Kevin Warnock

Entrepreneurship, ideas and more

University of California Berkeley student Henry Treadway died May 8, 2012

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Henry Treadway vigil, May 11, 2012, UC Berkeley campus, photo by Anda Chu

Henry Treadway vigil, May 11, 2012, UC Berkeley campus, photo by Anda Chu of the San Jose Mercury News

University of California Berkeley student Henry Treadway died May 8, 2012. The death is being investigated as a suicide. Apparently, Treadway fell from a window in the dormitory building where he lived.

Treadway was a sophomore. He touched a lot of people. The Facebook page set up to invite people to attend a memorial vigil for Treadway gathered over 3,957 RSVPs out of 3,992 invited, as you can see in the Facebook screenshot I captured and have included below.

It’s always sad when someone takes their own life, especially when the person is smart, productive and well liked.

This is the second suicide that I’ve learned of in two days. I didn’t know either of the individuals, but both made me reflect on the subject of suicide.

I learned about Treadway’s death on Facebook via a Wall posting by my friend Cindy Lu. I met Lu last year when she helped organize the inaugural startup pitch competition Made for China.

I have been very close with someone who has told me that in the past they haveĀ  considered suicide. This person is also smart, productive and well liked, and although I am no longer in touch with them, it would shatter my heart if I were to learn that they took their own life. It would probably take me years to fully recover, for I would wonder if I should have told anyone what I knew, while there would have perhaps been time to do something to prevent it.

I do not know who reads this blog, for the most part. I do not know if the friends and family of the person I am writing about above read this blog. Since I don’t know, I am not disclosing even the gender of the person, to protect their identity. What I know is sensitive, and while I did not promise discretion to this person, I feel that they assumed I would be discrete, and that they want me to continue to be discrete, indefinitely.

Henry Treadway Facebook candlelight vigil invite

Henry Treadway Facebook candlelight vigil invite. Screenshot from Facebook, May 19, 2012 at 7:40PM PT.

If the person I write about is reading this, please do not take your own life! Despite our distance, I still care for you, and I know many others do as well. Everything you consider broken can be fixed — even the things that are broken that you don’t know are broken can be fixed. Life is worth living. Life is to be cherished and celebrated.

Do not assume you know who I am writing about. It could be any of hundreds of people that I have cared about over my lifetime. But if you’ve considered taking your own life, even if you don’t know me, you are welcome to think I am writing about you in particular.

The other person that I just learned apparently took their own life is Andrew Fluegelman. Fluegelman disappeared in 1986, and it’s presumed he killed himself by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, although his body was never located. I wrote a blog post on May 20, 2012 about Flugelman because I attended May 18, 2012 the Annual Andrew Fluegelman Awards Gala honoring outstanding students, student-athletes & foster parents. This was a moving event, and I am friends with Stuart Sweetow, a videographer that made the May 18th Gala particularly special. Read the post for details.

Here are some more links to stories about Henry Treadway:

Henry Treadway aka sfkicks Gone Far Too Soon – Rest in peace

Hundreds Mourn El Cerrito Native at UC Berkeley Vigil

Student Falls From Unit 2 Dorm Window

Twitter.com Tweets about Henry Treadway

Friends and Family Remember Henry Treadway, UC Berkeley Sophomore

Vigil For UC Berkeley Sophomore

I extend my sympathies to the friends and family of Henry Treadway. From what I learned preparing this post, Henry was deeply loved and appreciated by those around him. May his memory remain bright in your hearts and minds. If an investigation concludes his death was not self inflicted, then I pray those responsible will soon be brought to justice. No matter the cause of death, Henry’s memory will endure.

Written by Kevin Warnock

May 23rd, 2012 at 5:00 am

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