Well you did it again, you vile fuck. You took another one.
I get it. He was one of the greatest humans alive. Always putting others first. Always. No matter what. He built his entire existence around it. Gleaning joy from the joy of others. But that is not anything you tolerate or even understand, do you? The whole joy thing. You shit on it every minute of every day.
I’ve been thinking about it non-stop since Ellen called me yesterday morning, as I suppose most of the people who knew him are doing. I’m no different. The past 10 years we had grown super close, though, after my daughter Sophie started at Tamarack. I could always count on receiving random pics of him and her all summer, in various states of hair or hat or attitude. We spoke endlessly during the year, mostly about our mental health and trying to help each other with it. There is a very basic connection between people with mental illness who share similar lives. We were both fathers, husbands, leaders – blessed with the voice and the opportunity to affect our communities positively and driven by creativity that could barely be contained. But it was you that monopolized our conversations. You were inescapable as usual. But somehow, gradually, and in tiny ways, we would fight you off. Until the next time you showed your ugly fucking face. And you always did.
Plenty of people are going to be writing eloquently about Marc Cooper. And they should. He was indeed among the greatest humans alive. He touched thousands with his unique light and unceasing positivity. He changed people. He changed me. And that’s just the kind of shit you hate. The better they are, the more you need them. I know this very well because you killed my brother in the same way.
My other brother is a psychiatrist who has dedicated his own life to stopping your vicious crusade. He deals with your shit daily, even hourly. And he has said to me many times in the past, and again yesterday, that the only certain thing about determining if someone is about to cause harm to themselves is that there is no certainty. There is no way to jump in front of you at that singular moment when the decision is made. It can happen anytime, anywhere, no matter who you are or what you do or how profoundly your kindness, charm, generosity, and humour have affected the people around you.
Carly and Jack, the real tragedy of all this is you. There is a lot of collateral damage to families. It is the hardest road you will ever walk. Just know that your community – the one that Marc had a profound hand in building – are right here beside you always. And forever – even if it’s just to remind you of the kind of incredible person he was.
All I know now is this. To the thousands of people – children and adults – that Marc has left his glorious imprint on, this is their time to shine. Talk about him. Loudly. They must talk to their children about their own mental health, and about suicide, and about how Marc battled the darkness until he just couldn’t anymore. And talk about how there is no shame in that. We must fight the stigma of suicide more than ever, and talking about it will do just that.
The last text message I got from Marc was a few weeks ago, saying simply, “I love you. That’s all have in my tank right now, and I wanted you to have it.” That’s the kind of guy you wiped off the planet. But I will tell you this, we will figure you out, you unredeemable, useless fuck. Eventually we will. And when that happens, no one will enjoy watching you die more than me.