If conversations about suicide raise issues for you, or if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 13 46 36 or Rural Alive and Well on 1800 RAW TAS.
With the deepest sorrow and much distress, we must inform you that a beloved and valued member of the Harvest community, Matthew Crane, Matt, has died by suicide. Our hearts and minds go out to all those who were close to him at this most agonising of times.
Matt, founder of Strellyfied Farm, was a son to Prue and Geoff, a devoted father to Lewis and Esther, and former husband to Liz. More than that, Matt was a brother, an uncle, and a friend to so many, within Harvest and the community at large. His passing comes as a tragic shock to us, we feel as though we have a man down on our watch. We also can’t help but feel as though we could have done more.
Our lasting memories of Matt will be of a warm and generous man, quietly going about producing fine food for his community, caring for those around him and always eager to chat with his comrades at Harvest. We have known him, cooked his beautiful duck for our friends and family, and been perpetually delighted by his seasonal arrival for over 3 years. We know that he loved his ducks, his favourite coffee mug, always in hand before the ringing of the bell, boldly proclaimed: “I just really love ducks, OK”. We do to Matt, we also love you.
We feel it right to talk publicly about Matt and the manner of his passing. Difficult though these conversations are, they are incredibly important to start and participate in. We believe that we have a platform to speak about mental health, and a responsibility to use that platform for good, as best we can. We speak often and loudly about our love for and pride in our Harvest community. Yet when fingers go to keyboard, we know shamefully little about his life. Matt’s passing is a gut punch, spurring us to know more, do more, care more, and take action so that maybe less, ideally no other family has to experience this particularly awful brand of grief.
Join us please in a moment’s reflection for Matt. Take a moment today for your mental health, and that of those around you. If you see something, say something. Look and listen. Remember that these conversations, while very unpleasant, pale in comparison to a loss like that of Matt’s family and mates.
Please, we implore you, if you are experiencing any kind of distress, or hardship, you must reach out for help. To your family, to your mates, to a stranger, to Rural Alive and Well, Lifeline, Men’s Shed, The Black Dog Institute, Beyond Blue, White Ribbon, 1800 RESPECT …. anyone. Just please, please reach out.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for having these conversations, they can save lives.
Rest in Peace Matt.