What I Will Remember

Today, my friend Trey Pennington took his life.

He was despondent over personal troubles.

Trey was everyone’s friend. He was liked, respected, loved by thousands.

But he was eventually overwhelmed by darkness and loss.

After years of interaction on-line, we finally met in NYC in April 2010. And this is the Trey I will always remember – warm, funny, smart, considerate, friendly. A true gentleman.

Trey is a man I looked up to, and sought to emulate. He was a friend I very much wanted to spend a lot more time with. Now I – we – will feel a terrible absence.

If you are being overwhelmed by waves of darkness, I beg you – put aside all thoughts of ending your life and get some help. No matter how bad things are, we need you here in the boat with us. Don’t break our hearts. Please.

UPDATE: Download free e-book on Recovery from Depression (dedicated to Trey)

About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

10 Responses to What I Will Remember

  1. trinidarlin says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a truly sad end. Praying for his family and for those like you who loved him and regarded him highly.

  2. Jeannette Baer says:

    He was admired and loved by so many! He was smart, knowledgeable and a mentor to many of us!
    We will never forget you Trey!! Rest in Peace now…

  3. I’m just so sad to hear of Trey’s passing.

  4. I’m so sorry. I posted the same short comment on Olivier’s blog too, but I don’t know what else I can say, and it seems like everyone who knew him (I did not) are in a better position to say something – anything.

    I went out for an errand shortly after learning of Trey’s death this morning and seeing your (and a streaming wall for @treypennington) tweet. I was thinking about this when I finished my errand and was driving home.

    The truth is, those of us who have survived can say things like “this is why I’m different. This is why I’m not going to take my life, or even consider it ever again.”

    Hogwash. It’s patronizing. It’s not uplifting and it’s sure not that encouraging to the people who are in the abyss right now.

    I remember the times when I thought about it. Seriously thought about. I even knew the date (although on my “Misdiagnosis and Back” blog post of my Mental Health Source Page, readers only know it happened some time in June 1998). I knew the date because I dated the letters I was beginning to write to people that I would have wanted to have my “parting words”. I remember the time when I laid on the floor imagining never getting up.

    And as far away that time feels like to me, I can confidently say that I wouldn’t respond well to people’s cheery comments including the so-called “survivors”. Because I’d think, “what the hell do you know about what I’m going through? Just because you went through depression, don’t you dare think for a minute that you and I are going through the same thing. Now, I’m not trying to trivialize your experiences, I’m glad you are so brave, but please, leave me alone. and drum your encouragement for someone else.”

    Yea, I’ve become one of those people that others find hard to believe I could ever have been depressed. “But you are so talented!” “You are successful!” “You have so much drive!” “You are so smart!”

    So what? Depression doesn’t give a shit what I am. It only knows what it wants to take, and how to take it.

    Then what would have worked for me, if I were that person way back when? I think it would have to be something to hold onto. Something now, something immediate. Not abstract stuff like “it’s going to get better! Just wait! You’ll see.” But knowing that someone would be expecting me to show up somewhere, soon, and that I didn’t want to let down even if that person could be half a stranger to me.

    Knowing someone would be expecting me to show up.

    • Jane, Olivier knew Trey better than most of us, and I don’t think anyone could write a better tribute than he has.

      Depression and inner darkness can pierce the heart of even the ones we think most highly of. And it hides from view. Ugh.

  5. Pingback: Are we living lives of quiet desperation masked by noise?

  6. MekQuarrie says:

    Thanks for posting this Steve, and putting it so well…

  7. It’s a terrible, terrible loss for all of us. I went to his FB wall and read everything he posted, leading up to yesterday morning. In retrospect, you could definitely see a man suffering.

  8. Steve,
    Thanks for being so open about your struggles with depression. Tough to make sense of something like this. We are all vulnerable somewhere, somehow whether we admit it or not.
    We are designed for connection, though sometimes, in this media, we can confuse communication with connection. They are not the same.

    What a shock and loss, hopefully we can take inventory and while we are grieving make a space for reflection and courage, courage to find the help we need whatever that looks like.


  9. Pingback: Clearing Clouds: Recovering From Depression « Steve's Free

%d bloggers like this: