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Mathew Fletcher R.I.P.
It's much more than just a sad day for indiepop. Losing someone to suicide is a tragic failure of all the bonds that hold us together as people in the face of a sometimes terrifying world.

In the absence of truth, beauty, justice, et cetera, all we have to cling to on this godforsaken rock is each other; and when one of us slips our grasp and takes himself away, I can't help but feel we've failed, all of us, in giving back enough love to hold our weaker brothers when they falter. Falter we all do, sooner or later; I don't think I've ever met anyone (or would care to) who hasn't at least glimpsed that awful abyss. I know I've stood on the edge of it many times. I was fortunate enough to be pulled back in time, each time, but too many are not.

That's not to say that there is any blame to be attached to those who "could have saved him", but didn't; the general answer to the question "how can you save someone from their despair?" just isn't known, or knowable. We're all helpless before it. But I urge each of you, in the light of this tragedy, to stop and consider the ones you love, and let them know you love them. It's all you can do. And if you're close to the brink yourself, for god's sake, ask someone for help, please. We all want and need you. You can talk to me if you want; I've been there, and I came back. I hope you will too. I wish Matthew had.

I'm sick at heart to think of what Matthew must have been feeling to take such a desperate measure. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones. When something like this happens, the music that he made and might have made means little; the loss of a good man is something we can ill afford, and the pain that made him kill himself is now a part of each of us. I barely knew Matthew, having been introduced to him one time in a New York club haze, but I know well his contributions to my happiness via the records. I will continue to carry that happiness with me, but there's a sorrow attached to it now. I wish all the strength in the world to Amelia and his other people; they will need it.

Life goes on.

by Steve Thornton, June 1996

Last updated: 20-Jun-1996 © 1994-2018 TweeNet Creative Commons License