I think about death every day – not every minute of every day, but every single day I think about death.
I wonder if I am going to make it if I am going to see my dreams become a reality if I will have the chance to raise my children and live a life filled with love and joy with my future husband.
I wonder often about the fact that my heroes are all dead.
Brian Pillman was a WWE (WWF) superstar who was told most of his life he’d never make it. He was too small and not fast enough. He played pro ball and was told he was never going to be a success – against all the odds he was the WWF rock star of the 90s, a member of the HART Foundation, he proved that you didn’t need to be big to follow your dreams you just had to have dedication. He killed himself when he was thirty-three.
Robin Williams was one of the funniest men on the planet, regardless of how miserable he spent most of his life, he came to us when we needed him most. For my mom he was Mort, for me he was Peter Panning, he killed himself in 2014 when he was sixty-three.
Kurt Cobain was the voice of an entire generation of people – yet he was fucking miserable. He hated the celebrity lifestyle, hated being a celebrity and yet it was because he was famous that he opened the door for millions of young people to start talking about the bullshit we go through instead of hiding behind it. He killed himself at twenty-nine.
Jonathan Brandis was the “it” boy when I was a teenage girl. I had his picture on my wall because I was a teen and he was an idol.
Chris Benoit was another WWE Superstar, and regardless of what you might think of wrestling entertainment, he was a hero to millions of young men around the world. He killed himself, his children and his wife.
Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Steview Ryan, Hunter S. Thompson, the list goes on and on and fucking on, these are people who the world idolizes, we pretend that they are better than us, that they matter more because they are famous.
If they matter more, why the fuck are they dead? I’ve been working hard this past week because it’s Pride Month in Vancouver, and I get to march again. This year I have convinced the people I am working with to hold up signs of famous LGBTQ Activists who have died fighting for what they believe in. Some of them died because of AIDS, others because they chose to end their own lives.
Either way, the proof is in the number of people who die every year due to depression. Depression often caused first and foremost by some kind of abuse, some kind of ignorance of the reality that people are suffering, people are in pain.
So here’s my question: If all these people whose dreams came true, these people that inspired the world died because of depression, what fucking hope in hell do I have?
I fight my demons every day and sometimes they win, sometimes I win, it’s a never ending dance of “Who’s turn is it anyway?” Some days are better than other days and today I’m just shaking my head asking myself when the world is going to wake the fuck up?
We need to stop pretending like depression doesn’t exist like it doesn’t take the lives of the world’s most brilliant and beautiful souls. We need to stop pretending like just because someone is famous they matter more than the rest of us, their lives are equally important as yours mine or anyone else.
They have access to all the help in the world and yet every person on this list is dead, so what is it that we are doing wrong and what can we be doing better? How many more lives famous or not, do we have to lose to depression and abuse before we start making a concentrated effort to help victims of abuse and depression?
I don’t have an answer, but I do know if the people on this list didn’t make it if they couldn’t fight back against the darkness I don’t have much hope for my future.