The original Power Rangers were my childhood heroes, and none of them touched my heart, or the hearts of fans everywhere, more than the green ranger aka Tommy Oliver, played by the legendary Jason David Frank. A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Walter Jones (the black ranger) and David Yost (the blue ranger) at their events in Chicago. But I never met Jason, though I wanted to. I'm certain it would have been amazing, as he always drew the biggest crowds. When I heard of his suicide over the weekend, I was so devastated that I thought about taking the day off work. Then tonight, as I was watching a tribute video, all the memories and my connection to him came back and I cried uncontrollably. Jason found a lot of peace and love in his fanhood, but he was also dealing with bad marriages and mental health problems, and I suppose I related to him in the way of the latter. We are both martial artists (although I am nothing compared to Jason) and have had our own times of being tortured souls life. In my own small way, I think that perhaps we were both the dragonzord of our lives. It was like something died in all of us. The love of Jason, his heroism to so many, and also his tragedy were memorable and heartbreaking to everyone. I don't think the Power Rangers will ever be the same. When I got my last tattoo, I said I would not get anymore, but to honor and remember him, I may get the dragonzord coin on my palm.
I am still processing the loss, so I can only imagine what his children and close family and friends are experiencing right now. I just wonder why. What could have been so bad in his life to make him think he had no way out? Or was it just that he didn't want to live anymore? We may never know for certain. In the past, I too have suffered from serious mental health issues like major depression and severe anxiety, personal problems, and thoughts of suicide. I was even hospitalized one night due to a misunderstanding about something I said to someone. I know what it's like to feel hopeless and like you have failed in life, and thankfully, my rock has always been the Gods and my health and life have greatly improved over time. But only he can know what he was going through. I just wish he would have talked to someone, or found solace in his close friends or family somehow. It goes to show that despite someone's greatness and outward personality, you may never know what they are going through behind closed doors. Always be kind and let the goodness of the Gods shine through you.
Goodbye, Jason. Wherever you are, or wherever you may go on your next journey, may the Power always protect you.
Photo licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0, by Luigi Novi. No changes were made to this work. Link to license can be found by clicking here.