Remembering Rebecca Wasserstrum and Killing The Stigma

There are almost no words to describe it, so I’m gonna borrow some from conversations I’ve had with others in the hours since we found out that Rebecca was no longer with us:

But for some reason – and granted I haven’t spoken to her since graduation – this hits pretty hard

She was so full of life and brilliant. I am in such shock

Hard to forget the curls

That all sounds right to me.

She was the most brilliant light in a room, from the minute she walked in. We all remember the days sitting in the cafeteria at Brooklyn College, and she’s as much a part of that picture as any of us.
Outgoing. Bubbly. Full of life and giving it to those around her.

And it hits all of us slightly differently, but the reason I think it: She is a lot of us.
Energetic, outgoing, and holding a lot inside.

There will be plenty of conversations on this in the upcoming days, but it needs to be said: The stigma is what keeps any of us from saying anything.

We want to go out every day like everything is peachy, and not face the reality. It’s just so much easier like that.

But so many of us suffer. So many of us just can’t admit (whether to ourselves or to those around us) that depression, loneliness, whatever you want to call it, is eating away at us.
Making us miserable on the inside, regardless how we appear on the outside.

And I don’t know what the real solution is, but I’m gonna try my hardest to figure it out.

Rest in Peace Rebecca. Your bright light will continue to shine and help the rest of us through tough times.

Photo taken from her Facebook page, via Corrine Malachi (@corrine.malachi)

Photo was taken from her Facebook page, via Corrine Malachi (@corrine.malachi)

9 responses to “Remembering Rebecca Wasserstrum and Killing The Stigma

  1. Very true Avi! Thank you for sharing . It’s always better to share your feelings and try to do something about them, rather than holding it inside . It’s not worth losing great ppl over !

  2. Nina Bohmstein

    You were the first person to make me feel welcome and comfortable at the Yeshivah of Flatbush. You always introduced one of your oldest friends since we first met as infants in Shul! Thank you for all of your help, notes, pencils, friendship, and kind words. You are much loved always and you will be missed!!!! May your beautiful Neshama have an aliyah.

  3. Thank you for sharing this photo of one of the most beautiful individuals I have had the opportunity to cross paths with briefly in Florida… Rebecca was brilliant, soulful and worth more than she ever realized! Her unabashed performance, singing karaoke with a few other women, just a few months ago brings a broad, joy-filled yet tearful smile, as I realize what her courageous performance accomplished for her, as well as for others who watched. Be there for each other, I wish I would have stayed in touch. I miss her and I am so very sorry she’s gone. I used to say,” If no one told you they love you today, I do.” ~ kmi

  4. Shock. Sadness. Confusion. Pain. These are all emotions that I’ve feld and continue to feel even more so now. Why did this angel leave us? Why do we feel that we have no way out? Why must we suffer? I know depression. I’ve been there. Talking helps. Even if you sound crazy. It’s okay. People might judge us for saying something weird but hey, it’s okay. Just not that. Not suicide. Anything but that. Please gd no. That’s not an option. I know mental illness. I know what it does to people. Rebecca, I guess the darkness overpowered the light. But now, the whole world sees your light. We remember your inner and outer beauty. Your sensitivity. Your soul. The demons might have taken your body but they did not take nor did they break your spirit. Rest in peace sweet angel. I feel like we couldve been friends. Your spirt gives me strength and I will continue to do good deeds in your memory. With all the love and hope in the world, your friend, Lilly

  5. Poor sweet sensitive Rebecca. How could this have happened? The bullies live on happily and the nice ones find life too painful to bear. Reach out to your friends, life is so pressured and hard that we forget

  6. Many find life senseless and hard because they try to figure it out and fight it all by themselves. We seem to forget God can give us the strength and wisdom we need to overcome the pain. People don’t realize being a “nice” person is not enough.

  7. Pingback: Top Posts of 2016 | Aviously

  8. Pingback: Mental Health Awareness #BellLetsTalk – 2017 | Aviously

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