trey-penningtonI am sitting in Starbucks refreshing the #treypennington stream, in shock that barely hours after he tweeted, “Sure am thankful for online friends who are real friends offline, too. Love you,” social media advocate and respected member of the internet community, Trey Pennington, killed himself in his church parking lot.

I first saw the news on Facebook a few hours ago, where Scott Stratten posted just an hour after Trey’s death.

With the speed we would expect, the news about Trey is spreading across Twitter, Facebook, and the blogosphere. People are gutted — there is nothing like suicide to bring on the torture, “How could this have happened?!? How could we have stopped it?!? How could we have not known it was that bad?!?”

One blogger and friend of Trey Pennington, Kris Colvin, writes on her blog that Trey was going through a devastating divorce from his wife of 28 years and mother to his 6 children. Apparently, Trey had attempted suicide two months ago, but had resurfaced and appeared to be coping.

But, for those of us who know depression and suicide first hand, we know it usually isn’t a one time thing — that one failed attempt, that one visit to the doctor, that one bottle of pills, that one heart-to-heart with a friend won’t keep us safe.

It is a battle that keeps going on. Each day is a risk.

Everyone in Trey’s life is crying out today, “Why didn’t you come to me Trey?!? Why didn’t you just dial my number?!? I would have come — I would have been there!!!”

And if only Trey had just dialed a friend instead today and had someone stay with him until that overwhelming urge had passed, until he had a chance to make it to tomorrow. But, the lies that “it will all be better if it just ends” are too blinding sometimes. And today, the lies won. Trey couldn’t hold on any longer.

I was listening to Fix You by Coldplay right before I read about Trey. I have been going through a dark time myself this summer, and I had just felt the rush of euphoria and hope that Fix You can bring me.

Somehow, this song can hold me and remind me that I can make it one more day, that I can make it home — that I am not alone.

So, here it is — for everyone who needs to just keep going one more day, one more hour, one more minute…

“Fix You”

by Coldplay

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go
But if you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down on your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down on your face
And I…

Tears stream down on your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down on your face
And I…

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

If you are feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, or having suicidal thoughts PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK.

Written by Janice Croze, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom.
Wanna chat? Find me at: @5minutesformom, @janicecroze and Facebook.com/5minutesformom.



Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lolli September 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm

This is one of the best articles I have read about Trey’s death. It’s interesting how the suicide of someone I didn’t even know can have such a deep impact on me. Thank you for your words, and for the words of the song that you shared. Love you!!

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2 Janice September 5, 2011 at 12:20 am

IT is amazing how it can impact us isn’t it – I only knew of Trey, I didn’t know him personally.

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3 Tarasview
Twitter:
September 4, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I read about it on Scott’s status too… heartbreaking. And what really hurts my heart- he killed himself in his church parking lot. On a Sunday. I bet there were many people who could have supported him , held him up, helped him somehow -just feet away in that church building. Such a tragedy. His poor children :(

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4 Janice September 5, 2011 at 12:20 am

I know – it is a cruel irony. But personally, sometimes our churches can be the loneliest place in our lives.

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5 Tarasview
Twitter:
September 5, 2011 at 12:40 am

exactly… to be so bereft and without hope so close to a place that is supposed to (but clearly doesn’t always) pass on hope and love and light… heartbreaking. It is just such a vivid picture to me of how easy it is to miss someone who is suffering right in front of us. It is not ok.

I know in my life my loneliness is often self-inflicted… there are people around me who would be there for me if only I would allow them to be. When i get depressed I shut people out. Exactly the opposite of what I SHOULD do. But I maintain that it is near impossible to think clearly and logically when you are mired in depression. At least I can’t.

xox

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6 Julie September 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I’m so thankful to friends that read my blog earlier this year that helped me. Saved me really. I know the same pain… and am (thankfully) on the road to recovery. Hearing about Trey Pennington’s death today struck me hard – even though I had not known him, but knew the feelings he must have been struggling with.

Thank you for posting that song. I’ll be downloading it shortly.

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7 Janice September 5, 2011 at 1:18 am

Yes – me too! My online friends are so important to me too! I have thought of nothing else all day and night than Trey and his family. Life can be so complicated, so painful. And yet, if we can hold on — so many beautiful moments are waiting!!!

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8 Robin | Farewell, Stranger September 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Beautiful, simple, and true. I had actually never heard of him, but this still makes me really sad.

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9 Mrsrkfj September 4, 2011 at 11:07 pm

This was a beautiful post. It captured everything a person in misery has felt.

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10 CaroleM September 4, 2011 at 11:42 pm

That song actually helped me through the sadness one of my miscarriages.

I admit I don’t know who Trey is, however my heart goes out to his family, friends, and anyone else impacted by his death.

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11 Janice September 5, 2011 at 1:56 am

I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Isn’t it powerful how music can carry us through such hard times!

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12 CaroleM September 5, 2011 at 2:03 am

It is amazing how powerful music can be. And yes, it was very sad – twice no less. But the Lord has blessed me with 2 beautiful children since, and so working through it and moving forward was the thing to do :) Thanks Janice. Enjoy the rest of our beautiful lower mainland sunny long weekend :)

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13 Barbie September 5, 2011 at 12:48 am

I’ve never heard of Trey. My heart breaks for the hopelessness he felt. My heart breaks for his family.

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14 Mimi September 5, 2011 at 1:58 am

This is absolutely heart breaking. I had never heard of him. Reading his last few tweets you would never know this was coming. He seemed to be planning for the future, even as of yesterday. Such a heavy heart. Thank you so much for this post.

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15 Danelle Ice (Home Ever After) September 5, 2011 at 3:36 am

I can’t believe this shocking news. It’s hard to believe that those of us who find communities online that we share our everydays with can’t find anyone to go to when we’re feeling alone or scared. I am praying for his family. :(

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16 Amy September 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

like others have said I did not know Trey Pennington but I know depression and my thoughts and wishes of peace and comfort go out to his family…may Trey Pennington rest in peace.

I think, just from my personal experience with depression, that support, understanding of the condition and the love of other is very important. I also know how cunning and all consuming Mental Illness can be, not only the person suffering but those that love the sufferer.

I also believe Mental Illness is a condition, just as cancer must be treated, depression must be treated and sometimes professional help is needed — and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Sometimes, like you said Church can be a lonely place…it wasn’t until I sought help from those specializing in the treatment of Mental Illness that I’ve been able to live a full and productive life. I guess my point here is that I hope and pray that his family and friends will find relief from the burden of thinking “what if I had done more”.

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17 Helen September 5, 2011 at 9:08 am

Thank you.

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18 LaVonne
Twitter:
September 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I am so out of it, I haven’t even heard of this man. This really is a rebuke I think to churches to really know their members and pastors too. Help is right within grasp even when it feels hopeless but we all have to be there for our friends and family and not be afraid to ask and help. I know so many people who have committed suicide here on our reservation. It is so sad and it leaves a gaping wound in a family and a community.

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19 Annie Sisk September 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Oh Janice, this was so well done. I’ve said in many channels (but I will keep saying it as many times as it takes):

If anything positive can come from this awful tragedy, I hope it’s this message: That depression is a paralyzing monster. That it *prevents* people from reaching out for help when they need it most. That many people suffering from it may appear to be handling it quite well. That at least a portion of those people won’t be handling it *at all* even as they seem to be. That if you even *suspect* someone is struggling this way, it’s OK to ask. You CAN ask. You SHOULD ask. You should KEEP asking.

And God forbid, if and when the worst happens, and you’re left on this planet, stuck, trying to make sense of it, remember this and repeat it as often as possible: “Depression is an insidious, evil disease, and IT killed my friend.”

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20 karla porter archer September 6, 2011 at 6:16 am

very well said, Janice.

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21 Wendy MacKay September 8, 2011 at 11:37 am

Very well said! Kim Castleberry referred me to your site and it touches my heart to read not just the article but the comments as well. I am passionate about my profession as a life coach supporting single parents after divorce for this reason. We are all vulnerable, especially those with compassion and big hearts. If any of your readers know of someone going through a difficult time please reach out to them and have them get professional help. The advantage of coaching is that most coaches can be reached in an emergency and it’s more personable. I don’t know too many available psychiatrists that can help on the spur of the moment but maybe in the States it is different. Regardless there is help available so don’t let pride prevent someone from getting the help they need. And for those who are friends, don’t feel guilty for not seeing the “signs” because they are well masked.
My heart goes out to Trey’s children who have a lifetime of dealing with the loss of their father.

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