Three years ago my friend invited me to her house warming party. She’s a musician so a few of her guest were also musicians.

I met a young saxophone player at the party along with another guy he was in a band with. The saxophone player was 18 and from Sierra Leone. From the short conversation I had with him I gathered he was witty, friendly,, confident and intelligent. He told me about a band he was in and gave me their Facebook details.

A few months after the party I went to a music gig with my friend, we were there to support an upcoming band. Then to my surprise I saw the saxophone guy I had met. He appeared on stage and had everyone in a trance as he played his saxophone. He played so eloquently and with so much passion.

I didn’t see him again after the show but fast forward to a few months ago, someone uploaded a song on Facebook, in the caption it said ‘In loving memory’ followed by the saxophone players name.

I went onto his Facebook profile where I found he passed away towards the end of 2014. His page was still active and people were still writing on his wall, posting videos of him playing the saxophone and sharing memories about him.

I scrolled through his Facebook wall as I couldn’t believe the news of his death. I came across short random videos he had posted and random statuses that didn’t make sense. People clearly bemused by his post and probably not sure whether to laugh or be concerned were commenting things like;

‘Dude, are you on drugs???’

‘What are you smoking, these videos are random bro’

‘You’ve lost the plot’

‘Are you having a mental breakdown?’

He actually was having a mental breakdown.

I eventually found out from his band mate that he committed suicide after a year of getting increasingly mad and dealing with hard times.

Although I didn’t know him well — I was genuinely shocked because he was so young -only 19 years old — and sad because so often it’s the people that seem strongest are really the most vulnerable.

Originally posted on my Tumblr page