I was saddened to discover that fellow blogger Karyn Washington, the creator and founder of the dynamic blog - For Brown Girls - has left us on this earthly plane on April 8th 2014 due to an apparent suicide.
It has been generally accepted by those who knew her personally that she had suffered from a deep depression and was mentally stressed after the death of her Mother in 2013.
While I never knew her personally, I did enjoy the uplifting offerings that were formulated to our darker Sisters to see the true beauty of themselves in a world that quite often turns their backs on them to favor a European standard of attractiveness that leaves so many gorgeous women of color out in the cold.
For someone like Karyn Washington to be so young and so conscious of what was needed to support our Black women is nothing short of phenomenal.
Black women have gone through so much in this society to make them feel less than they are while so many try so hard to emulate the very unique characteristics that comes oh so natural to them.
I think that this is the perfect opportunity to speak on the stresses that one can feel in their private lives when enduring a major loss in their lives as in Karyn's case when she lost her Mother.
Personally, in a few days it would have been 20 years since I lost my Mother on April 28, 1994 and for me it will be a time of quiet mourning, reminiscing and many hours of free flowing tears unseen to the outside world while behind the locked doors of my home office.
So if I'm a aging middle aged man at 51 years old who has had a little more time to deal with that major loss in my life, then I could only imagine what it must have been like for an energetic 22 year old who had so much on her plate in her mission to help others feel better about themselves.
I mean, from the outpouring of love and concern from those who knew her personally or were affected by her endeavors on For Brown Girls or her #DarkSkinRedLip Project, she was definitely loved in a special way because it was obvious that she was a very special person.
As a person who uploads material on my blog on a daily basis on several platforms, I can truthfully say that it can be quite draining at times even though it is a personal labor of love and there have been times when I have been very appreciative of any support that I received when it the time came when I was burning the candle on both ends simultaneously.
All I'm saying is this, in taking the time to speak on the issues of mental health and depression in our community, we need to reach out to support those in our midst even if they exude an aura of strength to all who were around them. I'm not saying that this was the case with our beloved Karyn, because I didn't know her personally, but we collectively seen to get broadsided a little too much when things like this happen and we need to address this phenomenon much more than we have.
But I do understand that this is not the time to preach, so please don't take my words as if I am.
I want to say that I am praying for the comfort of her family, friends, fans and admirers.
The tragic loss of Karyn Washington will be a situation that will haunt us for the rest of our lives when we think about how much more beauty that she had inside of her to share with the world and how many countless people could have used her inner light to see the beauty that already exists in themselves.
But her work can and will continue on if we now pick up the mantle of what she stood for, her light can never be snuffed out if we do the right thing by her which in fact is to do the right thing by God.
We all have a special light residing within us to shine out to the world, the difference with the lovely and angelic Karyn Washington is that she wasn't afraid to allow hers to be seen by the masses to help those who suffered in that dark and lonely place of not knowing that they are beautiful too.
Here are a few words from Karyn Washington's personal friend Aliyah who also happens to be a blogger also:
"When I look at you I see a reflection of myself and most certainly that is why this hurts so badly. From now on I’ll forever remember your big beautiful smile, your charm, ambition, professionalism, entrepreneurship, confidence, humility, your drive, and your beautiful Brown Skin. That is what I’ll choose to remember… because to be honest, I’m a bit angry with you. Indeed I’m being selfish, but my heart is devastated- yet, because I know a tad bit about what you were going through I can understand. I’m guilt tripping because I wish I could’ve been there for you a little bit more. I’m so sorry, but I can’t help but to think that with just a little bit more time or a little less distance, proximity would’ve allowed me to make, maybe the slightest difference…. Forgive me!"
Those words spoke volumes and what I take from that is that we can definitely make a collective difference if we spend a little more time scratching below the surface to know how our loved ones really feel.
Many of us - myself included - have a tendency to mask our feelings around my loved ones because we simply do not want to burden them with the issues that I have inside of us. This is something that I now know is not a good thing and I have learned to do better with how I deal with my personal concerns.
But I never would have overcome that obstacle without the love of my inner circle.
So it is my suggestion to everyone, to not overlook the little signs of distress displayed by our family and friends to make sure that everything with them is truly alright.
This is a fast pace world that seems hellbent on moving faster to squeeze more productivity out of us at a blinding pace.
Let us not lose that connectedness that we have with one another and take that slow long walk with our loved ones while leaving our Smartphones at home.
I would like to soon do a talk show segment on the beautiful Karyn Washington and I will need her family and friends to chime in to reflect all that she was on this level so that we can continue to show her love to the world forevermore.
Get at me please! Call or text!
R.I.P. Karyn Washington
Peace & Righteous Love Always,