Earlier this week the skateboarding world was hit with the news that another high profiled skateboarder had passed away. Ben Raemers was known as being enjoi’s pommy pro who would light up the room everywhere he went. What most didn’t know, was that Ben was dealing with a darkness, and sadly, he took his own life.
Depression, mental health issues and suicide awareness should be discussed among friends – they should not be taboo topics. As Ben’s sister stated, “If the tragedy of losing my Benny can save others, then that’s a positive."
Louie Barletta left some heartfelt words over on the Thrasher site:
"Nobody is prepared to write things like these. Ben Raemers took his life over the weekend. Words can’t describe the pain and hurt in my heart right now thinking of his poor soul and the burden he must’ve carried deep within. On the outside, Ben was such a happy-go-lucky guy who would share everything he had with his mates. To best describe him would be to say he was a puppy dog – bundles of energy mixed with dumb curiosity, tangled within a body with absolutely no coordination. Every day was an adventure. Every experience, no matter what it was, was the best thing he had ever done. He had this aura about him, and he left an impact on every single person he met.
"I loved Ben like only an older brother could – being disappointed with him at times, and so, so proud of him at others. I have this overwhelming feeling of guilt for not seeing the signs. I’m devastated he never reached out for help, but mostly I’m angry I’ll never see my little buddy again. Ben will forever live on in my heart as that naive puppy dog running around happily exploring the world. He will forever be young. Your friends will always love you and miss you, Ben." — Louie Barletta
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44. If a friend appears to be struggling, talk it through, be there for them and seek professional help.
Find three steps on how to prevent suicide at Lifeline.
Or call at any hour of the day on 13 11 14.
Ben bashed his nose on Elanora's full-pipe back in 2015 – enjoi tour article, Issue 206. Photo by Dave Chami.