An artist on TikTok is honoring Suicide Prevention Month this September with her unique craft.
Bethune, who goes by vangoghandloveyourself on the platform, is a painter. She narrates her portraits of famous folks as she creates her images. Following her is like getting a taste of art and history. Her painting of Dolly Parton highlights the country singer’s humanitarian work, while her portrait of Marsha P. Johnson honors the trans rights and LGBTQIA+ activist’s role in the Stonewall Riots.
On September 7, Bethune shared a portrait of YouTuber Landon Chase Clifford who died by suicide. The vlogger of the channel Cam and Fam died on August 18 after spending six days in a coma. The 19-year-old is survived by his wife, Camryn Clifford and their two children.
As Bethune uses the tip of her paintbrush to outline the frames of Landon’s glasses, she tells his story.
“Landon had been struggling in a battle with anxiety, depression, ADHD and addiction,” Bethune narrates. “He had fallen into a vicious cycle with his highly addictive meds where would take some to get himself up for the day but then need more later just to calm himself down.”
Bethune shared a passage from Camryn’s Instagram post where the widow revealed Landon’s final wish was to have his organs donated.
View this post on Instagram
August 13th 2020 was Landon’s last day being the best dad and husband he could be. After spending the following 6 days in a coma he passed on and donated several organs to people in need all over the country. He died saving the lives of others. That’s the type of person he was. Compassionate, loving, thoughtful, kind, and gentle. He was an amazing husband and the best father those girls could of ever asked for. It saddens me deeply that they will never get to truly know him. He was so young and had so much more life to live. This isn’t how things were supposed to go. He was meant to make it to his next birthday. He was meant to walk his daughters down the isle. He was meant to die old with me. Words can not come close to describe the pain I feel. All I can do now is make sure our girls know how much he loved us. He’s looking down on us from heaven and his light will shine through the clouds when we look up at him. May he rest peacefully.
“He was an amazing husband and the best father those girls could have ever asked for,” Camryn wrote. “It saddens me deeply that they will never get to truly know him. He was so young and had so much more life to live. This isn’t how things were supposed to go. He was meant to make it to his next birthday. He was meant to walk his daughters down the aisle. He was meant to die old with me.”
By the time Bethune is done telling Camryn’s story, she has painted a vibrant portrait of the young father and husband smiling ear to ear.
“This week is National Suicide Prevention Week,” Bethune says. “Let’s honor Landon by taking care of ourselves, checking in on those around us and increasing awareness, education and support for mental illnesses.”
Bethune’s video went viral and Camyrn left the artist a kind message.
“This is incredible. Thank you,” Camryn wrote in the comment section.
If you or someone you know struggling with suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.
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