“I want to love as many people as I can before I am finished” - Dr Warren Lett
I recently lost my friend Warren.
He passed away in February.
I’m trying to find the words to express how much I cared for him.
He always told me to be vulnerable and lead with love … I’m going to try to do that.
I have a lived experience of childhood trauma.
This has led me to many counsellors and psychologists.
I haven’t been good at building trusting relationships with professionals.
Unpacking my experiences in clinical settings has never been my cup of tea.
I had only gained personal understanding and meaning through extensive reading and art.
Warren was introduced to me as a ‘Counselling Companion’ and ‘Creative Arts Psychologist’.
He was introduced to me as ‘good at working with artists and … those with creative brains … those that think a little differently’.
I wasn’t captivated by this description; and hesitant to engage in yet another exercise of picking apart my brain.
I sought counsel from my wife and close friends.
I was persuaded to try him.
Surprisingly, Warren wasn’t interested in diagnosing me.
He was more interested in building a relationship based on love, respect and a greater understanding of my lived experience.
A commitment to seeing Warren was a commitment to my exploration of self.
A journey toward a meaningful existence.
It didn’t feel like therapy.
I can’t even explain what it felt like … but it felt good.
Our professional relationship quickly formed into a unique friendship.
Warren challenged me in ways that I never thought possible.
He taught me to be empathetic and compassionate toward myself and others.
He taught me to think deeply.
He taught me that there was no totality in meaning.
He taught me that life is about enjoying the ride … for the good and the bad.
It’s taken me a long time to appreciate and practice many of Warren’s teachings.
Through his teachings, I am now on my journey toward a purposeful and meaningful life.
My film, ‘When I say Goodbye’ stemmed from one of my many conversations with Warren.
The conversation gave me a privileged insight into Warren’s lived experience and his inner truths.
It provided an opportunity to gain a deeper perspective of his personal philosophies.
I extend my love and warm condolences to Warren’s family, friends and all those that knew him.
Rest in peace, friend.
Your legacy will be with me and guide me always.
A short perspective piece for my film - ‘When I say Goodbye’
Shayne Hood (2019)
Shayne Hood is a Melbourne/Australian Photographer and Filmmaker who creates under the moniker of 'Johnny Brixton'. All footage was captured at Dead Horse Bay (New York/USA) and Byron Bay (NSW/Australia).