Late last night I discovered that someone I 'knew' ended his own life. I had never met him, despite him living locally, and only knew him via Twitter, and yet when I read the tweet telling me that he had died, I had my first ever panic attack and sobbed, struggling to catch a breath for ten minutes or more.
I have found it hard to stop thinking about him today, and have connected with many shocked, sad and distraught people on twitter. I even had a quick coffee with 3 of them, so we could just share our sadness, for the loss of someone we all knew (in different ways, online/offline).
He was young and doing extremely well in his career. And yet, somehow, his world got so dark he couldn't find another alternative way out. He even tweeted just before the end, tragically apologising for not asking for help, and giving love to his friends and family.
I have been crying on and off today as well, and I have been trying to work out why I am so affected by it. I didn't know him, and yet I did. I feel so achingly sad for him, and for his family. Death is so final, and never ending for those left behind.
James, I'm so sad for you. I'm sad for those left behind. I'm just sad, and these tears are for you and your family.
I decided to donate in James' memory to Survivors of Bereavement of Suicide, which offer a national helpful for anyone who is left behind after suicide. Do check out the website if you are in need of any support and/or advice.