Friday, March 19, 2010


This is for all the insensitive people out there, that just don't get it. I'm not going to go into some gruesome details of Jessica's death. Only those who were close to her need to know. Other than that, it causes drama. If you don't believe me, will you please take a look at my inbox and ask me how many people ask me how she died. How they don't understand why she would do that. No one HAS to understand suicide. We're not that person. I'm sure you all figured it out that she took her own life. Good for you Sherlock Holmes, are you proud of yourself now?
A person asked me on my Formspring, "I think a lot of readers have come to the conclusion that Jessica took her own life. In retrospect, did you see any warning signs that the rest of us could watch for? She seemed so beautiful and happy."
Listen, Jessica was happy. She just had a lot of stuff that she was handling on the inside. Not a lot of us get that, people who are depressed will put on a front. Until you really get to know a person how messed up their lives were. She was the only person that knew me, inside and out. You have a best friend like that? Think about how much that SUCKS losing someone like that. I have Tayler. He knows me- he's a best friend to me. But Jessica and I had this bond. We went through a lot of the same things.
Did you know that I attempted suicide when I was 16? Guess not huh? Do you see where I am now? Yes, you can turn your life around when you're depressed. I was diagnosed with severe depression. You think I was going to let one little diagnosis let me down? Heck no. I did for a bit. I did drugs, I did whatever I could to make myself happy. But I couldn't do it by myself. I turned to God.
Jessica had a beautiful testimony. The past 4 months of her life it grew so much. But it wasn't enough to save her.
I actually met Jessica at a psych ward. She and I attempted suicide. This wasn't a one time thing for her as it was for me. That experience changed me. But she had a lot more than just depression. She also had a ton of chemical imbalances in her brain. She had a lot to do with living in the moment, then thinking about the consequences. As most teens have that chemical imbalance for a while. ;)

I guess what I said really bothered a lot of people. I said, "We all saw it and tried to help her. No one could save her in time. It was her time to go."

I got questions such as,

"How can you say it was her time to go? She was only 17!!!"

"Are you freakin' kidding me?! How was it her time to go? God is supposed to decide that not her!"

This is A LOT of the reason why I didn't go around telling everyone that Jessica took her own life. Everyone blows it out of proportion and doesn't understand. I'm not about to explain myself and how right suicide is. It's not right at all. I'm sure if Jessica was here right now, she'd even tell you it wasn't the best decision.
It was God's choice for to be brought to his Earth. It's God's choice to take her out of it. This may not have been the ideal situation for people to leave this Earth. But are car accidents ideal? If someone is driving on the wrong side of the road late at night and hits you and kills you. Do you think God wouldn't know if that was going to happen to you? Is he looking down from Heaven and going to damn you and say, "IT WASN'T YOUR TIME TO GO?! HOW COULD YOU LET THAT MAN HIT YOU AND KILL YOU?! IT WASN'T YOUR TIME TO GO!"
Sounds silly right?

Jessica's mom mentioned in her talk at the funeral that she always knew when Jessica would attempt something like that. The Spirit would prompt her to help her in time. But this time, she got no prompting. She explains that she was upset for a minute at God for not letting her save her and the answer she got was, "You weren't supposed to save her. God was supposed to save her this time."
Me and Jessica's boyfriend were talking about this and he said, "Well, she took things into her own hands but God isn't required to save someone who choses that. But it's definitely best that she moved on."
I think if God really wanted her to live through this, He would've.

I found this talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard: Suicide: Some Things We Know, And Some We Don't.

Here are some quotes from that talk:

The feelings expressed then by those family members are commonly felt by Latter-day Saints trying to cope with the suicide of a loved one or friend. The anguish and uncertainty they experience are extremely painful and difficult.

Sadly, the problem touches many lives. Unfortunately, the problem also exists among members of the Church as well as non-members.

The act of taking one’s life is truly a tragedy because this single act leaves so many victims: first the one who dies, then the dozens of others—family and friends—who are left behind, some to face years of deep pain and confusion. The living victims struggle, often desperately, with difficult emotions. In addition to the feelings of grief, anger, guilt, and rejection which the victims of such a family feel, Latter-day Saints carry an additional burden. The purpose of our mortal lives, we know, is to prove ourselves, to eventually return to live in the celestial kingdom. One who commits suicide closes the door on all that, some have thought, consigning himself to the telestial kingdom.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie has said:
Suicide consists in the voluntary and intentional taking of one’s own life, particularly where the person involved is accountable and has a sound mind. … Persons subject to great stresses may lose control of themselves and become mentally clouded to the point that they are no longer accountable for their acts. Such are not to be condemned for taking their own lives. It should also be remembered that judgment is the Lord’s; he knows the thoughts, intents, and abilities of men; and he in his infinite wisdom will make all things right in due course.”

Elder Ballard continues...

I feel that judgement for sin is not always as cut-and-dried as some of us seem to think. The Lord said, “Thou shalt not kill.” Does that mean that every person who kills will be condemned, no matter the circumstances? I feel the Lord recognized differences in intent and circumstances: Was the person who took his life mentally ill? Was he or she so deeply depressed as to be unbalanced or otherwise emotionally disturbed? Was the suicide a tragic, pitiful call for help that went unheeded too long or progressed faster than the victim intended? Did he or she somehow not understand the seriousness of the act? Was he or she suffering from a chemical imbalance in their system that led to despair and a loss of self-control?

Obviously, we do not know the full circumstances surrounding every suicide. Only the Lord knows all the details, and he it is who will judge our actions here on earth.

When he does judge us, I feel he will take all things into consideration: our genetic and chemical makeup, our mental state, our intellectual capacity, the teachings we have received, the traditions of our fathers, our health, and so forth.

Also, Jessica's dad posted his talk and tribute to Jessica, which you can find here.

We are not here to judge others or to judge how one leaves this Earth. We are here to gain experience in this life. Jessica had dealt with so many things in her life that not a lot of us can comprehend unless you were her. And if you knew her and understood her life, but did not understand why she would take her own, then you really didn't know her. So, when you think about questioning me about Jessica and how you don't think it was her time to go. You're not God. You're not her. It's not YOUR choice of when you think it was time for her to go. You may not have known her, but please be a little bit more sensitive. As I'm dealing with a loss of a loved one. I'd appreciate that. :)


  1. Well put Stefanie. You're SO SO right. I love that you take quotes from the leaders of our Church. I don't think there is a better way to back yourself up.

  2. I'm so sorry that you are having to go through this. I know the pain that you are experiencing and I'm so sorry!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. I know it may not seem like much, but this too shall pass, although we never forget, the pain of it all will ease....

    you may not remember me, but I am Lauren Slater's aunt (I lived with her family for a little while). I hope you don't mind me posting on your blog. Thanks again for sharing your journey.

  3. My name is Sam~

    I dont think you need to explain your self at all! Its so hard to loose a love one. suicide, accident, murder. It all hurts the same. I think everyone needs to mind there business. These questions are asked and asked to those who are in pain. I think it is very sad. If you believe as i do things are really going to be ok. Dont get me wrong i know it hurt i know to the 10th degree of that pain. there is more in store for her then any one of us could understand. life is fragile but your spirit can go on for all time.

    Ive asked the what if questions. my friend Katie passed away last February. Last think i heard from her was a voice mail she left me a hour before she died. I became obsessed with finding out why and what I could have changed. I came to find out that it doesnt matter why she did it. i just needed to accept that maybe she was needed for something else. fact of the matter is i could not have done anything to change the outcome. because it was her time.

    Stefanie, i am so very sorry for your pain. I dont know how she left nor do i need to. I do know that with faith you can be reunited with your beautiful friend when your time comes. right now is a time to heal. Ive read over your blog and you have a very beautiful mind. Just keep on writing it out!

  4. Stefanie I have to stay I really look up to you. Your exactly right when you say God has the final word. It's hard when Others press you about difficult subjects and are often indifferent about it. Stay strong! I know your dear friend has finally found peace...heart, mind and soul.

  5. Thinking of you, girl...and have been praying for you and everyone that loved Jessica.

    When Emily took her life...people seemed to come out of the wood-work to offer their thoughts, opinions and questions. And the weirdest thing...that I found...was that people wanted some type of connection to the situation. People wanted an 'in'. I still don't understand it...but it's common. (And, sad.)

    I always ask people - when they offer up ignorance - "Had whoever died from heart disease, cancer or a car accident...would you be asking this same question? Would you be making this same comment?" To me...depression and mental illness can be life-threatening. And for some carries this weight with it where people just want to know more. They want to know personal details...which I don't think they'd want to know, if the death was not by suicide.

    Thinking of you. Praying for you.

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss- sending prayers of comfort your way.

  7. I agree Suicide affects everyone whether you knew them or not! As well as Death of any sort is tough! Loosing a Loved one is tough to get over and heal from! But I'm so so so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement for us to be able to feel peace and comfort in our lives to know that Our Loved ones are in a better place and they are happy! Stef! I Love you! I'm glad you are excited for your upcoming Marriage! :D And you're in my Prayers!

  8. Hi, a friend of mine sent me a link to this post because my uncle just took his own life this week. I appreciate this so much. I think especially LDS people tend to be too judgmental when it comes to suicide.

    Thank you for your thoughts and for posting Elder Ballard's words.

  9. @Jenna
    I'm so sorry for your loss. Suicide is a tough thing to go through. Especially of someone close. Jessica's mom made a video of the funeral and the song, "Why" by Rascal Flatts was on it. That always gets to me. This line in the song, "Oh, but I do have a burning question, Who told you that life wasn't worth the fight? They were wrong, they lied, and now you're gone. And we cry."

    And thank you to everyone else for your kind words :)