My daughter,     Jessica. Part 1


 This is my beautiful daughter. Born 4-17-86 died 3-10-15. Her death certificate says she died by a gun shot wound. That’s only part of the truth. That doesn’t explain the real cause which is Mental Illness, more specific Depression and Bipolar disorder. 

Jessica was in The top 20 of her high school class, 2004. She was in sideline cheer as well as the competitive cheer team, she ran track and had 3 amazing friends. She also had a little brother, Clayton who was 14 years younger than her but they were great friends. 

She was far from perfect, I know she smoked and I know she tried some drugs and drinking but she kept up her grades and was very responsible. After high school she attended Aquinas College and graduated in 2008. Soon after she was working at Pine Rest Hospital at the north east clinic as an administrative secretary. She was also a personal assistant to one of the doctors for a year. She loved that so much. 

People come and go in that office and at some point her supervisor and office manager were new. (I’m not sure if that was their exact title but it’s pretty close).  These two supervisors were not nice to Jes, they liked to push her buttons. Jes was a perfectionist, everything needed to be done exactly right and she would really take it to heart if she was told that things were not right. She tried and tried to be and do everything they expected from her. The younger of the two was always threatening Jessica. They both new she had some anxieties and they played on them every chance they could. Basically the office manager would say she would be written up or fired if it was done wrong. Lots of pressure put on Jessica and the work load was getting to a point she felt they were setting her up to fail. 

January 31, 2014 I received a call from the supervisor telling me I had to pick Jessica up from work. She had a break down at work and needed to go to the emergency room. So I picked her up at work and drove her to the ER. This is where it got real for me. I learned my daughters “happy thoughts” were of death. She had been self harming herself and she wanted to die. After a few tests at the hospital they released her to me with the understanding that I take her directly to Forest View Mental Hospital. We drove there and checked in. I sat quietly and listened to all the questions and answers from the intake person and my daughter. This all got so real so fast. 

She was admitted and stayed in the hospital for about 2 weeks. Her family and friends visited her every chance we could. She somehow managed to get special “visits” from me. I have no idea how but they allowed her visits from me anytime she needed me. She was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and depression, anxiety issues and thyroid issues. She went to out patient therapy for a week and then continued seeing a counselor and psychiatrist until she ended her life. 

Pine Rest called her,  well, actually it was her 2 bosses I spoke of earlier  and asked for a meeting. The day, 3-11-14, at this time she was on FMLA or maybe short term disability. She thought that she was going in to find out when she could go back to work. To her surprise, they fired her at that meeting and they dated the firing back to January 31, when she had her break down. They also told all the staff at the NE clinic to break ties with Jessica or risk losing their own jobs. This was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. She signed the papers she was asked to sign and walked out of the office. She went home and called me. By the time I arrived she had cut herself. It wasn’t deep, she wasn’t trying to take her life. I asked her why she did this and she told me it made her feel better inside. 

We called Forest view and took her back to the hospital. Only this time she was unemployed and she thought there was no insurance. Of course, the hospital needed to know they would get their money. We worked that all out and she stayed just a few more days and was released. They taught her coping skills and she was doing pretty good on all the medications she was on. During this time she kept a journal. Of course, we didnt know this until later. 

Trying to find a job after a breakdown was difficult. Doors were slammed in her face and the growing feeling of not being good enough played a toll on her. Her savings account was dwindling and she was stressed about losing her apartment. She spent months and months applying and interviewing. She spent almost every evening with myself, her dad and her brother. We knew things were hard but thought as long as she was still seeing us every night we could help her get through all of this. She even did a job shadow at a local hospital which looked very promising. We think that she would have gotten that job, as the person who interviewed her called just a day to late. He left a message on her cell phone 3-11-15, the day after she took her life. 

On March 9, 2015 Jessica came to our house and we all had dinner together. After dinner, Jes and I put a jigsaw puzzle together. We finished one and started a new puzzle that she picked out. I even made the comment “really. That’s a hard one, it’s going to take forever!” She explained that she liked that one it was pretty. So we started on this new puzzle. Little did I know about 9 hours before this she had gone to a store and purchased a handgun. About 10:30pm I got really tired. We took care of the puzzle table and she left.  That was the last time I would see my daughter alive. She drove home, she parked her car in Her carport, she entered her apartment, hung up her coat, placed her laptop and phone on her bed with sticky notes on them with the passwords written down and placed her journal on her bed.  She wrote me one last letter saying “I’m sorry Mom, I love you.” There was more written but for now this is all I can share. She shut her bedroom door, to keep her beloved cat Desire’ out of the room and she silently ended the pain she had been tortured with for exactly one year. 3-10-15. 

I tried texting her all day and when she didn’t answer I finally headed over to her apartment where I found her in her bedroom laying on the floor. 

Her story isn’t over; we will continue to speak her name and tell her story. We will break down those walls of stigma about suicide and mental illness. We found this card in her car a few days later, it’s her mission in her own hand writing. We will continue her mission for as long as we can. 

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80 thoughts on “My daughter,     Jessica. Part 1

  1. Think about you, your & your daughter every day… Used to think about “this” at least once a week.. Hate having these issues.. Hate second guessing myself.. Hate not feeling good enough.. Hate feeling depressed all the time. Hate crying all the time… Hate not being able to talk to people.. Hate the social anxiety so can not be around large groups of people anymore.. Not being able to be part of the group like used to be.. Ask me how I am.. I will tell you, 😀 I am doing great, thanks for asking 😫😥😢😧 how about you? You & Jess have helped me in more ways then you will ever know.. I was in a bad place not long after this… Several times actually.. Reading your thoughts, seeing your love for your daughter, watching you help & try to save people… Now.. It is all back knocking on my door.. I am fighting it.. Learning to go back to more indigenous ways.. Feels like I am starting over again.. But it seems like it is working.. Do not feel sorry for me.. Do not feel bad.. These chemicals they keep feeding us like rolls of smarties candies.. They just keep maxing out the anti depressant meds.. Oh that’s not working let’s get you another anti depressant med in addition to the other one.. 5 anti depressants later with them all maxed out.. The Dr says they have no idea what to do then if they are not working.. Even though they were told in the beginning.. need something for the anxiety.. The panic attacks.. The rage from the PTSD… That will work in conjunction with an anti depressant.. Apologize for thoughts being all over the place.. Trying to wean off the chemicals & use more “natural” things.. Thank you for being my friends, thank you for being you..

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    1. As I always say there is always hope. For you there is hope that you will be able to find the right balance to help you be what you want to be. I keep reading it’s ok to not be ok. I get that and I agree. Keep trying because you are worth it and your family needs you. Xoxo

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    2. I hear what you are saying about the meds. Have a 28 year old daughter, spent time in Pine Rest last Aug. due to anxiety/depression. Her current psych, as well as the previous just wanted to get throwing meds at her. A couple of months ago something clicked, something is working. For how long, I try not to dwell on it. She left one psych due to the reason, now is at another psych who is doing the same.

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      1. There is a combination of Med’s that will work. It’s difficult in finding the right combination, unfortunately a trial and error. Once you find the combination it’s hard to keep an adult daughter on them. Encouragement. Counseling finding the right psychiatrist and unwavering love. Best of luck to you.

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      2. I respectfully disagree that there is a combination of meds that will work. I have tried them all. Yes, ONE worked for a very short time, but was kept on it for 10 years with others added to it, that never helped. I had the new DNA test done that shows which meds will work for you. Surprise, the one I was on that didn’t work after a few years was the only one it showed may help. Oh, and they don’t tell you the extreme withdrawals you go through when trying to get off of them! That was a hell in itself. These drugs MASK the underlying issues, while making big pharma a whole lot of money, and making us feel like we are so damaged we must stay on them for life.

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      3. Everyone is different. I know the mess we’re working for my daughter, but we are pretty sure she went off them. I would hate to think someone would stop trying to find the right combination because it didn’t work for you. I am sorry that you have haven’t found the right combination.

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    3. This is a terribly sad story. Too much pain to shoulder alone. Thanks for recognizing your sharing is going to help someone.
      May I suggest to “Mentally Useless”, that using this moniker to refer to yourself, can do nothing good and quite a bit of harm each time you see it and others see it about you. May I suggest that you change your moniker to that vision you see of your best self. Change your passwords to terms that edify and lift you up. I know you have bigger matters than passwords and social media names, but these things matter too.
      Humbly,
      Dan

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      1. Thank you.. I am working on it.. I am finding that going back to my roots are the best thing for me at this time..
        I know what you’re saying.. Try something more positive..

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    4. I’m so sorry about your daughter. I too suffer from Bipolar, depression, panic and anxiety disorders, and social anxiety. It’s an extremely rough road day by day. You are very brave to share your family’s story…your daughters story. You are not only bringing awareness about mental health, you are giving people with mental illnesses strength to want to get themselves going in a positive direction. Your daughter is looking down on you and I know she is proud of her momma for your strength and courage. God bless you

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    5. Hear your struggle. I hope some meds and therapy and doing whatever you can Day to Day and reaching out for support will help. Trazadone helps me sleep so well. Just 25mg gives 8 hours sleep, citalopram for social and other anxiety. Depression is so tough to conquer I think it’s impossible- just can manage it with good choices daily and a great therapist. Best wishes. Know that everyone is equally valuable and loved by god.

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  2. I knew Jessica. Not only from highschool, but we were on the track team together. I wasn’t a popular kid, or even had the name brand clothes but she still befriended me and we bonded. When she left us, I cried. It had been years since I’d seen her oreven talk to her honestly. I was sad. I’ve struggled with depression and PTSD for many years. I never knew behind her beautiful smile there was so much pain.
    God Bless you in your journey to get Jessica mission out there. I will do my best to remember it, and help carry it out too.
    No one should suffer, alone.

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    1. Thanks Rachel you are right no one should suffer alone and sometimes being in room full of people can feel like you are all alone. That no one understands what you are feeling or understands your suffering. If we all wore signs of what we are going through we would know we aren’t alone. She wasn’t alone she chose to hide all that. My hope is that people would understand it’s okay to not be okay and to ask for help when they need it.
      She didn’t wear name brand clothes either. When she did they came from Platos closet where she was proud to shop for all those great deals. Thanks for your comment. Stay strong.

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      1. I to suffer from bipolar with pankic attacts and anxiety, it’s a very hard illness to have, it’s hard for others to understand it unless they have lived it. It took me a long time to stay on my meds but I take them like I’m suppose to. I also feel your pain of losing a daughter, she was 15 and got brain cancer and it took her life. I’m scared sometimes to tell anyone about my bipolar cause they look at you like your a crazy person. I’m so sorry for your loss and thank you for your mission.

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      2. I pray for all of you.
        God NEVER gives you anything you cannot handle. Remember This!
        God WILL NEVER GIVE YOU ANYTHING YOU CANNOT HANDLE!!
        It is hard to remember when you feel so down…
        Remember the Lords prayer
        I will pray for all of you.
        Please pray for my daughter, she goes through the same up’s and downs.
        God Speed for all of you.

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  3. I list my first hubby to cancer and being his main caregiver when he died I had a mental and physical breakdown. I went through the same thing happen with Meijer, my employer at the time. But i was luck to have been seeing a councilor already for depression and anxiety….and now labeled bipolar too. I really don’t care how people see me. I am active in,letting others know about the stigma and the importance of taking your meds and not keeping things inside. Thanx for sharing tour story.

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  4. I have a 15 almost 16 yr old that has suicidal ideations, cuts, runs away, has tried several times to overdose, and also jumped from a bridge… we are headed again to pine rest.. as a parent I love my daughter to death… I am trying everything in my will to help her but it seems everything I do is not enough… my thoughts are with your family… she is banned from forest view due to being raped by a roommate… the even after getting police involved they did not prosecute… it is a hard road…. I am a single mom and don’t have support from any family… even the ones that need to be there… people don’t understand that comments like “just get over it,” “put on your big girl panties,” “you’re just trying to get attention,” and many other comments just sets us back months of therapy…. I wish there were more way families could get more ways of helming the rest of the family to understand how damaging they are to someone with real mental health issues ….

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    1. Unfortunately, there are always going to be people to tell us to get over it, until they have dealt with similar things they will never understand. I have been told all kinds of hurtful things. I ignore it all. I’m not going to let them bring me down. Stay strong get the rights meds or combination of Med’s and the right counselor. Sending good vibes your way. I wish we could help these young kids realize there is a big world out there to explore and things can get better!!!

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  5. This broke my heart! I’m praying for this family! Depression and bipolar disorder is REAL! I know! To many people, especially young people, are taking their own lives. In the town I live in a young man (19 years old) took his live a few days ago all because his girlfriend took hers. I pray so hard for these families and I keep reminding my children (that are 13 and 9) to come to me if they feel a certain way or if they have a problem. If they don’t want to talk to me I told them talk to a friend just Anyone because depression is so real!

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  6. This story is one that I feel I can relate to so much. I myself also live with bipolar disorder. My whole teenage life I was depressed. I spent times just crying for a whole day for no reason at all. I would feel this deep urge to burn myself with my cigarette or stab myself because it felt like if I did I would release this intensely painful feeling I had. When I was 18 I became a mom and I don’t really remember feeling down until she was about 2 years old. Then the same feelings came back. The build up in my body that I felt couldn’t get released unless I hurt myself.
    As time went on I continued to be just up and down. I was sexually reckless and drinking too much.
    I can’t remember when but eventually I was diagnosed bipolar. I started meds and would feel better then I would do what I always did which was think I was fine and stop the meds. I did this so many times. In June of 2013 my mom died, this was the biggest loss I had ever felt in my life and afterwards I just kept going down, down, down. I went to pine rest partial program twice and stayed at a hope network place for five days. More meds…. I again did the same thing that I have been doing and that was stop the meds. I have tried to I don’t know if it is kill myself or just get out of my feelings.
    More things happened between then and now but basically I have become some one I don’t even know
    The things I do that I would have never believed I would are a shock. I know that I do things to just be numb most times. I am really good at faking life. I always have been and it’s what kind of keeps me going. I have three kids now and I think they are what keeps me as safe as I can be.
    I stopped taking meds. I didn’t ask the doctor I just decided to stop. I was sick of the side effects and I just wanted to believe or hope that I could manage. It’s very very hard but I’m still here.
    I don’t sometimes want to be most times even but I always think about my kids missing me and it keeps me here.
    Mental illness is so so hard and even though we shouldn’t we feel embarrassed because of it.
    I am so sorry that you lost your baby girl I really am. I am sad that she worked for a place that should have been a little more compassionate to her considering that is their line of work.
    I wish you love and comfort and healing I wish you future happy days memories you can smile at and comfort in knowing that even though she is gone in the physical she is forever here in your heart and your mind.
    So much love to you!

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    1. I’m so sorry. The one thing I need you to take away from this is there is always hope. Suicide is never the answer. I didn’t make your comment public because I wasn’t sure you wanted it public. I was like you when I was younger. Most of what you described was how I was. I changed and I pulled it together. It’s hard but worth it. Even with the hell I have been going through the past 2 years.

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      1. Thank you…. I am forever going to keep trying for my kids and because I know that my reality is that I want to live. I am OK with the comment being public.

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  7. This is truly a sad story…I have struggled with bipolar/depression my whole life. I find the story interesting because my doctor is at the NW clinic where she worked (I must have seen her at some point working there). I have had several “run ins” with the “office manager” there…very rude person. I have mentioned it on many occasions to my doctor…this just breaks my heart…you never know someone’s struggles sometimes until it’s too late…God rest her soul!!!

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  8. I am sorry for your loss.

    You are very brave and very inspirational in sharing Jessica’s story. It’s important to keep her story out there. Jessica really can let others know that they too have a purpose.

    It’s also so very important for YOU to talk and write when you feel able. I know you found my blog post on suicide and know that I also lost a daughter by suicide. Anytime you want to talk, I’m willing–even if you want to talk more privately.

    My heart goes out to you and your family. It’s only been 2 years for you and I know how numb it can feel to just go through the motions everyday. I will be praying for all of you.

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  9. I too have a daughter with bipolar and depression. She struggles everyday. I worry everyday for her. I keep telling her it’s ok to be yourself. To be honest. To be open. To ask for help. If only our daughters could see themselves through our eyes. If only they knew how amazing they truly are. If only they knew how loved they are. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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    1. Yes I agree!!! If only they knew just how wonderful they really are. Especially in our eyes. I wish you luck and patience win your daughter. I know there are ways to learn to live with bipolar disorder. She will find it with your help. Give her a hug from me and tell her how loved she is and how much she matters. ❤️

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  10. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine all you have been through. I have a granddaughter that self harms. I can’t force her into therepy. I wish she would try to help herself. I make sure she knows that I am always here for her for ANYTHING! She’s a very sensitive young lady and the smallest things hurt her. I’m at a loss as to how to help her.
    Thank you for sharing your story. Pray it helps others reach out for help.
    Sincerely,
    Cheryl Allen

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    1. There are some wonderful therapist out there. You just have to find the right one. There is a reason why she self harms. My daughter did it when she was hurting so badly on the inside. Major depression or anxiety. On a normal day that she was feeling good she would cry with a paper cut. Literally she would see stars like she was going to faint and have to put her head between her legs. When she was upset she could slice up her arm and not blink an eye. I hope you can find someone she can talk to.

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  11. I know the feeling. My brother commit suicide. It broke my mom’s heart. He tried for years 1988-2008. He had three kids. I had told him to stop trying, told him he would hurt mom. I also asked he to think of his beautiful kids, mom, and me. I loved him dearly. My mom on her dying bed called out his name. I believe he was there in spirit. I miss him.

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  12. First of all, thank you for sharing your story, and I am very sorry for your loss.

    With that said, I do have to say that I know of at LEAST three people (personal friends/acquaintances) who were driven out of their jobs at Pine Rest via similar tactics (railroading, looking for reasons to get rid of them, firing them on questionable grounds or in conjunction with a personal crisis). They don’t have a great track record. Yay for “Christian” employers!

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    1. Amazing to me that a facility that promotes Christianity and is a mental health hospital would tolerate such juvenile behavior. I hope these women sleep well at night…

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  13. So sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter and thank you for sharing your story.
    I admire you for carrying on her mission.

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  14. Thank you for sharing Jessica’s story. As many people have posted on here I have bi-polar/depression and suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. I was diagnosed at 18 but didn’t do anything about it until I was 27 (right after having kids). Even then every time I felt better I went off the meds. I am now forty and stay on my meds most of the time and have a very good understanding of how I am feeling and can mask when I am doing poorly. Sometimes I get tired of hearing that there is no way I am bi-polar or it can’t be that bad you seem fine. For many of us our coping mechanisms are to hide everything. If anyone in your life says they are struggling believe them.
    This story and the comments I read from others was a good reminder that I am not the only one struggling through this and that is a nice feeling knowing that you are not alone.

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    1. You are definitely not alone. So many have conditions they are not willing to admit to. The world is full of judgmental people but you have to remember there are a lot that completely understand. No one can tell you how you feel. You are not weak you are a warrior! Stay on your meds and take care of you!

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  15. My deepest sympathy on your family’s loss. You are brave to share your story. May I share your post on my blog and tweet it for one of my day’s focus during Mental Health Awareness Month? I want to link it from my posts as one mother to another. But I won’t unless I have your okay. Thank you for sharing. And again, my deepest, deepest sympathy.

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  16. I have suffered from depression, bi-polar, PTSD, anxiety and greif. I have seen MANY psychologist’s and psychiatrist’s over the years. It started in 1979 when my Dad had his first heart attack. My mom went to work with him and he would come home and take a nap in the afternoon. I would get out of school and RUN home so if he died, I would find him instead of my little brother. Three years late my Dad was gone.I was raped and had a baby. My fiancee was killed in a car crash. A couple years later my brother was diagnosed with Cancer and he died. I met someone new a few years later and became engages. He died in a car crash as well. In 2013 my mother died. I thought that my world was over. I had so many illnesses and my greif was so strong. My daughter married a man from Turkey and soon she was out of my life. I went and stayed with a cousin and soon I began a relationship with a wonderful man. I had known who he was in school, but he was 5 years older than I was, which was a huge age difference back then. I ended up moving in with him. In the mean time, my mother’s family all took my daughter’s side of whatever it was that she decided to have about me. My husband and I got married. I was the happiest that I had been in many many years. My beautiful husband died in December. I I am alone again. Thank God for my doctor’s. If it weren’t for my dog, I know that I would be with my family. I understand your daughter’s decision. I know how hard it is to fel alone. No one should EVER feel that suicide is the answer. But for some of us, our brain thinks differently than others. If I had followed through with my plans,I would have missed out on the amazing love that I found with my husband. I struggle everyday to go on. I hope everyday that the next day is a little better. Sometimes it is, and other times not so much. It’s hard to be alone in the world. But I keep trying.

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  17. Depression has been with me since I was a kid. Anxiety and low self esteem came next after I gave birth to my first child. Having these sickness is not like having a fever, where you just need to take medication for it to stop. These illness is with us anytime of the day, everyday. It’s so hard when people take advantage of your illness and use it to take you down, I don’t and can’t understand why some people nowadays still has this kind of attitude, that they like seeing other people fall. Bullies, they are the ones that needs to be punished for making people with mental illness, kill themselves. I know how much pain you’re going through right now, and Jessica didn’t deserved to be treated like that. I’ve also lost 2 angels on the same month of July last 2012, but until now, the pain’s still here. They say time heals all wounds, but I don’t know how much time would it take for me to accept it. Just like you, I also started my first blog ( not this one ) because I was really down and I need to vent out everything from my mind.

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  18. My heart hurts for your family and yourself. it is very disheartening hearing how Pine rest employees treated your daughter. I am originally from Grand Rapids and took my boys there when they were young. On the other hand I know your daughters struggles and live with the same ines everyday. I know and have lived all of them feelings she had. I am 52 years old and my generalized anxiety disorder has become so bad it take everything I have most days to function. My children are older and have similar issues. In a sense it helps that I shared the same things with them. But also it feels like a curse. Many days I have felt the same things she did and just wish I could make it go away. I can honestly say the reason I am here today is my love for my children and family. Many times I wish I could just make it go away. The reality is it won’t and the impact of my illness has changed my life forever. As I have aged it has taken over my life to the point I am not able to work. I tried for so long and my quality of life has diminished. I read your story and my heart broke hearing how she had th she feelings and felt as if this was her only option for peace. Many days I pray and hope I will have that peace I so desire. I also share the same purpose to help others and if able that is what I do. If I can help one person feel important I have succeeded. This is what keeps me going even on bad days I hold on to the hope things will get better. Don’t get me wrong I know the deep pain and longing for a normal life and in a sense can understand why she did it. Right wrong or indifferent. She felt it was her only options and no matter what she didn’t do it to hurt you. But to escape the pain and feelings that consumed her. God bless your family. I lost a child and know that pain as well. I hope you all can find peace with this devastating event in your life.

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  19. Jess was and is a great person. She is teatching each and every day to scream yell cry what ever it takes to say Im in pain and i need help. The joy I had in working with her and talking on line about her schooling and mine. Talking with her on work or werk LOL talking a bout obe of her boyfriend’s. Its hard to see anyone you love deal with this. I my self had to deal with a illness that told me to end my life. I will say I told everyone what was going on. And I had a sister that yelled at one me night with the right words. I was a lucky one or not.Im getting may master is PSY so I can teach other how to deal with the pain. Jess is lucky to have a mom like you tgat is saying stop look and see the pain. God always be with you. The cool thing is Jess gets to talk with Lucy each and every day.

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  20. I worked with Clayton during my senior year in high school. My older brother is married to the sister of one of Jessica’s best friends. I was lucky enough to meet Jessica a time or two. She was incredibly kind and incredibly caring.

    I’ve been dealing with depression since I was 10. The last time I attempted to take my life was in October of 2012. I have PTSD, OCD, Panic disorder, depression, amongst other things. It wasn’t until this past winter, February 15th, that suicide became a real, tangible reality for me. One of the teenagers I work with, a bright young boy, a polygot and lover of science and space, ended his own life. I was responsible with helping nearly 50 teenagers grieve all while dealing with my own guilt and my own trauma from the situation. Over the past months I’ve tackled with these feeling of guilt, and while I believe that they’ll always be with me in some respect, I have been learning to cope with the fact that this was not my fault.

    Reading Jessica’s story, reading about your and your family’s love for her. Hearing stories about her from my sister-in-law and seeing dozens of Facebook posts about her since her passing, it has helped me realize that my life is worth living. It has helped me hold myself accountable for my own recovery. Life gets better, even if it may not seem like it sometimes, it gets better and it is worth living to see those days when it is better.

    Thank you for sharing Jessica’s story, thank you for having the strength to share it and shine a light on mental illness. Your courage is a light to all of those who live with mental illness everyday of our lives.

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  21. Thank you for making a difference, for having the courage to share your pain and for giving Jessica a legacy that will support her life mission and hopefully make a difference fir others, too.
    Although I did not loose my 23 year old daughter, Lauren, to
    Suicide or mental illness, her sudden and unexpected illness and death on 3/6/12, Changed our lives forever.
    This grief club that we now belong to, gives us a spiritual journey that we never wanted, yet here we are, dealing with
    Grief and loss.
    However there are moments of “pure knowingness” that
    followed Lauren’s death that strengthened my faith.
    I can also tell you that the souls leave the planet when they have learned, completed their spiritual lessons. I like to think
    that our daughters had an early (Spiritual) Graduation.
    I also know that your daughter can send you signs of comfort
    so please be open to receive them.
    I would also encourage you to look into the grief programs offered by Gilda’s Club or Grief Share. Find your grief support
    Partners as you don’t have to walk your grief journey alone. Lastly, please feel free to reach out to me as it would be an
    Honir to support you. Surrounding you and your family with love and healing light. My heart aches for you.
    Blessings,

    L

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I feel I am very blessed with great family and friends that have been so supportive in this journey. You can find me on Facebook if you would like to connect. You can never have to much support. ❤️💕 thank you so much

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  22. I lost my son Jeremy on September 26, 2007. He was 17 years old 2 weeks before he turned 18. He took a 30.06 pump action shotgun and shot himself in the head. When reading your article about your daughter it sure hit home! I personally have dealt with having Bi-Polar disorder and PTSD. There is a lot of answers I will never know why he did what he did. The mental illness runs in my family though and I don’t know if that played a part in what he did. It always comes to my mind that it did. I unfortunately wasn’t in his life the way I needed to be. He was living with his father when this happened. So I live with the prospect of me not being in his life being one of his reasons for killing himself. I often wonder if I had been around him more would this have happened, could I have known what was going on in his mind to stop him. He was an amazing young man! So young to die the way he did! A person isn’t suppose to bury their children; they are suppose to bury you first.I didn’t start dealing with this until about 3 years now. It came down one day on me like a ton of bricks. I had what I call a meltdown. It’s been an emotional nightmare! You have my blessings for your loss! I am truly so very sorry for the loss of your daughter Jessica! Thank you so very much for writing this article!

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    1. Thank you for your comment. Most people don’t know or can’t understand why their loved ones take their lives. It’s possible that your son like my daughter ran through different scenarios to figure out how it would be done. I have been told by many that i would not have been able to stop her. She felt it was her only way out because she thought she had wrecked her life. You shouldn’t blame or say that had you been in his life you might have been able to stop him. I was in My daughters life and that didn’t stop her. Jeremy and Jessica are now at peace and not wrestling with the demons in their minds. Hugs to you.

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  23. My heart goes out to you and your family I’m so sorry you lost your daughter she’s an angel now and I bet she’s protecting so many people as for her old place of employment they are complete assholes and I hope they all have to answer to God for their actions. I would look into a lawsuit about the actions that took place in that anyone speaking of anything that happened would be terminated to that’s defamation of character and that’s so wrong you can get a lawyer you could shut that place down sue them not just for the money but you could take that money and start a program in memory of your daughter my name is Monica Cox you could find me on Facebook I would be more than willing to go above and beyond to help I lost my father from a gunshot wound I was 12 he was 34 I know each day doesn’t get easier they say it does but it doesn’t if you ever need anybody to talk to I know we’re complete strangers I’m here God bless take care and may your daughter fly high in the sky with her beautiful sparkling angel wings amen

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. They will someday answer to God for what they did. Jessica gives me strength to continue and strength early on in my grief to talk to others about suicide and survival. I am on Facebook under Julie Yoder-Gregory you can follow me or send me a friend request. I post often on there about survival, hope and compassion. I’m sorry you lost your father at such a young age. You are a warrior too. ❤️💕

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  24. Oh… Yes – I can relate so well to where Jes was. **hugs** I need to think about this – and keep it as a reminder for when I hit those dark spaces, that yes, we all matter.

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  25. This is so poignantly written. It is so touching and made me cry. I think there is nothing harder in this life than to lose a child. Your strength is utterly amazing and inspiring. Also, thank you fo following my bog. I truly hope it will give some comfort.

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  26. I am so very sorry. Love and Peace are interwoven in your grief. What an important mission you have. You are courageous and brave, loving and kind. You did not choose this path, but it has brought it self to you through this pain. You are a light to many in the darkness. Strength and Grace to you as you carry this message<3

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  27. This is a pain that simply too many people have endured throughout the years, and that you are standing as an example and showing others how to be strong during such times is a true inspiration. One of my cousins was manic depressive and took his own life one night. This brought that memory to the fore and I can’t help but think of what he might have been going through before he decided to take the route he did. Keep shining as a beacon for others, it’s a needed guide for those seeking answers.

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  28. To be fair and honest this was when I was a young child, but it was a horrific blow that still stings since I think about him a lot sometimes. He was a great guy, but like so many of us he had his demons, though he rarely spoke of them.

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