July 02, 2020
Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein Dead at 31, Hours After Proposing on Twitter
The gaming world is mourning the death of Byron “Reckful” Bernstein after news broke that he died Thursday at just 31.
Byron was well-known on Twitch, and was once one of the highest-ranking “World of Warcraft” players. More recently, he was developing a new game called “Everland.”
According to multiple reports and tweets, Bernstein committed suicide.
The news came out hours after some unusual tweets, including a proposal. Posting an image of a woman named Becca, he wrote, “I know i'll always be a little too crazy... and this is proof... but at least you'll never be bored… will you marry me, becca?” He asked fans not to pressure her, as they hadn't seen each other in six months.
Soon after, he wrote, “please just know in these situations the insane person does not feel in control of their actions” and “ahh, i feel bad for anyone who has to deal with my insanity.”
@BeccaTilts, believed to be the Becca mentioned in the proposal, later posted a letter, writing, “i didnt see the proposal until it was too late but that doesnt change the fact that i wasnt able to be there for him.”
She added, “he was amazing. he taught me how to have fun, to experience more, and challenged me to try to be more than what i was. he was larger than life, too big for this world.”
Becca insisted, “he brought me to realize that i knew NOTHING about depression, NOTHING about mental health issues. i had this vague idea of what it was and embarrassingly thought that i could help with trivial bullshit.”
She later noted that “we need better support for those with mental needs,” saying Bernstein once shared how traumatizing it was “when he had the authorities called on him for being at risk of suicide.”
She ended by writing, “my heart hurts. im sure many of yours do as well. byron just wanted everyone to be friends, so lets be that for each other during these difficult times.”
An ex-girlfriend known as Blue also shared the news on Twitter, writing, “Thank you to everyone who has reached out. I wish he could see how much he is loved and all of the sweet things people have said to honor his memory. Remember, your words/tweets affect people, even the famous people. Please be kind.”
Bernstein was open about his struggles with depression, including a video with Dr. Alok Kanojia posted in December, where they talked about thought loops. One thought that kept crossing his mind was “everything has no purpose.” He added that recently he started to feel his life did have meaning and that he could help others, saying, “I hope by making this game I'm working on that they can find friendship and a sense of community.”
In January, he posted another video and seemed in good spirits, saying, “I'm happy, I'm actually day-to-day happy, even when doing nothing and alone. I've never felt this way in my life… I'm not saying it is going to last forever… I want to keep it going.”