Give Voice to Your Pain: Remembering Our Friend Gordon Corsetti – By Matt DaSilva

22 Dec

I write this to debunk the notion that no one cares, that no one understands — so that someone in a dark place can find hope in my words, and so I can finally be free of my silence.

For those of you suffering alone, I do not know your pain. I know only the extent to which I have experienced mine. I felt alone. I felt as if I wasn’t worth the companionship of others. If I found help from those around me, that means you can too. Give voice to your pain.

— Gordon Corsetti (1988-2022)

USA Lacrosse has lost a dear friend and colleague.

Gordon Corsetti, an accomplished official who penned a raw and powerful USA Lacrosse Magazine article (“Lacrosse Saved My Life,” September/October 2018) about his experiences with clinical depression and suicidal ideation, died Friday at age 34.

“His passing leaves a hole in our hearts, but that hole is filled and overflows with his strength, his love and his everlasting impact on so many,” USA Lacrosse CEO Marc Riccio wrote in an email to the staff Monday. “He changed all of us for the better.”

Corsetti played lacrosse for 10 years before realizing he’d rather ref the game than play it. He lived in Atlanta and officiated youth, high school and college men’s lacrosse games in the Southeast. His passion was educating and training officials, coaches, players, parents and fans about the rules of lacrosse, its history and how best to develop lacrosse in new areas.

Corsetti came to USA Lacrosse in 2014 as manager of the men’s officials development program. His father, Lou, a longtime leader in the Atlanta lacrosse community, is a regional director for USA Lacrosse.

In five years with USA Lacrosse, Corsetti helped design an industry-leading e-learning platform for officials. But his reach spanned well beyond the lacrosse community. Inspired by the positive response to his article, Corsetti became an author, public speaker and advocate for suicide prevention and mental health awareness through his company Mental Agility.

“Gordon shone a light and normalized a conversation around mental health with his written and spoken words that will continue to live on and make an impact with others suffering from this disease,” former USA Lacrosse senior manager for officials development Charlie Obermayer wrote on Facebook. “His strength and courage to share his story and his struggles no doubt has saved lives and will continue to do so.”

Corsetti’s family has established the Gordon Corsetti Mental Agility Foundation to raise funds for suicide prevention and mental illness research. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made on the Ever Loved page established in his memory.

“All Gordon wanted to do was help people,” wrote Caitlin Corsetti, his sister. “Gordon’s mission was to share different methods of thinking to help those with and without mental illness live more fulfilling lives. Although he struggled with the darkness, he found the sunshine as often as he could.”

Need help? Call 988 to connect with a certified crisis center near you.