Byron Bernstein, a popular Twitch streamer who went by the name "Reckful," died on Thursday. He was 31.
While exact details of his death have yet to be released, his ex-girlfriend, Blue Madrigal (aka Blue Goes Mew), alleged via Twitter that it was an apparent suicide.
"I'm at a loss right now. Something I've been scared of happening for so long happened. I can't stop crying. It's so painful," she said in a series of tweets. "Someone I loved killed themselves. I wish I could have said something to prevent it. I keep thinking there's something I could have said or done... I wish I reached out more."
"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," she continued. "Remember, your words/tweets affect people, even the famous people. Please be kind."
Someone I love killed themselves. I wish I could have said something to prevent it... whyyyyyy— Blue (@BlueGoesMew) July 2, 2020
Madrigal also shared a video of her and Bernstein, writing, "Byron, I wish I could have helped you. We all do. I'm so sorry I couldn't. Thank you for being a part of my life. Love you always."
Byron, I wish I could have helped you. We all do. I’m so sorry I couldn’t. Thank you for being a part of my life. Love you always. pic.twitter.com/S7UoNGwpmM— Blue (@BlueGoesMew) July 2, 2020
News of Bernstein's death broke just a few hours after he posted a series of tweets about his mental health, and after he seemingly proposed to his ex-girlfriend, Becca Cho.
"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 tweeted. "DO NOT make her feel pressured to say yes, i am completely insane here. I have not seen her in 6 months. The reason for the post is I know she's the one I want forever, and I wanted her to know my commitment is real."
i know i’ll always be a little too crazy... and this is proof... but at least you’ll never be bored— Reckful (@Byron) July 2, 2020
will you marry me, becca? pic.twitter.com/Xpmz3IlRqv
Following Bernstein's death, Cho shared a lengthy message to TwitLonger, titling it, "RIP July 2, 2020."
"This won't be long and won't be eloquent, I'm still processing. I didn't see the proposal until it was too late but that doesn't change the fact that I wasn't able to be there for him," she said. "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."
"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 bullsh*t," she continued. "We loved each other but it came with its difficulties. I was insanely insecure when it came to him, I couldn't even recognize myself. I don't feel that I was able to be the person that he needed in his life."
Cho concluded her post by arguing that "we need better support for those with mental needs" in this country.
"I remember Byron telling me how traumatized he was when he had the authorities called on him for being at risk of suicide. Anyone that knew him knew how much it scared and affected him. THIS CAN'T BE HOW PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT THE PLACES THAT SHOULD BE KEEPING THEM SAFE. HOW THE F**K IS THAT OK? Friends don't feel that it's the right move to call for help when they know that the mental institutions they get sent to treat them like animals incapable of understanding. F**K that stupid a** logic song about the hotlines."
"My heart hurts. I'm sure many of yours do as well," she added. "Byron just wanted everyone to be friends, so let's be that for each other during these difficult times. I will do my best to live as the best human I can be, byron. I promise. Rest in peace."
See more tributes below:
My favourite memories of Reckful will always be the time we spent together hanging out at events, in hotels & exploring in places around the world.— Isaac CB (@RiotAzael) July 2, 2020
Incredibly hard to accept that he's gone. RIP Byron ♥. pic.twitter.com/lhJx0IJTXh
Only a few legends ever existed on Twitch— Jake'n'Bake @ LA 🇺🇸 (@jakenbakeLIVE) July 2, 2020
Reckful was one of them
Inspiration for so many, and for myself
Rest In Peace @Byron ❤️
Thanks for the tea last year.. it meant more to me than you know. I felt like you finally accepted me as your friend
I find myself frozen rn..
i've been fortunate enough to know Reckful through the start of his career as the Rank 1 WoW Arena legend on BG9 and Compexity Red MLG esports champion, all the way through to being one of the most innovative streamers in Twitch history— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) July 2, 2020
Byron's legacy will never be forgotten
I will always be grateful to Reckful for the advice about streaming and our many conversations about life. I'm sure I'm not alone amongst your friends in wishing I could have done more.💔I hope you are in a better place now. Rest In Peace @Byron— Hikaru Nakamura (@GMHikaru) July 2, 2020
Every since our WoW raids, I have always celebrated your success. I thought one day we would share our experiences living these lives in parallel as old dudes over some beer. RIP Byron— Kripparrian (@Kripparrian) July 2, 2020
Emotional beyond belief - @Byron / Reckful's Twitch is live, playing VODs and tens of thousands are watching and crying: https://t.co/H4cItMXeXz— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) July 2, 2020
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Be nice, check in with friends & fam.
Here's the uncut video from Byron that he sent me for the New Year's Show. Breaks my heart that I never did get to see him one more time— NymN (@nymnion) July 2, 2020
He was a huge inspiration for me as a streamer and I will never forget him
Also sending much thoughts & love to Byron's family pic.twitter.com/PKlAmSMAng
Love you so much.....You were one of my best friends. I’m going to miss you so much Byron. Rest In Peace pic.twitter.com/evS56huxHE— Barry (@Barry_74) July 2, 2020
This is one of my fav clips of Reckful. He started talking to a psychiatrist on stream to help other depressed viewers, and to motivate them to seek actual help irl.— shàwn (@suguruviole) July 2, 2020
They were talking about finding purpose and meaning in life, cause Byron has been suicidal for years. pic.twitter.com/0oQ7rvymWQ
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).