Dominic Dei Rossi, 25, passed on Jan. 19. He was one of the bright lights in the theatre arts and dance department, where he acted and volunteered to assist in theatre arts productions, no matter what the size or whoever needed his assistance.
At our memorial for him on Thursday, many of the students in attendance recalled that Dei Rossi was their first friend in theatre arts at Sonoma State University; and how open and welcoming he was to them.
He was, above all else, a kind and gentle soul. He was bright, talented and endlessly funny with a brilliant imagination that knew no bounds. He was very special and giving of himself, he will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him. He was not only a student of mine but also a dear friend.
Yes, faculty and staff who work with our students can care that deeply for those we work with because the act of true learning is a mutual experience of shared knowledge that goes beyond information and touches the very core of our humanness.
In honor of Dei Rossi’s life and passing, I urge all of our campus community to reach out to each other in times of sorrow and lend a helping hand; Dei Rossi suffered from depression in silence and solitude. When you’re feeling fragile, tell someone you trust.
With help from friends, family and professionals, you can get beyond despair to live another day. Some days are glorious, others not so much, but nothing is worth the price of suffering alone.
Dei Rossi had so much light and so much to live for. It’s a great tragedy that he did not reach out to his many, many friends and family members who would have gladly helped shepherd him through his pain.
At the memorial, we celebrated his all-too-short life and achievements. We are blessed for the gift of Dei Rossi, for the precious time that we had him in our midst.
- Judy Navas, Professor of Theatre Arts