19-year-old Adam Seef ended his life earlier this month | Photo: Pixabay Adam Seef, a 19-year-old gay Jewish man, ended his life earlier this month. He left behind a heartbreaking note about his struggles with anxiety, depression, and navigating the world as a gay man.
Seef, who had just turned 19, was on a vacation with his friends in Israel when he ended his life. Upon hearing the news, many of his friends ended their vacations and flew back to South Africa (where Seef’s family is from) to attend the funeral.
According to the South African Jewish Report, Seef was a first-year medical student at the University of the Witwatersrand. His friends and family describe Seef as a perfectionist who struggled with his mental health.
Seef’s family posted to social media to squash any unsavory rumors surrounding his death.
‘He explained that he was struggling with his place in the world, his transition into adulthood, his identity, and his sexuality,’ their Facebook post read. The post went viral , being picked up by various well-known blogs and news sites. The letter
Seef left behind a note addressed to his parents, Jodi and Justin, his sister Megan, and his grandmother Sandra Seef.
‘Ending my life is no one’s fault but my own,’ he wrote. ‘I am so sorry if my death may greatly affect many people, but no one will ever understand what it’s like living with a depression so great as this. People can say what they want, but I seriously cannot bear living another second like this.’
‘I have finally reached rock bottom. I feel so alone, no matter how many people I am surrounded by and cared for by.’
He ended the note saying, ‘Each and every one of you has helped me to live a meaningful and joyous life, and know that I’m happier now in death.’ Adam Seef’s life
When Adam was born, he suffered double pneumonia and spent the first eleven days of his life in an intensive care unit. From a young age, his family noticed he suffered from anxiety and hated being alone. His father bought him a dog, a Saint Bernard named Casanova, to help with the anxiety.
‘Casanova was Adam’s boy, he slept in his room, and barely left Adam’s side, offering him comfort,’ Justin said. However, Casanova was put to sleep a few weeks ago, before Seef’s untimely death.
‘I think Cas knew Adam was struggling, and he knew that he had done all he could for him,’ Jodi said.
According to Jodi, things began to look up for Seef in high school. But transitioning to university was a challenge for the boy.
‘He always fought so hard to survive and fit in. It must have been exhausting,’ Jodi said. The funeral
Seef’s funeral was packed with friends, family, and classmates.
‘In his own mind, Adam Seef was never good enough. Despite the mountains of love that surrounded him, he lived in a valley of self-hate and darkness,’ Rabbi Levi Avtzon told mourners.
Seef ‘believed that death was easier than admitting to himself and to the world: I am different. I don’t fit the mould,’ the Rabbi continued.
‘Adam and I have grown up together. He was like my brother. His life’s mission was to make people smile and feel good, even though he was going through so much pain,’ Seef’s cousin, Jamey Wolpe said.
‘I knew Adam had insecurities and anxiety,’ said his friend Michael Goldman. ‘I didn’t know he was depressed. I feel sad that he couldn’t express the pain he was going through. He was an awesome friend, we had a lot of fun together, and made many happy memories.’
‘Seef was passionate about his hobbies and his friends. He spoke eagerly about the things he enjoyed, be it pop culture or thrill-seeking,’ added another friend, Adam Chilewitz. ‘I would never have imagined that someone who is able to speak with such excitement in their voice could be depressed. He was always the life of the party.’ Remembering Adam Seef
At the funeral service, Rabbi Avtzon made it known that children must grow up knowing they are loved unconditionally.
‘We won’t love them less no matter what secrets they hide, and no matter what they discover about themselves in the process of maturing and growing up,’ Rabbi Avtzon stated.
Rabbi Avtzon also said that Seef’s death should help us deepen our understanding of mental illness and that it ‘must remind us to be more understanding of boys and girls who are struggling with their sexuality. We must reach out with love to everyone in the community.’ See Also
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