R&B star Elle Varner is mourning the loss of a young cousin who recently committed suicide.
The Refill singer went public with her family heartbreak in a lengthy post on social media on Thursday (03Sep15), three days after hinting at a personal issue by writing on Twitter, "Sometimes people are suffering so deeply below the surface and we dont (sic) have the slightest idea."
In the Instagram post, Varner reveals her young relative had been quietly battling depression when she decided to take her own life, and the star is urging fans struggling with similar issues to seek help before it's too late.
She writes, "This is very difficult to say, but I hope that sharing this can encourage anyone out there having a difficult time coping with this crazy thing called life.
"A few days ago my little cousin took her life and it is very hard to grasp. Whatever she was dealing with she felt she could no longer bear the weight.
"More than we realize, people are smiling through their suffering and we have no idea whats (sic) really going on in there. Depression is a very real and serious matter and a lot of people dont (sic) want to talk about it because they feel ashamed and embarassed (sic) but there is nothing to be ashamed of! Depression is extremely common and can be triggered by something as simple as the weather and sometimes its just hereditary."
Opening up about her own experiences with the blues, she continues, "I know I've battled with depression at times in my life where things were going 'bad' and times I had absolutely no reason to feel down and simply couldn't help it. Through it I've discovered many tools like meditation, prayer, and servicing others as ways to lift my spirits.
"If you have a negative voice running your thoughts and blocking your light you may want to seek help. 'Its (sic) okay not to be okay.' Wherever you are you are not alone in this world. Whatever you are experiencing someone is experiencing too. Dont (sic) be afraid to express your emotions, sadness, anger, etc. Dont (sic) be afraid to reach out for help or call a Suicide Prevention Center. Whether its (sic) good or bad, nothing lasts forever."