- Evan Schwantner took his life in 2010 at age 20
- He was living with depression, his family said
- His sister, Erin Schwantner, is devoted to raising awareness about the warning signs
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That's usually what people say. "They were such a bright light ... the life of the party." I know, because I used to say these things about my brother, Evan.
Now I know better.
Four years ago, just a few weeks shy of his 21st birthday, Evan ended his life with the intention of forever ending his pain. And I am left with blood on my hands. My misconceptions about suicide have made me an accomplice.
I thought his inability to deal with reality and grow up, or to get over a girlfriend, contributed to his suffering. But I was wrong; a character flaw or single traumatic event didn't lead him to taking his own life. Evan was battling an internal monologue on a daily basis.
Evan was the kind of person who could make you laugh even when you didn't want to crack a smile. Everything about him was happy. A trendsetter, he knew what was cool before the rest of us. A social butterfly, he could walk with many different groups at school and was respected in all of them. A talented athlete, a creative mind with artistic gifts, he was the last person you would expect to be tor