I’ve been wanting to talk about Ned Vizzini for a while. Everyone needs to know about Ned. I read Ned’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story and completely fell in love with it. The novel ends with a pep talk of sorts. “Run, travel, swim, skip. Yeah, I know it’s lame, but, whatever. Skip anyway. Breathe…Live.”
I closed the book and felt wonderful. I logged online and prepared to download more of his books…
…but when I typed in his name the search auto-filled with “Ned Vizzini dead.” WHAT? That is how I discovered that a man who wrote a book that lifted me out of sadness was not able to pull himself out of his own. He was 32 years old.
You know I felt pretty ridiculous crying over Ned, at first. We were only so briefly acquainted. Then I shrugged off whatever it was that was telling me I needed permission to grieve. It’s incredibly tragic that the world lost such a wonderful voice and I am sorry he was not able to find his way out of his own depression when he was the light for a great many people. He was a light for me. I will continue to think about him and talk about him and reread him and tell others to read him.
Ned Vizzini. I will skip, I will breathe, I will live.