By ReShonda Tate

By now you have heard of the unfortunate passing of dance star Stephen “Twitch” Boss, who took his own life in Encino, California. last week.

The social media mental health specialists are out in full effect. And it’s nauseating. 

I have read so many comments of people saying things like “something seems off” and “he seems so happy and  excited about his work.” Someone even said there was “no way he committed suicide because he was rich.”

People don’t understand what internalized depression looks and feels like for people and there’s a whole different level to it with Black men. His wife lost her husband and instead of people sending condolences, folks are diving deep into conspiracy theories.

Some think his wife should have acted sooner. Others have concluded that Twitch was rich, had a beautiful family and friends–he would never have taken his own life. Right?

The reality is that it is absolutely possible to be genuinely happy for someone else and still have an internal struggle with your own reason for living. I don’t know what he was going through. Twitch was someone that I actually met. He was an absolute light, but often people who are able to be lights for others, can’t see the light for themselves. 

I think it’s difficult for some people to understand that you absolutely can be in both of those spaces at the same time: genuinely happy for someone else and unable to grasp and hold on to happiness for yourself. But we don’t know what truly was going on with him. Happiness may be something he had in his life and there’s something else that may have been a burden on him.

We will never know exactly what pushed Twitch to feel as if suicide was the best choice. As someone who has a clinician as a mate, we’ve had these discussions about how people can mask being OK when they absolutely are not– including with their significant other, because he may have felt guilty for not feeling fully complete within himself.

We don’t know if there was an illness–physical or mental. Similar to how our bodies can get sick, sometimes the mind can go through something as well. 

No matter what we may think about what happened with Twitch, it clearly was something that he planned. There’s no doubt that he loved his wife and his children, but that love did not override whatever internal thing that he was dealing with.

It bothers me that people are trying to lean into blaming someone else without accepting that it’s a choice Twitch made. He was going through something that he felt like no one would understand or maybe he didn’t want anyone to understand. Maybe it was something so intense that he just wanted it to stop and people don’t know how to accept that you cannot guilt people into wanting to live. Whatever pain he was going through, he decided that living was not the best option.

Let’s not blame anyone else for the decision he made while in a state that was clearly based on pain. I understand pain and sometimes it can be so unbearable. I pray for his family and his friends.

I hope that whatever ails you–whether it’s physical or mental–you can find peace and contentment within yourself. Take care of you! 

This belief that we have a right to know everything is hurting our society. Leave it alone, leave Twitch’s family alone and if you want to do something–pray.

Your words and your “discernment” can make it worse for the families. And if you don’t think your words will ever be seen, trust me, there is always someone out there heartless enough to share and broadcast the messages. 

You never know!

Please be sensitive–stop speculating on the internet! 

ReShonda Tate is a former television and radio announcer, who has worked as a reporter for The National Enquirer, NBC, ABC-TV and FOX news. Tate is the author of more than 30 novels including, “Let the Church Say Amen,” which was adapted into a film directed by actress Regina King in 2013. 

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