Tag Archives: mental illness

Goodbye, Chris Heck

It’s so strange to be thinking of this. A friend from high school passed away. He killed himself. Such a simple, yet strong and momentous statement. He was in pain and I didn’t know it. We lived in the same town for fuck’s sake. But, as I think back 10 or so years ago of this sweet and funny boy, all I can really think about is how much fun we had. We’d tell jokes on bus rides, share snacks; and yes, he was weird. But, in high school, weren’t we all weird in our way? Trying to navigate teenage hormones and trying to fit in. Trying to make new friends, but keep the old ones. Wondering what kind of adults we’d be. Wondering if all this work would amount to something successful. What I like to think about is that we were somewhat kindred spirits. My family was poor, so were yours. We were trying to keep up pretenses, but I think we both knew what we were doing. Trying to fit in; trying to find a network of support outside our family; trying to find, maybe, a new family. And, you did, Chris. You have a fantastic group of friends, of which, I very envious in my early years in college. You were still friends with that amazing group and I just wanted in. Unlikely circumstances did not allow that to happen, but whenever I saw your face on FB, I always thought fondly of you.

Then I thought, what would I have done if I saw you, Chris. Would I give you a hug and say things like I’m thinking of you; you’re in my thoughts; you can talk to me if you need to. But, if you couldn’t talk to the ones who loved you best and vice versa, what could I have said to have changed your mind? Would seeing an old face have done anything? I try not to think what could have been different, only because there’s no turning back time.

At first, I was angry. I was angry that you could have done something so selfish; so painful for those who loved you most. Especially, experiencing that particular hurt because of what a loved one had done only 2 days prior. She did that and you hurt. You wrote such a beautiful goodbye to her; yet, you had to have known how much that hurt you would only be multiplying for those who love you. But, pain is felt differently to everyone else.

Now, I only feel such deep sadness for the universe. The universe is missing such a unique and quirky individual that it can be felt for a millennium. I can only hope, and I hope very much Chris, that you are free from whatever was hurting you, whatever pain that could not be alleviated. That when you left, it was painless and relieving.

I hope you’re high-fiving Robin Williams, but not in Hell, but the happy place you go to when you die.


If you or a loved one is feeling suicidal or deep depression, please don’t hold it in. Let it out and get help.

1 (800) 273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish

Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Be compassionate.

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