Darren Criss‘ brother Charles has sadly died by suicide at age 37. Darren shared the tragic news with his fans with a moving Instagram post, which included a touching memorial on Wednesday March 2. The Glee actor mourned his brother’s passing, while speaking about the impact he’d had on him and the rest of the family. “His loss leaves behind a debilitating fracture in the lives of his mother, his brother, his three small children, and their respective mothers. I have spent what already feels like a small eternity trying to wrap my head around it, something I suspect I’ll be attempting to do for the rest of my life,” he wrote.
Throughout the tribute, Darren emphasized how amazing of an older brother Charles (also known as Chuck) was, as he called him his best friend. “It was very hard not to be fond of Chuck Criss,” he said. “We shared nearly everything and looked out for each other. He was my confidant and companion as we discovered the world together.”
While showing how thankful he was that his older brother helped open the worlds of the arts to him, Darren also praised Chuck for being an excellent father to three kids. “I am so eternally grateful that I got to share the adventure of growing up with an older brother like that. My life is better for it,” he wrote. “His world revolved around [his children], and he loved being their father. He shared with them his own joy, good humor, and song, and they adored him for it.”
After singing his brother’s many praises, Darren then revealed that his brother suffered from depression, which lead to his death by suicide. “Chuck clearly had had a severe depression welling up in him for some time, a depression that was only worsened by a lifelong struggle he had with expressing his feelings,” he grieved. “We will never know just how long he was fighting this war within himself, but last week, it consumed him fully, and he succumbed by taking his own life.”
Near the end of his tribute, Darren urged any followers who know someone or struggle themselves with mental health issues to seek treatment. “If you or someone you know is feeling lost or hopeless, seeking professional counseling and support is a wonderful way to help you see just how abundantly love is available to you,” he wrote.
Darren concluded by highlighting some of his brother’s best qualities, which he’ll surely remember him by. “Chuck Criss was vibrant, special, wordly hilarious, insightful, gifted, intelligent, celebrated and adored. He was a good man with a good heart who contributed enormous amounts of laughter, music, and joy to the world,” he said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.