February 26, 2014 Steve Gerrard

For Jo…

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Monday morning began pretty much as normally as it could be. First day of term. Dropped the boys at school. Planned my day, checked my emails, went on Facebook… and that’s when things changed…. A group message from my good pal, and great photographer, Chris… it contained the line “some of you might know that Jo suffered from severe depression…. yesterday – she took her own life suddenly + without warning.”

Jo was Chris’ girlfriend and our friend. Beautiful. Funny. A big welcoming smile. Thoughtful. Kind. She was a part of our gang.

I actually didn’t know about her depression so the news came out of the blue and without warning. Just like that, she was gone. I can’t even begin to imagine how a person gets to a point in life when the thought of ending everything feels like the best option. I know a little about depression, not from personal experience but from TV documentaries. And I’m so sad that our gorgeous friend suffered to such an extent. I just hope that she’s now at peace somehow.

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Since the news broke it’s been so obvious how many friends Jo had and I wish she could see how many lives she’s touched and how many people are going to miss her terribly.

Kat from Rock N Roll Bride wrote about her HERE

Evelyne and I have her, Chris and Jo’s family in our thoughts. We catch ourselves falling back into our daily routines and then we’ll suddenly remember what happened. It’s surreal somehow. But mostly it’s just so tragic.

I don’t know if we know anybody else who’s suffering from depression. You might. I just hope that they, like some people I know, get through it and go on to live happy, fulfilled lives surrounded by people that love them.

Jo & Chris volunteered to model for one of our workshops a couple of years ago. These photos are from that day.

Jo, we’ll miss you. RIP.

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Comments

comments

Comments (12)

  1. Sassy

    Steve, this is such a beautiful and heartfelt post. I only had the pleasure of meeting Jo in passing but she struck me as such a warm and lovely person. I knew when speaking to her that what she saw in the mirror was not the Jo that the world saw but I know that someone’s perception of themselves sometimes can’t be changed. Chris, Jo’s family and everyone who was close to her has been on my mind since Monday. I hope that some good can come from this terrible tragedy. I hope that we remember to look deeper, and tell those around us how special they are.

  2. As you know Steve, I only met Jo once on this very workshop. Though we kept in touch we weren’t close and yet I’m experiencing many of the same feelings as you. I found out yesterday after seeing Kat’s post and thought of little else for the rest of the day. Today I slipped into the normal routines only to suddenly remember Jo on a number of occasions. It hit me like a ton of bricks every time.

    Depression is terrifying. That it could push someone like Jo to take her own life is just beyond comprehension.

    My heart goes out to Chris and Jo’s family. I can’t bare to think what they’re going through.

    Jo, you will be missed by so many.

  3. Such a beautiful lady, and so terribly sad. Sending Chris and Jo’s loved ones thoughts and strength, although how they’ll ever get over this I do not know. So sad

  4. Anonymous

    Please stop saying it’s a sad situation. Instead, recognize. Stand for change. Stand for a more compassionate world. Listen. Enhance your intution.
    Depression is nothing to be sad about. It is a wake-up call. A very loud, clanging, head-ringing wake-up call. Depression is the heat that results from the friction of a world gone wrong, of a world that demands we crush our intuition, that we conform to norm that goes against what we know to be right and true, that we abandon our creative eye and view the world linearly and logically.
    You look at the world through our eyes and say “WOW” when you look at our art or our music or our writing, but to us, that’s normal. It’s in our head. We’re channeling some other Source.
    The depressed see and seek more than one dimension. They put what’s in front of them in context. While you pick up an object and see just that object, the depressed person sees where that object came from, what it is made from, where that source came from, what the impact will be when you put the object down, what will happen if someone else sees that object, and on and on. And you know what? Our minds eventually get overwhelmed with trying to get others to see these other dimensions and no one responds. THAT’s when the the sadness and depression comes in. We’re lonely, we’re isolate. You say there are no signs. But they were there. When the depressed try to warn you what will happen because of these things, and you say, oh stop obsessing, you are too sensitive, we shut down, and the consequences go inward.
    When you are like us, maybe or maybe not depressed, sometimes a day is 36 hours long. In that day you may not want to sleep because you are riding a wave of thought that inspires you to new ideas and a new understanding that no one else has yet articulated.
    When you are like us yet maybe or maybe not depressed, sometimes a day is just 14 hours as you yearn for 10 or more hours of sleep to rest and recover from the intensity of your newfound insight, much like craving for sleep after a well-deserved hangover.
    As a depressed person seeking treatment, and after meeting others in my life, I can tell you we are just different, our minds have processes that don’t fit into your construct. We are influenced by the seasons, the sun, the wind. We need to connect with the ocean, the dirt, the trees. We need the comfort of subcultures and countercultures to find the language that others have found to help us cope in this world. We are not depressed until we get so tired of banging on about things no one else seems to notice! If everyone else just picked up on our wavelength, this planet might be more tolerable. Raise your compassion. Read a book, do some yoga. Take a walk in the woods. Adopt a dog.
    We know some day we will be called home to whatever planet /place / Source we are originally from, and it is not HERE. Some cannot wait to get off this rock. I wish you a good journey, Joy. It certainly sounds like you have accomplished your work of enlightening others and giving a new lens while you were here.
    I’m truly sorry for your loss and sorry to rant on. But I do hope this perspective helps everyone feel empowered to understand and to move forward. I’m a voice of what depression feels like and how I would hope others could see from my eyes.

  5. Paul

    I met jo briefly at this workshop, I met her a few more times briefly during some second shooting with Chris.

    When I heard about this, my heart sank, it’s still in a low place and it hit me like a train. I then read the rock roll bride article and I went to a cafe to collect my thoughts.

    I keep thinking about Jo and chris and her family. One thing I know for sure is that I only had a small amount of time with Jo but in that time she left a big impression. I know for sure that there’s a lot of people who feel the same, priveleged to have met Jo.

  6. She’s so beautiful and they look so happy together.
    Such a sad and powerful reminder that we should never try to second-guess the difficulty of anyone’s path through life. Respect and love always. Chris must be beyond devastated. We should keep them both in our hearts.

  7. Eliza

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss, for all of Chris and Jo’s friends and family. This is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl who will clearly be missed by so many. Sending you all my love x

  8. JD

    Beautifully written for a beautiful lady! I didn’t know your friend Steve but I know how you are feeling – I have lost two relatives this way – the most recent being on Tuesday of this week 🙁

    Depression is such a horrid illness and so many people suffer it in silence. My thoughts are with you all; Jo’s family and friends. I hope that memories of all of the happy times she shared with you are a comfort! x

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