and every face is beautiful.”

He also said “yesterday you’re diagnosed. Today your crazy and tomorrow who knows.” Yep I’m gonna miss that guy.

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The character Brad is based off real life friends and events that lead to suicide. For privacy their identity will remain unpublished. This blog feature a few faces of suicide all who have stories that need to be told. As you read this blog and about those who are featured, I can only hope the take-away is that for patience, kindness, compassion and empathy. My hope is that after reading, learning we all can move towards a place where no one feels the need to commit suicide. My hopes is that we can break the stigma surrounding suicide, self harm and mental health.

If you are struggling or know someone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide or self harm call 911 immediately or contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Until next time….

Word Count: 1906


2 thoughts on “FACES OF SUICIDE: The Story of Brad”

  1. I am so sorry you lost your friend to suicide. Thank you for trying to help break the stigma of mental health disorders. Everyone deserves to live their best lives and to have access to affordable mental health care.

    Liked by 1 person

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