Grace was so much more than a girl who took her life. Grace truly had more joy and happiness in her 15 years than many have in a lifetime. She was an incredible daughter, granddaughter, sister and friend. She cared about people and animals. She was kind beyond measure and had true empathy for others and wanted everyone to be happy. She always had a smile and kind words for people she came across . She was an angel on earth. She was happiest in nature with her animals or creating something. Grace did not have the typical “red flags” people think of when they think of a person that may be dealing with depression. Even her friends were unaware that Grace was struggling with depression. That’s because Grace’s depression was not typical. Grace shared with me feeling sad and not understanding why 5 months prior to her passing. It was a sporadic feeling of sadness that she didn’t understand. In her words “her life was wonderful and she couldn’t understand why she felt the way she did”. Despite counseling she never shared a plan or told her counselor she was thinking of taking her life. Even her counselor had no idea she could take her life. Maybe Grace had no idea.
Although we took Grace’s depression seriously, the lessons I have learned are…
- People don’t need to have the “typical signs of suicide.
- Suicidality does not always follow a predictable pattern and can be impulsive.
- Be kind to others because you never know what they are going through (Grace said this many times in her life).
- If you have any idea at all that someone may be going through depression or a dark time in their life you must reach out and tell a trusted adult.