To my friend Ebony – By @luxetmare

To my friend Ebony

I’m a very private person. However there are times when talking about a subject becomes a necessity, this is one of those times.

Recently I’ve read a Guardian article about Elliot Dallen, who sadly passed away recently at the age of 31 due to a rare form of cancer. I encourage you all to read his article and reflect on his wisdom.

Usually when it comes to death, I’ve been able to process most deaths in my circle without major issues because most of them were expected, either due to old age or complications after a long term illness. However there is one death that I haven’t been able to process and am not sure will ever be able to, and that is of my dear friend Ebony Daley, who committed suicide a couple years ago.

Whenever I come across the subject of death and mortality, I think of her. Whenever the subject of mental health comes up I think of her. To be perfectly honest, it would be easier to list the things that don’t make me think of her than the ones that do. All these thoughts are usually accompanied with an acute, sharp pain in the gut, the sort of pain that wants to make you clench your first and hit yourself in the chest.

It’s very obvious to me that after all these years I’m still struggling with her death. And frankly that surprises me, because I knew Ebony for a very brief period of time, couldn’t have been more than a couple months. 

I met Ebony shortly after university began, we lived in the same student accommodation. I didn’t think much of our first interaction at the time, but later found out that she told her grandmother about meeting me: “Grandma, I met an amazing person today.”

That description felt and still feels very foreign to me. Nobody ever considered me to be in any shape or form “amazing” before. Maya Angelou famously said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

Ebony, in the very brief time I knew her, made me feel like I mattered and I will carry that feeling for the rest of my life. That’s what made Ebony so special, that she could make others around herself feel like they are the most fascinating person alive. The only other person I know of who had this ability is Fred Rogers.

I was completely oblivious to the fact that she was struggling. Turns out she didn’t talk to anybody, nobody knew that she was suicidal. One fateful day I got the phone call. The aftermath was heart wrenching as well as heartwarming. Her funeral service was attended by people from all walks of life, emos, etonians, punks, hipsters, pretty much everybody from every british subculture you can think of attended her funeral. To this very day, I still can’t wrap my head around how she was able to form so many friendships with such a rainbow of wonderful people.

Stephen Colbert asked Keanu Reeves “What do you think happens to us when we die?” to which Keanu responded with “I know that the people that love us will miss us” and I miss Ebony very dearly. I will spend the rest of my life trying to honour her, that’s how much of an impact she had on me.

So on behalf of Ebony I’d like to ask you a favour: life’s too short, please take care of your mental health because there is simply nothing more important than it.

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