Australian TikTok star Caitlyn Loane, the Tasmanian farmer who gained a huge following on the social media platform, has died suddenly at the age of only 19. The young rising star of TikTok was called "a lovely, crazy young woman who was an invaluable member of our family" by her father, Phillip Loane, who confirmed the sudden and unexpected passing of his daughter. He said, "Words can't describe our loss." While her father had not initially revealed how she died, it was later announced that she had committed suicide. In his statement, her father had said, "Everyday should be an R U OK? Day" in relation to the national day in Australia that aims to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.
Caitlyn managed to amass a following of over 50,000 on the platform, with thousands of users unable to get enough of the content she posted online about her life as a fourth-generation farmer, working on the farm of her father. Her mother told The Mercury that "her smile lit up the room. She wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty - in some photos she has mud up to her knees." Caitlyn was constantly posting updates about her work on the farm and about the recreational time she spent playing Aussie Rules Football.
Her football team mourned her passing with a message on their Facebook page, which read, "The Board, the members, players, volunteers, sponsors, and supporters of the Devonport Football Club convey our sincere condolences and warmest thoughts to Caitlyn's family and friends, which, of course, includes her teammates in the DFC Senior Women's team. The past week has put into context what really matters in life, and has reminded us all that football, as unifying as it is, is just a game after all. The priority of the Devonport Football Club at present is to provide an empathetic, supportive network to all associated with the club, with particular focus on those most affected by the tragic passing of Caitlyn."
In her final video on the TikTok, Caitlyn was seen lip syncing to a country song, which contained the words "how far would you drive for the girl of your dreams?" and contained a montage of stills of her working on the family's 600 hectare farm, where she was a livestock manager and was well known for her love of the cattle she worked with. The video was captioned "What about Tasmania?"
Since the announcement of her passing, the comments sections of her videos have been inundated with condolences from those who had followed her life on the social media site from all over the world. "Rest in peace gorgeous. You are an inspiration to many," one user wrote, while many simply said, "We are gonna miss you" and "TikTok won't be the same."
Just a month ago, the youngster spoke about her career choice during an agricultural festival at which she was a cattle judge. She told TasWeekend, "In 2018, I realized that school wasn't giving me the skills and experience I needed, so I applied to the Sunday Creek Cattle Station, in the Northern Territory, so I could gain experience and learn more. Up there the properties are huge and they muster with helicopters and on horseback. It was character building and I had to adopt a great work ethic which I apply to my own enterprise here at home."
To hear of the death of such a seemingly bright and happy young woman, with a promising career and life ahead of her in such tragic circumstances certainly does prove that there are still many rivers to cross when it comes to dealing with mental health issues. Our condolences go out to Caitlyn's family and friends at this time while they try to make sense of their loss.