On Saturday, I received a call from my friend Samantha, that her former colleague had just committed suicide. She was in shock and needed to take stock - and rightfully so.
Charlotte Dawson's name only became known to me through the media about "trolls" bullying her on Twitter. At the time, the media was reasonably supportive of her plight, but columnists and bloggers including myself were on the fence. If you took time to read the dialogue well before it became public you may have an opinion that some of the things that she had openly said about other people were not so nice either, and as an adult, some of the insults that flew back to the "cyber bullies" were something that you would be horrified about in a school yard.
Now, that doesn't mean that cyber bullying is acceptable - as it is not. I too have been prone to have a few trolls pass both of my Twitter accounts which combine amount to 41,000 followers, on some topics that I have chosen to write about on this blog, namely the one on how women can help their man be more successful. Apparently, I am stuck in the 50's but the trolls took it a little bit further and threw a few distasteful words my way. I politely replied to some (not all) with "Thank you so much for sharing your opinion. I respect everyone's point of view and perspectives." It stopped within 24 hours, only after my website had more than 100,000 visitors.
My cousin's husband, a father of 3 beautiful children, decided to unexpectantly end his life today. As you can imagine, his family is devastated. We all are. He was such a wonderful man, who loved his family dearly and was full of spirit. Now, he is gone and only his memories remain.
Mental health is a real issue in our community. I started to think about the number of people, who I know who have chosen to take their own lives. Unfortunately, I can't count them on my hands as there have been too many. Yet, for some reason, we still are not doing enough. We should all do more to help those around us deal with depression.
If you have a family member or a friend who is down, be there for them. Support them even though you may feel there are other things you would prefer to do. Encourage them to seek help and give them an ear when they want it.
Life is precious, and suicide can happen to anyone.