Shawn Crockwell implored Bermuda to “come together and confront our differences” before taking his own life – a decision prompted by a 20 year struggle with Crohn’s disease.
Flanked by parents Howard and Juanita and brother Mark, sister Juanae Crockwell read a transcript of a videotaped message from her brother ending widespread speculation that his death had been the result of foul play.
The message in full:
This decision was because of health reasons. I have been sick. I have been struggling with Crohn’s disease for the last twenty years. I persevered through it to fulfill my political and professional duties and obligations. And I am proud of the things I was able to achieve and the contribution I made to my country – at the highest level.
To have given ten years to my country – from becoming the Chairman of the United Bermuda Party to an elected Member of Parliament.
The creation of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance, the One Bermuda Alliance, The Minister of Tourism and Transport and finally to sit in your House as an Independent – ultimately becoming a voice for the voiceless.
It has been rocky at times, but to have done all of that was the greatest achievements and proudest moments of my life.
My parting words to you are that I want more than anything for the country to come together and confront our differences and figure out a way to solve them. People need to be honest. We need honesty in this community. We all need to be honest about where we have been and how we got to where we are and what needs to happen to get us to where we need to be.
Life is too short for hate. We get caught up in people’s personalities and we ascribe negative labels to people because of our differences. I hope that those who feel animus towards me will get over that because I am at peace. I wish everyone the best. Good health, prosperity and love. Because that is what we are missing. We are missing that “love thy neighbour” in Bermuda.
It was my pleasure to be your representative in parliament and on the international stage. Thank you for allowing me to serve. I am grateful.”
Juanee Crockwell paid tribute to her brother whom she described as “my hero and my friend” before reading his message to the country.
She said that while his death had broken her heart, it had inspired her “to ensure that his legacy is preserved and that his vision for this country is realized.”
Shawn Crockwell was indeed among the greatest contributors to this generation of politics in Bermuda,” she said after reading her brother’s words.
And I am not just saying that because I am his sister, I’m saying it because he exercised integrity, accountability, dedication, unity and so much courage.
We the family are committed to being a part of the change our beloved Shawn wanted to see in this country. We invite and implore you to be a part of that change too.”
The family did not wish to entertain any questions following today’s meeting in the boardroom of Chancery Legal where Shawn Crockwell worked with his best friend and business partner Mark Pettingill.
Mr Crockwell, 47, was found dead at his home on Saturday afternoon.
WHAT IS CROHN’S DISEASE?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease characterized by inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract.
Believed to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors, the life long, non fatal disease is treated with a variety of medications but has no cure.
Symptoms can include chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and rectal bleeding.
According to researchers, psychosocial factors associated with the disease place sufferers at increased risk of suicide or suicide ideation.
About 800,000 people in the United States and an estimated 250,000 in the UK suffer from Crohn’s which is more prevalent in industrialised countries than in underdeveloped regions.
A 2009 Guardian report noted that of 115 Britons who ended their lives with the help of Swiss euthanasia clinic Dignitas, two had Crohn’s disease. The report cited a study which found that 21 % of those of all nationalities who had ended their lives at the clinic had non-fatal conditions.
This article belongs to Politica ! The original article can be found here: “Life is too short for hate” – Shawn Crockwell’s farewell message to his country
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