This album is dedicated to my best friend Traver. He passed away unexpectedly on the morning of August 31st, 2013. He was 19 years old.This album is for anyone who has ever lost someone to suicide, or has thought about suicide as an option for themselves. This music is proof that you are not alone. This album was incredibly healing for me to put together and I hope it is just as healing for you to listen to. These songs are gifts of love and appreciation for him. -Zo Bernardeau
I was friends with Traver in High School. He was a really sweet kid with a big heart and an amazing sense of humor. I rode the bus with him and we would always have really funny conversations. He had one of the cutest smiles I've ever seen, and he seemed so honest and blunt about so many things that it's still hard to imagine now that he was shouldering so much pain. He was two years younger than I was so I would offer to give him rides to school, and we would have really funny conversations about my various dating mishaps. After I graduated I saw him on the street in my hometown, and I thought about saying hi but I figured I'd run into him again some other time. That was the last time I saw him, and even though I wasn't one of the people closest to him, I still regret not stopping to talk to him on the street that day. Even though I only knew him for a short time and didn't really know about his personal struggles, his death impacted me profoundly because of what a sweet, generous and friendly person he was. Everyone who knew him even briefly still misses him because of his kind and funny spirit. Even though many people have thoughts of suicide at some point in their lives, I think that most people don't realize how much they impact and teach the people around them, even those who knew them for a short time. I found this musical album by Zo Bernardeau extremely healing and beautiful, and it felt like Traver's spirit was right there next to me while I was listening. It's a very moving reminder that despite the immense pain that comes from losing a friend or family member, especially so young, that a person's spirit will always continue on in peoples' memories. If young people considering suicide would listen to this, it might help them see how much they really do matter to the people around them, and how much pain it would cause their friends and family to live without them. If you're missing someone you've lost or wondering how to help cope from loss, listening to this album may help with the long, winding journey of healing. Be warned though, the songs are very emotional so make sure to listen somewhere that you would feel comfortable with the possibility of crying.
-Isabel Cohen, ToBeReal/WhatYouFeel Blog Coordinator
If you're a young LGBTQIA+ identified person experiencing depression or suicidal ideation, call the Trevor Project Helpline at 866-488-7386, or go through TrevorChat or TrevorText for a text based help service.