I didn’t have to click links to suicide notes; I didn’t need to read any lurid details about potential divorce, ongoing addiction, particular method, or personal pain. From the headlines alone, I saw into two people living in places where I’ve been before.
Maybe it was just poor timing after that. The other night, while channel surfing with my husband and stepson, we passed by a popular music entertainment channel, and I saw Stevie Ryan’s face on our television screen. My heart went still for a moment. Stevie Ryan took her life last July. And MTV's still replaying her appearance on Ridiculousness, as if Stevie’s doing just fine and dandy.
I mean, she sure looked great on the screen: vibrant and quick-witted and full of personality. To the untrained eye, the charisma looks natural and unforced. To me, the brittleness in her eyes is unmistakable.
Stevie Ryan was 33 when she died; I’m 33 right now. I know her too, now, in a way many people never did.
At some point this week, I came across a blog post by Pastor Chris Owens, called, “So I Have Mental Illness…” That's probably not the kind of title that calls for rejoicing, but I rejoiced.