December 14, 2022

It doesn’t matter how Happy or Strong someone is when they’re dealing with a Sadness others Can’t See.

Reach out. Be kind. Mean it.
Suicide: the Struggle, the Truth, the Light.
Suicide doesn’t Discriminate: 6 Warning Signs that could Save someone you Love.
Surviving the Holidays while Grieving.

~

I was working when the news alert came through:

“Stephen ”tWitch’ Boss, beloved dancer and longtime-DJ on Ellen show…”

The headline cut off and as I clicked the alert to read the rest, I found myself repeating in my mind, “Please don’t be dead. Please don’t be dead.”

But all the praying in the world wouldn’t change the truth.

This bright, talented soul who I had been watching and following since his first season on FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance” back in 2008 died yesterday of an apparent suicide.

I didn’t know Boss, but the news of his passing stunned me. I’ve honestly been struggling to focus on anything else. In between tears, I found myself wondering, “How? He looked so happy. What about his wife and kids? How could he leave them? How?”

And then… {cont’d below}

 

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…I reminded myself that I once loved someone who dealt with suicidal ideations and, on more than one occasion, attempted to end their life.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter how happy or strong or talented or in love or loved someone is when they’re dealing with demons and issues and depression and sadness and shame that others can’t see. That they can’t bear to let others see. That they may not even understand themselves.

My heart breaks for Boss’s wife, dancer Allison Holker, and their three young children, and for everyone who is left behind after the death of someone they love by suicide. I was lucky…the person I once loved lived. I got to ask why. I got to show up for them. I got to see them move forward with some hope.

And yet, I know that my shattered heart never fully recovered.

Whenever I saw videos or clips of Stephen “tWitch” Boss, he was always happy and dancing. He was always using his energy to bring joy to others. Today, he is gone.

Reach out to the strong people in your life, the happy ones, the ones who live to make others smile. Listen genuinely, and without judgement, and let them know you will help them as best you can.

Be awake and aware enough to see the signs that someone is struggling. Understand that they may not know how to share their experience with you but that doesn’t mean they don’t need you.

Realize that while we can’t save everyone, while we can’t always know what’s going on in someone else’s head or heart, we can make an effort to connect.

We can try. We can care. It’s the only way any of us have a chance.

~

Holker released a statement today confirming her husband’s death and honoring his legacy:

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to share my husband Stephen has left us.

Stephen lit up every room he stepped into. He valued family, friends and community above all else and leading with love and light was everything to him.

He was the backbone of our family, the best husband and father, and an inspiration to his fans. To say he left a legacy would be an understatement, and his positive impact will continue to be felt. I am certain there won’t be a day that goes by that we won’t honor his memory.

We ask for privacy during this difficult time for myself and especially for our 3 children. Stephen, we love you, we miss you, and I will always save the last dance for you.”

~

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