Earlier this week, former Disney Channel star, and current Rizzoli & Isles cast member Lee Thompson Young departed this world.

Since his August 19 death was announced, I’ve been inundated with requests from readers to address it here on S&A.  And to be quite honest, I was hesitant to do so.

I just didn’t know what to say about it, except that I was tremendously saddened by the news when I heard it.  By all accounts, Lee Thompson Young was a beautiful person, inside and out.  And in the days following his death, I’ve not heard a single negative word spoken about the man.  It would appear that his affable on-screen persona was very similar to who Young actually was in real life.

The initial report of Young’s death as a suicide is another reason I didn’t want to address it immediately.  I hoped it wasn’t true.  Because if it’s true that he took his own life, that would mean that Young felt so alone, that he felt he had no one to turn to for help, with whatever was troubling him.  And alone is no way for anyone to die.

To die alone, the way Young did in his apartment, is an immeasurable tragedy.  As the star of Disney’s action series, The Famous Jett Jackson, Young likely had millions of fans all over the world who still hold fond memories of his performance, more than a decade after the show ended.  Any one of them would have screamed at the top of their lungs to Young that he had plenty to live for.

But in the end, Young didn’t hear the sound of adoring young fans screaming his name.  He likely heard silence; the silence of a young man struggling with what to do while in the most dire of straits.

Lee Thompson Young’s decision to take his own life is one that the rest of us are left to ponder.  Were there signs?  Could anything have been done to prevent it?

We’ll likely never know the answers to our questions.  There’s nothing we can do about it now.  What we can do, though, is take better care of one another from now on.  The next time we ask a friend or loved one “How are you?”, we can really mean it, instead of it being a simple pleasantry.

It’s being reported that a private memorial service for Young will be held this morning at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.  While we all can’t be there to remember and celebrate the life and career of Lee Thompson Young, where ever we happen to be, we can surely take a moment out of our day to reflect on our own lives, and reach out to someone we know who may be alone and in need of a friendly ear.

Rest in peace, Lee Thompson Young.