Letter: Note to self | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Note to self

I met Stewart Oksenhorn a few times while visiting Aspen. I found out Sunday morning that Stew tragically took his life.

I live in Michigan, but met Stew through a mutual friend. On the outside Stew seemed like a warm guy with great energy. Most likely, no one will understand Stew’s demons. We can discuss the high suicide rate in Aspen and why it exists, but the truth is people have anxiety and depression everywhere, and I would suggest that most of us have it at one time or another.

When someone takes their life they are having a down period so deep that they can not see their way out of it. I know Stew had many great and joyous times in his life. He clearly had a great relationship with his daughter and he loved his work. I think sometimes it might be beneficial for us to write a note to ourselves when we feel good; when the sun is out, when we feel good about our relationships, our contributions to other people, about our work and about how lucky we are to have the good things in our life.

When we feel good we also know we are going to feel bad at some point in the future, but it doesn’t stop us from feeling joy. Maybe we should all write a “note to self” for the periods of darkness that we will inevitably feel, to remind us that it will pass and that we will feel happy again. How many people could be saved in this country if they got through that one tough period?

Suicide not only lakes the lives of the victim, but leaves scars on all the people around them. The next time you are having a great day write about how you feel and why you feel that way. Save it in the cloud. When you go through a bad time maybe you can save yourself.

You will be missed, Stew!

James Bellinson

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.


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