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You Don’t Understand

half  In the wake of Robin Williams’ death, there have been some comments made about suicide that some people just don’t understand. What many don’t get is that depression is a serious illness. It’s not something that you can just turn off and on when it’s convenient for you. It’s not something that you can just snap out of because somebody tells you to be happy. It is a mental illness.

 

Not all people with depression are suicidal. Suicide is not a requirement of depression, it’s a symptom. A person could be depressed but not think about killing themselves. They have feelings of things not being worth it (for example, not getting out of the bed, eating or planning for the future), hopelessness, negative thoughts about themselves, no energy, and so forth. A person who is truly depressed can feel all thirteen or so odd symptoms, or as little as three. If you do experience these things, don’t wait to get help assuming that it’ll work itself out or get better.

 

There are different types of depression, such as situational, atypical, seasonal affective, bipolar, major/clinical, psychotic, and a few others. Not all have the same symptoms. Not all sufferers attempt suicide or have suicidal thoughts. The one thing that I will say about suicide, in relation to those who suffer from depression, is that those who attempt or succeed are not selfish. These people have their reasons for doing it, but I guarantee one of those reasons is that they believe that they are much better off dead. My question is this… would you consider yourself selfish if you knew that I was suffering but you wanted me to live anyways?

 

What you don’t understand is that you don’t truly know what a person is going through when they make an attempt on their life. The constant negative thoughts they deal with in their heads and how they interpret the world is something we could never understand. It’s obvious that the cons outweigh the pros. But accusing those who commit suicide with a mental illness is a low blow. There is always a reason; just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it’s not there.

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Saving All My Love

I really wasn’t going to do this, but now I feel compelled. {Sigh} After just watching Whitney perform the “Star Spangled Banner” (at the 1991 Super Bowl) and the end of “I Will Always Love You” (at an awards show a couple years ago) on the music channel, I sat in admiration. She sang effortlessly.  Left with a face full of tears, her passing finally hit me. Since Saturday, I’ve noticed that many female singers have been compared to her, such as Mariah Carey, Beyonce, etc. I’m sorry, but there is no comparison whatsoever. Whitney’s powerhouse vocals were beyond incredible and were untouchable. Her strength, her range, her overall pureness of good old fashion raw talent. There is and was no other. Not only was a legend taken from us too soon, but she was also a music icon. I am truly saddened, and hope that she rests in peace as her music lives on and continues to bless us with her authentic gift.

Whitney Elizabeth Houston

August 9th, 1963- February 11th, 2012

Don Cornelius’ Death Overshadowed?

Many were rocked when news hit about Don Cornelius’ passing, especially due to the manner of death. He was only seventy-five years old. To me, that’s like quitting a race when you’re almost at the finish line. But the issue here is not about how he died or the reasons that may surround it, it is the lack of press he received.

I’ll be honest, I get most of my news from AOL (and then I might tune in to channel 7 news), because that’s my primary email provider. When I first saw the news about Cornelius, I saw that his picture was on a side panel. As the hours passed, he stayed on the side. My first thought was, “Oh, it must’ve just happened, or it was from one source. It’ll probably make the headlines in a minute.” And did it? No. You know what did? A singer’s sister overdosed. I had to look her up to see who she was (and who her “famous” brother was) because she’s not even famous! How did Cornelius end up as a side story to this? Reports of her death circulated for days, while Cornelius’s post vanished from the side the next day.

Another recent loss that affected the Hip Hop community was the shocking death of Heavy D, another story that didn’t reach circulation on AOL. This was another side story. I had to dig to find that he did a radio interview that morning, his performance on the BET Hip Hop awards show was his first in fifteen years (which he was very nervous for), and he was recently in London performing a tribute to Michael Jackson.

The night of Cornelius’ passing, I did some research on him too; his life, family, achievements, everything. I know that he was the creator of Soul Train, but what else is his claim to fame?

  • Cornelius started out in the insurance business in the 1950’s.
  • He jumped into broadcasting in 1966 and began his career as a sub DJ, then a sports anchor. Soul Train originated as a local show on WCIU-TV in Chicago in the mid-1960s. Once it reached television, Cornelius was the host from 1971-1993, which widened exposure to black musicians, as well as created opportunities for talented dancers that would presage subsequent television dance programs. Soul Train premiered on August 17th, 1970 and was syndicated in 1971.
  • He had a small number of film roles, most notably as record producer Moe Fuzz in 1988’s Tapeheads.In 1987,
  • Cornelius started the Soul Train Music Awards and the Lady Soul Awards in 1995.

So the moral of the story is… people who have changed history and brought goodness (and entertainment) into people’s lives deserve a lot more than a brief mention of their death.

R.I.P. Don Cornelius         R.I.P. Dwight “Heavy D” Myers