Steve Tarpinian was a gentle soul who gave so much love and joy to others in spite of his own depression. He took his own life on March 15, 2015. He was a beloved coach, swimmer, entrepreneur, friend and companion. His vision established the landscape for triathlon on Long Island. Steve's true legacy is the lives that he positively impacted while on his journey, mine included (we were life partners for over 33 years). He was a gift that was only ours to borrow.
Everyone thought "he had it all." Steve was handsome, brilliant and extremely talented. We now know things were not always as they seemed. His story must be told as I believe he represents so many who are suffering silently wearing a mask that says everything is okay.
We need to be able to talk about our loved ones lost to suicide and honor their memory. Too many fear living more than they fear dying and are suffering such terrible mental anguish. There was a time no one talked about cancer or HIV/AIDs due to the attached stigmas. Now that they are freely spoken about for the diseases they are, more treatment options and support are available for those that have these diseases. We must get to that same point with mental illness.
To learn more about Steve's story, visit slippedaway.org.