Recently, I sadly reported that beauty and lifestyle blogger, Karyn Washington had taken her own life. The details surrounding Karyn’s untimely death weren’t immediately available and it sickened me to see that many media outlets opted to fill in the blanks with false details about Karyn suffering through self-acceptance of being a darker skinned beauty, so as a result, she committed suicide. Karyn’s friend, Yumnah Najah took it upon herself to provide a video where she addresses Karyn’s death, her impact and her legacy. “Karyn loved who she was and she loved her beauty. She was very confident in her skin. I never heard her say anything negative about her dark skin,” Najah explained.
Must Read: Why ‘Suicide’ Can No Longer Be A Dirty Word
Karyn was having a rough time dealing with the death of her mother. “The main thing I decided to do was to make a video, to shed some light on Karyn, her mission and refocus people on the beauty of her life and foundation and to make sure we maintain the dignity of her legacy and we also address some of the things she was going through so there’s more clarity,” Najah offered. “She was in a place of missing her mother. She was grieving for the loss of her mother and losing her after her mother’s battle for five years was really hard for her,” Najah explained.
In the midst of Karyn’s mother’s failing health, she reached out to our Style & Beauty Editor, Ty Alexander, who had actually just gone through the same tragic ordeal–losing her mother through cancer. Ty and Karyn shared several email exchanges, often Ty offered Karyn advice on how to deal with losing her mother and things she could do that will keep her sane. The exchange between the two was haunting, as Ty admitted, “She [Karyn] said she had found a meet up in Baltimore that dealt with coping during the holidays and she was also going to church. Looking back, I should have asked if she found someone to talk to…”
Must Read: Black Men Kill Themselves Too
Evidently, Karyn did not find someone to talk to; which is often what happens to a lot of people who decide their only option is death. The importance of having a support system is something that should never be underestimated. We are not islands. We need one another.
Najah’s words from this beautiful video still linger in my heart, “The real beauty of Karyn was that she was a good person. She loved people. She wanted to help people. That’s what made her beautiful and she knew that. We have to remember that, we have to love each other. That was more of the main lessons I’ve learned from Karyn. Keep caring.”
What’s most important to know about Karyn’s story is that happiness doesn’t make you exempt from depression. According to Najah, Karyn was a happy person, who fell on very sad times. My heart goes out to Karyn and women just like her who feel as though they have no one they can turn to when life gets difficult.
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