An Overwhelming Loss.

Danielle and Jessica {My sister-in-law, Danielle, embracing her younger sister, Jessica, when they were small children.}

My brother, his wife and her parents have experienced the unimaginable loss of their sister and daughter this past weekend when she took her own life.  Her death was completely unexpected and an incredible shock to all who knew and loved her.

Jessica was a beautiful person inside and out and I feel so blessed that I was able to get to know her even a little bit while she lived her life here on this earth.  She was generous, giving, loving, vibrant and her laughter lit up a room when she entered it.  When Bill and I would pack up the kids for a visit with Uncle Jeff and Aunt Danielle in New Jersey, Jessica would make it a point to stop by to visit with us and to play with the kids whenever possible.  She was younger than us, a career woman, single and didn’t have children of her own…so I know that this was quite a bit out of her comfort zone and that made us appreciate her efforts even more.

We miss her terribly and can’t even imagine the grief that Jeff, Danielle and her parents are experiencing.  My mind can’t even begin to comprehend what they are going through right now.

I have several personal friends and family members who suffer from depression and the accounts they give of their suffering has given me a great compassion for those who experience depression emotionally and physically on a daily basis.  I know that one immediate response a person can sometimes think when they hear about someone committing suicide is “It’s such a selfish thing to do.”  My hope is that if you feel that way you will reconsider and truly try to empathize and find compassion for the person who is struggling with something that is every bit as physically demanding as any other disease would be.  I beg you to please read more about this disease before you are quick to judge someone who is living with it every day of their life.

My siblings and I arrived in New Jersey this evening to attend Jessica’s wake and to grieve with our brother and his wife whom we consider to be our sister.  We know that they would appreciate any prayers you could lift up for them.  This has been an incredibly awful week already and there is still so much more for them to get through.

We love you Jessica.  Your life ended way too early, but you spent your short time here blessing and helping others.  Thank you for being the wonderful daughter, sister and friend that you were.

Psalm 34:18: The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow…