Gideon Taylor raises awareness with a song - ‘Walking with An Angel’ in memory Jen Hobbs
As a young child, my mother would plonk me down in front of the television and I'd be transfixed - good as gold. She could see how much I enjoyed watching people, and explaining why they were acting the way they were. She could also see just how much I enjoyed music. At the age of 11, I had my first singing lesson, and that was a massive release for me. Finding a way of communicating through music really broadened my creative outlook.
By the ripe old age of 15, depression and anxiety ruled my life. I was quite the introvert, hiding behind a persona of bravado for the safety of my social life. I began to learn of the negativity going on around the world. I vowed that someday I would help change that. I had all these aspirations of sending hope to people that felt like there was none. That was when I began to write my own songs, and suddenly realised how much some of my music was helping other people. That, in turn, was helping me cope with my depression. A friend of mine was struggling with suicidal thoughts, so I wrote her a song to help her cope - she is now married with a beautiful baby boy, and was incredibly grateful for the time I took to listen to her in her darkest hour. Listening can be a lifesaver.
Hearing the news that Jen had passed away really impacted me. She was a fantastic friend of mine at primary school, whom I adored. She was lovely - a real life Dorothy, with her own Toto to match. We fell out of contact through secondary school but we were brought back into each other's lives by chance. As we were just getting back to where we left off all those years ago, tragedy struck. Jen had an epileptic seizure that would end her life.
I didn't know how to respond to the hurt, but I always knew that whenever a big moment happened to me, I would pick up my guitar to seal away the memory within a melody. That is the way that I grieve. I hid the song away for 2 years, until I felt that I was ready to share it with the world. That was when I contacted Carole, Jen's mum, and asked her if we were to try and raise some money for charity, where would she want it to go? She said SUDEP Action instantly.
I started to do my research and found out just how wonderful this charity has been for so many people. I was so moved by the level of unwavering support that SUDEP Action continue to give every day, for something that a lot of people know nothing about.
Releasing the video has been a really humbling experience. The response it has received so far and the outpouring of support has been incredible. It is about what the song represents - that is what truly matters, and I thought it would be a way of uniting people through universal means. So if it isn't possible for you to donate money directly, then please donate your time into sharing the song around, so that we can raise awareness and limit the number of SUDEP deaths from happening in the future. Here is the link to the just giving page if you would like to donate to the cause: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/WalkingWithAnAngel