Glee alum Darren Criss announced his older brother, Charles “Chuck” Criss, tragically died by suicide in February.
Darren, 35, shared a carousel post via Instagram on Wednesday, March 2, which included various photos of his brother and a heartbreaking statement about his passing.
“Obviously, this is a colossal shock,” Darren began his tribute before going into detail about his brother’s mental health struggles. “The last several years were increasingly difficult for Chuck as he struggled to find stability during an unfortunate rough patch in his life. Despite our very vocal concerns about his well-being, and his protestations that everything was fine, it’s crushing to say now that Chuck clearly had had a severe depression welling up in him for some time, a depression that was only worsened by a lifelong struggle he had with expressing his feelings — a dangerous combination truly outmatched by his all-too-incredible ability to conceal it. Not just from the world at large, but most tragically, from the people who were closest to him.”
“We will never know just how long he was fighting this war within himself, but last week, it consumed him fully, and he succumbed by taking his own life,” he continued.
Darren then described his strong relationship with Chuck, calling him his “instant, ready-made best friend” from the beginning of his life.
“I loved my brother so much,” the former American Crime Story star wrote. “We shared nearly everything and looked out for each other. He was my confidant and companion as we discovered the world together. As we got older, music became one of our greatest bonds. And as an artist, he possessed a raw, inimitable talent that never ceased to inspire me.”
The brothers introduced their band, Computer Games, in March 2017. They later released noteworthy singles that year, such as “Every Single Night” and “Lost Boys for Life.”
Darren made sure to detail just how talented his brother was, mentioning Charles’ “distinct voice and songwriting style that I greatly admired for its singularity and sincerity.” He then encouraged anyone who is “feeling consumed by a similar kind of darkness” that his brother felt to seek help.
“We have learned from an unfortunate history of beloved people meeting the same fate, that good, caring, loving people have the capacity to lose sight,” Darren added. “Like any kinds of health, there are debilitating illnesses, viruses, cancers that can eat us from within if gone undetected. And like many of those diseases, they can take over swiftly if gone unexamined. And while I can’t say my brother was ‘sick’ per se, it is a fact that he was unwell, and somewhere along the line, his condition somehow blocked him from trying to help himself, despite or encouragement.”
The Starkid Productions composer concluded his post by insisting that Charles was a “vibrant” and “adored” person.
“He was a good man with a good heart who contributed enormous amounts of laughter, music and joy to the world,” Darren concluded. “And for the ones who were lucky enough to take part in those wonderful moments, it’s marvelous to know that those memories are plentiful, everlasting and can never be taken away.”
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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