Mike Johnson Mourns Cheslie Kryst: ‘The Tears Don’t Stop’
“The Bachelorette” alum Mike Johnson is struggling to come to terms with “Extra” correspondent Cheslie Kryst’s untimely passing.
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On Thursday, Johnson posted a series of photos and videos of himself with Cheslie on what appeared to be a vacation.
In one video, Cheslie is seen twirling with a Puerto Rican flag behind her.
In a heartbreaking message to Cheslie, he wrote on Instagram, “Writing this is so hard for so many reasons, two of which being I feel so deeply for your family & can’t imagine. Two, because writing this makes it real.”
“I never told you but I look at these pix often,” he admitted. “Mad I deleted our Tiktoks bc w you being so patient I still couldn’t dance on your level. Now I careless and want to see you happy, dancing carefree.”
Johnson opened up on his emotional state, writing, “I keep thinking about calling you right now & terrified of you not able to pick up. The tears don’t stop, I’m leaking from my eyes throughout the day scared at night w goosebumps constantly covering my body, eyelashes falling and I catch myself drifting off to thoughts & memories of you.”
Remembering Cheslie’s radiant personality, he wrote, “I can hear your voice as I write this, I can see through my eyes your mannerisms & your spirit radiating love. The warmth in your ◡̈ will always be there even in the coldest spaces. I feel your soft hands daily holding me me when we just want to hold you. The inspiration, the poise, the fearless leader, fashion icon, walking embodiment of beauty, hair tutorials, woman empowerment, racial equality fighter, nails stay popping, the queen w your crown quite literally, the intelligent woman that you are will FOREVER be missed. The softness & tenderness in your eyes when speaking & walking down the sidewalks w you I’ll always cherish.”
Johnson made sure to lend his love and support to Kryst’s “beautiful family” in his post. He wrote, "To your beautiful family, every o[u]nce of love i have pours out of me. No words can even begin to say what I want to say to you all. I’m always here for you.”
Mike ended the post with a number for the National Suicide Hotline, adding, “The life that you shared w us all, your greatness that you exude. I’ll forever be in awe of you, we love you Cheslie.”
In two of Mike’s videos included in the post, Cheslie is heard laughing as Mike falls off his surfboard. In another, she is laughing as Mike approaches her to ask how she’s feeling.
Cheslie’s mom April Simpkins commented on Mike’s post, “@mike_johnson thank you so much for posting these. ❤️ it was everything hearing here infectious laugh again. I miss that. I’ll be visiting this post often. You’ve done so much for my family, thank you. Call me anytime you want to talk.”
Mike responded to April, writing, “your best friend. always here for you, your strength is something i can’t even comprehend. i miss you and will absolutely be coming to see you ❤️.”
In 2019, Mike responded to Chelsie’s tweet about Suicide Prevention Day, in which she encouraged her followers to watch a TED Talk with Sergeant Kevin Briggs, who gave advice on how to talk to a loved one who you suspect might be suicidal.
Mike tweeted, “To my friends that have committed suicide know that I love you. For those who have contemplated this, I don't judge you and know I have love for you.”
To my friends that have committed suicide know that I love you. For those who have contemplated this, I don't judge you and know I have love for you https://t.co/GflFV482ka
Cheslie’s death has been ruled a suicide. Her mom revealed that she was “dealing with high-functioning depression,” which she kept hidden to everyone “until very shortly before her death.”
“Extra’s” Billy Bush spoke with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christine Yu Moutier about high-functioning depression.
Dr. Moutier said, “High-functioning depression means a person can push through a lot of symptoms. It doesn’t mean those symptoms are milder and really hide it from those around them and the world.”
“It’s hard to admit vulnerability,” she pointed out.
Some symptoms of depression may include changes in appetite, insomnia, oversleeping, fatigue, low self-esteem, and hopelessness.
Dr. Moutier also stressed the importance of seeking out a mental health evaluation if you are feeling a “dark cloud.” She explained, “If you’re somebody who’s wondered why is your life feeling the way it is, you’re not sure that it is depression, but you’ve always felt this dark cloud, this weight, or that things are stacked against you, that would be an indication.”
In another interview, Billy noted Cheslie’s history as a mental health advocate, to which Moutier responded, “A person can be very well aware, very educated, getting the best care and support from loved ones, and still have an outcome that that we wish weren't the case.”
Bush brought up how happy Cheslie was on set, and wondered if something like this happens quickly, like a “dark cloud,” or if this had been building over time.
Moutier shared her insight, saying, “Sometimes, suicide risk arises quickly… in a more impulsive way, but more often than not, it is something that a person is aware of. At least in an internal, private way.”
“It can be so confusing from the outside and especially when someone is so bright and larger-than-life in terms of what they present to the world,” Moutier added. “And yet we are complicated human beings… Sometimes, what we see from the outside just doesn't tell the whole story, and human struggle and mental health is real and dynamic for all of us… I know that's so hard to reconcile in this moment of loss.”
Kryst had interviewed celebrities like Gabrielle Union and Mary J. Blige about their struggles with mental health ahead of her own passing.
If you or anyone else is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.