Sadness over the suicide of Trey Pennington on Sunday September 4, 2011.
I did not know Trey personally, only via our social media channels. He was one of those individuals to whom people looked up to, a mentor who knew the right way to say things, how to get his point across without arrogance and who was very real and inspirational, and a successful consultant. This was who Trey was to me, but I did not really ‘know’ him, his personal life or his family and friends; just the social media person who was down to earth, engaging, successful, well loved by many. I did not truly know him, but today I feel a loss.
It struck me how much we can hardly know someone and yet their impact, their message and their inspiration can still contribute significantly to the lives of many. My connection with Trey is via our twitter profiles, and I am left shocked and saddened by this loss of a man who was positive and committed to the success of others.
Based on what I have read and seen in my social media circles, Trey was well loved, he had many friends and I am among a large number of people who have been positively influenced by him. There were many times I would look at his profile or website and think of how much he embodied many of the business successes I would like to aspire to. Now, I am simply left saddened for him, for his family and friends, and for the many people he has inspired and mentored as they seek their own ways of saying good-bye to Trey.
I know of a few people who have committed suicide, and it is always a shock, because these folks have all been bright, talented, beautiful, well-loved people with an incredible future in front of them.
Today I ponder some of my own thoughts and emotions from this tragedy…
Show kindness. Recognize that people around us may be struggling with something we are completely unaware of. I implore you to please pay attention to the people around you, reach out, ask with great depth and sincerity how someone is, and be willing to really listen and be there for them.
Get help. If you are struggling and depressed, if you feel you cannot meet the expectations of the world around you or you feel you are letting down the people you love, please reach out. To a friend, to a doctor, to a crisis line, to someone you feel safe with – tell them you are struggling, ask for help. People want to help, especially when you feel you can no longer cope. You are loved and there is a better answer. Please give yourself the opportunity to release the pressure and confusion of depression by seeking help, not escape.
Those who appear most strong and together may need your support. Depression is treatable. Mental Health problems can happen to anyone, our children, our loved ones, our friends and even ourselves – the negative stigma of those suffering with depression must be lifted. We lose far too many amazing people when depression takes over the brain and clouds one’s ability to cope with life.
Today I am inspired to look at my life differently, to see the beauty in the little things, to appreciate my loved ones.
My prayers and thoughts go out to the family, friends, colleagues and people both inspired and mentored by Trey. He will be deeply missed.
Next Saturday, September 10, 2011 is World Suicide Prevention day. Here are some things you can do to create awareness. Share information about depression openly with your friends and loved ones, post the phone numbers where people can get help and mostly, reach out! Someone you know may be going through very tough personal issues of which they are burdened to the point of feeling they cannot cope or there is no reason to keep going. Reach out and listen, then direct them to help – here are some links you can use…