Score One for Depression

Trease Shine Hinton
Coffee House Writers
4 min readJan 22, 2018

Late tomorrow morning, at 11:00 A.M., I will be seated in the center section of St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church in Sarepta, LA, probably in the 2nd or 3rd row, at the funeral service of a close relative. I’m tired of going to funerals.

I was just there for the same purpose on December 17, 2017. That was day of my nephew’s funeral. I sat in the 2nd row that day because I didn’t want to get that close to his casket. I could see just fine from the 2nd row. I’m tired of going to funerals.

Prior to that, I sat in the 5th or 6th row in the center section of a large church in East Texas, at the funeral of one of my favorite uncles on August 5, 2017. I’m tired of going to funerals.

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They Come In Threes
They say death comes in a wave of three. They say those three consists of the sick, the sudden, and the senior.

My uncle died on July 31, 2017. He was the senior. My nephew died on December 9, 2017. He was the (very, very) sudden. My cousin died on January 14, 2018. She was the sick.

We’ve had our three. I pray for mercy.

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What Finally Took Her

Shortly after 9 A.M., on Sunday morning, January 14, one of my first cousins passed away. I am (was?) about three and a half months older than she was and we grew up as next door neighbors. Our mothers were sisters. She was my first friend.

You see, there are (were) well over 70 cousins of all varieties in my family — 1st, 2nd, 3rd, once-removed, twice-removed, etc. — but we’re close. I know that sounds a little far-fetched and perhaps some will think I’m exaggerating, but the truth is, we are close. There is not one of my cousins that I can’t call on right now for help and not get exactly what I need. That’s just who we are and that’s what we do.

What none of us could do, though, was save my cousin from the depression that slowly snuffed her life out.

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The Sick and the Abused

As I said, she had been sick. She had been sick for a very long time. She was diabetic, she had high blood pressure, she had COPD, and she was depressed. She was also the victim of severe mental and emotional domestic abuse.

She had gained an exuberant amount of weight and it bore down on her tiny frame. She was on oxygen and did not have the full use of one of her arms because of a work accident that had rendered her disabled. Her body was often riddled with pain, but her mind was in a constant state of disarray and filled with bullet holes from the invisible gun her boyfriend constantly unloaded on her.

What the depression itself didn’t destroy, the mental and emotional abuse she suffered had finished. He wiped his feet on her. He used her till there was nothing left. The depression held her down while that wretched excuse of a man punched and kicked her. I don’t know if he ever laid hands on her physically, but he obliterated her psyche. I’ve been told that he was fond of addressing her as a “fat bitch.”

He wrecked her cars just as readily as he wrecked her mind. He abandoned her more than once during the floods that Houston is famous for. He would go off to his family’s home and leave her in the flooded apartment. Great guy, huh?

In the end, she just gave up. I think she was just tired of trying. The depression scored and won. I had tried so desperately to get her to come back to the place where we’d grown up, so that she could take a rest, but she wouldn’t. Now, she’s coming home to be laid to rest.


If you or someone you know is depressed, know that there is help out there. There are people who care for you and want you to get well. If you have a family member or friend who displays the symptoms of depression, reach out and let them know you’re there. Let them know that they matter. Listen to them. Hear them. Help them.

If you, yourself, are not comfortable speaking to family members or friends about your troubles, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1–800–273–8255. They can help.

Know that you’re loved. Know that people care. Know that you matter.



Trease Shine Hinton
Coffee House Writers

Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate | Adjunct English Instructor | Editor | Proofreader | Writer | Speaker | M.A., English and Creative Writing