“I love you, know that…..You have the world ahead of you, and it will be great”~Zech Whitby
On September 6th, 2018 the world lost a good man. Our friends at Bitter Hearts Tattoo lost a part of themselves.
My roommate and I have found a sort-of home at Bitter Hearts, and we care about the people there. Last Thursday, while sitting in class, I received a text from him. It was a screenshot of a post that Zech made on Facebook the night before:
What happened with my roommate and I next doesn’t matter. What matters is what Zech wrote. Please read it all. Then read it again. Then show it to everyone you know, because that’s what Zech would’ve wanted.
I don’t have much to say, because there are no words for the pain that not just I feel but that our friends at Bitter Hearts feel. No words for what I see in their exhausted faces after a week of his absence.
What I do have to say is this: There ARE people out there who will listen. People who want to help. People who don’t ever want another person to end their own life.
How do I know?
That Saturday, the 8th, we attended a gathering at the shop of everyone who’s ever cared about Zech who was able to be there that day. Most got tree tattoos (his specialty) in memory of him. Over 130 of us got tattoos and are now connected by our love for Zech. Some drove hours, or flew in from other states; some came to help give tattoos. Within the first 30 minutes, they had around 40 people signed up. The cost of the tattoos plus any donations were given to Zech’s family to help pay for funeral costs. The turn out was overwhelming. What was most overwhelming was how much we’d all wished he had just asked for us all to come. How much his friends and family wished he could’ve seen the crowd, the tears, the family of people come to pay respects and share their memories, and their love.
Every one of those people would gladly give their time to listen to someone who needed it. To help someone who was giving up, whether they knew them or not.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts please call the suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255 and the text line is: 741741 (text “TALK” )… The national suicide prevention website also has a computer chat feature.
“I’m sorry I wasn’t there.”-Zech
If you would like to see Bitter Hearts collective work as well as posts for Zech, please check out their Instagram page.