BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!
Other people's stories...
Jan. 29 - Emily says...
"...i am 13 years old. i deal with slipping in and
out of depression constantly it seems. i've tried suicide once and
i may try it again, but your site moved me to tears. i never really thought
of all the pain that i might cause people if i were to go... that somehow
changes things.... it doesn't stop the feelings of sadness, but it kinda
inspires me to keep going, even though i don't want to subject myself to
the pain i've been going through. but it inspires me to keep going, so
as not to hurt the ones i really love, and the ones that really love me.
i suffer from a lot of pain that i've built up over the years. i relate
to your son, i guess, cause i never really tell anyone about what i'm thinking
about. i hint about it with one of my most trusted friends, but i've never
really been brave enough to tell her about what i'm really thinking.
i don't think the true victims, the people left behind, realize how much
braveness and pride play a roll in telling people about their problems.
Cause it takes a lot of courage to speak up and be honest about feelings
like this. And sometimes, some people just have to much pride to let people
know how much they hurt inside. Some people are too weak to admit that
they aren't strong. it's kinda scary to think about, ...i'd just like to
say to you though, that all of the qualities i just spoke about, u obviously
have. Brave, to be able to get up each morning and face the day ahead,
which it especially mattered directly after the loss of your son....
Pride, not to be ashamed of your son, as I've seen happen to many parents--
they get depressed about what their kid did, and just don't want to talk
about it-- as if they're embarrassed by the 'sin' their kid has done. I
think it's only a sin if they didn't do what they were put here to do-
make someone's life better. and definitely Strength- to be able to discuss
what happened to your son, and help people like me and the other's who
have visited your page...." (I'm glad that my
website has helped you to think about things, and people who are important
to you. When Jared died our whole family was totally devastated.
Jared never asked us for help or warned us about what he was planning to
do. If he had only asked.... we would of done anything to save him
from dying. That's why you need to talk to someone Emily. Don't
leave them wondering why you didn't ask for help. I know that's hard
for teenagers to do but you don't really want to have depression all your
life and be sad. There are all kinds of ways to help the sadness
go away and be happy again but you need to talk to an adult who can help
you. That may mean taking prescriptions, or herbs and maybe seeing
a counselor, but it will be worth it in the long run. There's a book
called, The Aladdin Factor, that you might enjoy reading someday.
It encourages it's reader to ASK for what you want in life.
If you read this book it will give you some courage to talk to others about
your needs. I loved this book! Do you know what "triggered"
your depression? Jared's was an assault
inside his Middle School by a bully. If you know what caused you
to be depressed in the first place maybe a good counseling session will
help you feel better...)
Jan. 29 - Connie says...
"Hi I think i may have talked to you in Feb. 2000
when my son Jason committed suicide I am trying to find someone near
my son ...to help him cope with the loss. ...lives in Vancouver
Wash . Do you have a group there or support for grief?" (Vancouver
is a HUB of support! There are meetings with Suicide Bereavement
Support every fourth Thursday in the Vancouver Housing Authority Building,
Community Room, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Feb. 22). The contact people
are Glenna Bowman 360-695-5959 and Lin Ortwein 503-285-8008 - Lin's email
is Mindi711@aol.com. The Compassionate
Friends meets on the first Tuesday at 7:00 PM (Feb. 6th). Call Debbie
Brown 360-574-4001 for information about the location. I wish you
God's Peace during this sad anniversary time.)
Jan. 24 - Herrmann says...
"I live an unlikely life. I was born into a
great, loving Catholic family. Not one of my relatives has ever been
divorced. My father is vice president of a manufacturing company,
and my mother is an executive in fiber optics. In school I always had a
very easy time making friends, always excelled at sports and academics.
In high school I lettered in football, soccer, wrestling (which I was the
captain), concert choir, and graduated number one in my class of 300.
I am now Pre-Med and receiving a 4.0 in college. The unlikely part?
Suicide had been a thought in my mind for years. I also several times
went so far as to prepare to hang myself, starting at the age of around
12-13. As I look back on my accomplishments, I can't comprehend how
this scenario could ever be a possibility in my mind. I have always
wanted to be MORE successful, and MORE important. I've also always
felt a constant pressure to find a meaning to my life, which led me to
Jared's story. I have come to determine that I solely want to help
other people. No matter where I go, I want to make a difference in
every person's life. I think my greatest fear in life... is not being
remembered. Now for an unbelievable stroke of irony... I questioned
whether or not to include this... but felt it was TOO coincidental.
I just had my list of songs playing on my computer, and as I was typing,
I heard the words, "Suicide is painless," which I've never heard before.
I come to find out it was the theme song to MASH, but I must've never listened
to the lyrics before. I honestly don't know what I felt writing this
would do for me... maybe just the fact that it can happen to ANYONE.
...Be the reason the someone smiles today. You might be the ONE person
that can bring joy into a certain person's life one day. You might
be the ONE person that can end up saving a person's life today." (You
never once used the word depression, but it's obvious that you've been
plagued with this problem for a very long time. Depression
can strike at anyone, and at any age and in most cases there's a "trigger"
of some kind. Jared's depression was triggered from an assault
inside his Middle School by a bully. Take the pressure off yourself...
don't worry about being remembered by the world. Work so that God
will remember you and the world will follow. If you desire to help
your fellow man and serve them than you will be in the service of God.
And, if you are studying to be a Doctor you will have a full life of service.
...Relish life, notice everything, taste, smell, touch the world's wonders
and you will awaken again to everything that's really important and see
the joy around you everyday.)
Jan. 24 - James says...
"...I am 21 years old. I have two stories really.
First of all I am a survivor of my forty-two year old mothers suicide.
My mother's father committed suicide when she was 18 years old. She was
a manic depressant most of her short life, and was severely wounded by
her fathers abandonment. We promised each other through the years to never
come to what her father did. I have held up my part (so far), but since
she died in Sept. of 2000, I have been feeling an array of self pity. My
mother slept a lot, but when I found her that Sunday morning, I knew she
wasn't getting up. I feel so aggravated that I can't find a person that
relates. But then again I haven't wanted to ask b/c it is a tough issue
for most. Second, My life took a positive turn this year when
I moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. Friends of my Moms are letting me stay with
them while they pay for my schooling at a local Community College. I have
so many people that love and care for me deeply. I have a great job, and
a great girlfriend too. I shouldn't have much to complain about, right?
Again, I have a tremendous lack of positive thoughts. And I don't want
to let this thing get me like my Mom. This is the first time I have really
looked at how much I have going for me. I was wandering if someone could
give me a number to a SOS group. If not, a response would be greatly appreciated.
and later... I talked
to a therapist yesterday and she said, "put a rubber band around your wrist
and every time you have a negative thought about your Mom, snap it!" Just
wanted to share that even if you might have heard it before." (It's
totally natural to have grief and depression for months after someone you
love dies. It sounds like depression has been a problem in your family
so you will need to be diligent all your life to keep it under control.
It's not hard to do if you are aware of the triggers that bring on an episode
and take the necessary steps to keep it from controlling you. It's
like a diabetic who learns to feel the insulin low. ...I would
suggest that you keep a VERY positive book by your side and when you start
to think the sad thoughts that you force yourself to read for awhile.
If you question the spiritual nature of things, be sure and pick up a book
about Life After Death. This can bring you some much needed peace,
knowing that your mother is in our Heavenly Father's loving arms.
Look up a local Chaplaincy in your area and give them a call. In
our area S.O.S (Survivors of Suicide) works out of the Chaplaincy and Hospice
House and doesn't cost anything to attend. We went several times
for counseling and it really helped a lot. ...Life goes forward, and though
we will never forget those we love or stop the healing process we can still
see the joy around us everyday. ...I'm glad you are talking to a
therapist because their job is to help and serve others; good people.)
Jan. 22 - Bazan says...
"My 92 year old grandfather committed suicide last
Tuesday in our home, my 14 year old daughter and I found him. It is still
hard to take the picture out of my head and all the questions and all the
ifs. I cannot imagine what you went through with your son, but after reading
you web page I know that time will heal our hearts and I only pray that
he can erase that last picture of my papa." (We
never hear much about the elderly dying by suicide... but we know it's
happening a lot more nowadays. Be sure and get some counseling for
your 14 year old. That's a bad age to have such a traumatic event.
It will take time for that visual wound to heal, but it will in time.
My husband found Jared and it took awhile before he could sleep well.
I would recommend some spiritual counseling, a Bishop, Pastor, Minister,
Priest... to help your daughter deal with changing her vision of death
into a vision of afterlife. These thoughts have helped us to deal
with Jared's loss. There is a group called S.O.S. (Survivors
of Suicide) in most towns. You might see if there is one in your community
and attend the counseling sessions. Do not try to push this suicide
out of your life. It happened and it must be faced head on.
The people who are the slowest to deal with their grief are the ones who
have the hardest time later in life. I wish your family well as you
go through your healing journey.)
Jan. 22 - "Scooze" says...
"i ran across your site and it hit me really hard.
i too suffer from manic depression and bipolar disorder with also many
signs of borderline personality disorder. i've received professional
help through psychiatrist and psychologist on a bi-weekly basis for about
a year but i terminated the sessions about 8 months ago. i felt is
was a waste of time and money. needless to say- i'm still alive.
...not knowing where i would spend eternity is the ONLY thing that keeps
me alive. it's not necessarily that i firmly believe the worst fate-
i guess it's not worth it to me to take the chance. ...I just
had my 26th birthday and i've been responsible for my actions (in God's
eyes) for quite some time..." (...Because your
conscience is strong and you understand that suicide is not right you have
stayed alive. Depression
is your real enemy and I hope that you will be able to fight with all your
heart to get it out of your life. When that happens you will really
begin to get the happiness you deserve...)
Jan. 18 - "LyRi" says...
"hi i am so very worried about my girlfriend. she
is having suicidal thoughts and i want to stop her before she does something
crazy. she is very depressed all the time because her family treats
her bad tells her she's not gonna be anything, her brother steals from
her, she's having problems keeping up in school, her job won't give her
any hours and she wants to have fun her senior year but her mom won't help
her in any way. she's always cryin and telling me she doesn't care anymore
and she doesn't want to live. i love my girl friend so much and i want
to marry her and i can help her with a lot of her problems but she won't
let me. please give me some advice ASAP.... thank you!" (Is
there anyone at school that you can go talk to about what is happening
to your girlfriend? She needs an adult to care about her problems
and arrange for some free counseling. She probably needs to be on
some medication too, at least until she can work through her dysfunctional
family problems. There are some natural herbs that she could try
too, like St. John's Wort of SAM-e. The problem is... if your
girlfriend doesn't want help, it will be hard for her acknowledge that
things need to change for her to feel better. She must want to get
help. Until she wants help, all you can do is reassure her that you
care about her and love her. ...A good hug and encouraging words can be
of more value than a nugget of gold for someone who is depressed.
Do not give up at encouraging her to get the professional help she needs.
What a wonderful boyfriend you are to care so much about this girl...)
Jan. 14 - Kimberly says...
"I emailed you a few times when my friend Scott committed
suicide. I would like to say something about being
there done that. If you don't mind. "Hi. My name is Kimberly.
Just after the suicide / depression death of a close friend, I came here
and got a lot of support from Brenda (jared's mom). I never got to thank
her enough for her help. The death of Scott, really shocked me and my school.
The day he died, I was going to commit suicide. School and my family wasn't
very good and I just wanted to die. I got to school in the morning and
sadly heard of the death and the thought exited my head, right at that
second. I saw my school go from happiness to utter and uncontrollable grief.
I gave out my help to anyone. We all formed together as friends and
gave each other help. Sadly, he died at the age of 18. The one year anniversary
is soon coming up and I can't even imagine what's going to happen. A lot
of us still remember him by his favorite cartoon character, Tigger from
Winnie the Pooh. I carry a
Tigger toy around with me practically everywhere
I go. It's just a monument of him. After Scott, Matt, Julie, and Johnny
all tried to commit suicide. A lot of my friends are suicide survivors.
It's really sad to hear some of the stories sometimes. I just wish I could
share my story with more people. Just remember, that things to do get better,
day by day. " (You have made good things come from
tragedy. I am very proud of you. I would be very curious to
see what your Major in College will be or what wonderful things will happen
to you in the future because of the growth you have had this past year.
I'm sure you will be very blessed.)
Jan. 14 - Hayley says...
"I am a 13 year old teenage girl from Ontario, Canada.
I am in grade 8 and have been given an assignment to do for english on
Teen Issues. Teenage Suicide was the topic I chose because I thought
it was the one that suited me most considering I have attempted it twice.
...What really happened to Jared? I don't really know all the story
but maybe in a small way I can relate to him. I am popular and pretty,
I have a good house, good parents and two sisters, ...I have a boyfriend
I love and I am glad I have him now. Although I am insecure and feel
as though I can't really trust anyone. Did you suspect anything from
Jared? From his actions? Did you know he was going to do it?
...My parents don't know. They are both closer with my old and younger
sister, therefore I feel there is no room for me. The main reason
I didn't commit suicide was because I was afraid, afraid everyone would
forget and just not care. I'm not perfect. No one is. What
teenagers think about these days and do is crazy. ...Teenage Suicide...
I want to make a point across in good strong words that it is not the right
thing to do..." (The best way to have your parents
pay some attention to you is to have a nice long talk with them.
The kid in the middle does get ignored more than the others, but it's up
to you to tell them how you feel. Jared never gave us any warning
and never told us how he felt. I'm still hurt about that. I
know that he knew he was loved but depression
will take all common sense away. It was depression that killed him.
...Also be sure and check out some of the articles in the About
Suicide Page for some facts on suicide. There's plenty
of reading but these articles will help you get your A.)
Jan. 10 - Rena says...
"I read what you had written at www.jaredstory.com/dealing_with_grief102.html
Those were all such wonder suggestions. I don't really have any suggestions
at the present time, but if I think of any, I will be glad to share them
with you. How old was Jared when he died? ...I had an adopted
son, at 19 he killed himself, this happened Dec. 2, 2000 and the pain is
still so great, that it is hard to function at times. Not only that,
but his death has affected all of my children ages 22, 21, 18, and 12,
then the other adopted ones from ages 18-25. I need any help or advice
on how to deal with the grief.
and later... ...you wrote,
"Rena, about the only thing you can do to help
your family come together after this suicide is to sit with your family
and have open and honest communication about what happened to your 19 year
old son. The only rule is not to accuse or blame anyone in the group
for your son's actions. I suggest that depression and it's causes
might be a topic and religious feelings." I have been
trying for over 20 years to get my family together nightly for Bible reading
and Prayer and for some reason, I can never get my husband to take that
leadership. So I know on the issue of Joby's death that I will be the one
that has to get everybody together. We haven't really gotten together
in a group session so to speak since Joby's suicide but I have spent time
alone with each one of the children and let them vent and express their
feelings about it. ...Thank you for that word of wisdom and advice.
I will try and see if I can get them to do that. Another wonderful
bit of information you gave me was, "Everyone
should be asked daily, "How are you REALLY feeling today, are you okay...
do you want to talk?" These questions should be asked until the person
says not to ask anymore." My oldest son has two different
types of seizure disorders. One is caused by stress, so I try not
to do anything that will cause him a lot of stress. ...I reassure him every
day that I love him and I hug him and tell him how important he is to me
and to our family. At the present he is very depressed and has had
suicidal thoughts. He is seeing a Psychiatrist... Dealing with
grief is not easy and sometimes it really helps to have someone to talk
to. (Jared was 13 years and six days
old when died.)
Jan. 6 - "Tweetie" says...
"I am so sorry to hear about Jared. ...My very
best friend tried to commit suicide. I went in and told on her. Did I do
the right thing? Cause I think I did..." (Yes,
you did the right thing! How can your best friend get help if no
one knows she needs it? Trying to die by suicide is a cry for help.
If your friend is mad at you now... later she will appreciate that you
cared enough to get help. Your friend is lucky to have you as her
friend, not everyone is so blessed.)
Jan. 6 - Jeanette says...
"My dad killed himself few months ago, i am 16 years
old, he killed himself about a month before my B-day. I am having
a lot of mixed feelings about it, because he left my mom, my little sister
(a baby) and me when i was 8. i have always had issues with him,
but i always planned one day to talk to him, and really tell him how i
felt, how ashamed and mad i was about him. But i never really did
because i was afraid that he would get more depressed than he all ready
was and then my little sister would miss out on having him around.
And now i am very mad at him, and i wish that i had told him about it before,
but then i think about my sister, and get all frustrated again. It
is so odd, because he was such a good-for-nothing slacker, but i still
loved him, and now that he is gone, i seem to really realize how much he
really meant to me. He never got to see me drive. He was always
talking about it. There are so many unfinished things he was going
to do. Everywhere i looked i think of him..." (I'm
sorry to hear about your dad. Even though you have some strong feelings
about your dad, you will still need to go through a normal grieving process
that everyone has to after death has occurred. Sometimes there is
blame and regrets and anger. This is normal. We were also mad
at Jared for awhile after he died. I still have feelings of sadness
when I remember that he didn't come and ask us for help before he took
his life. Your dad was old enough to make his own choices in
life. Some choices (like leaving your mom) hurt you and made you angry,
but ...he had a right to make his own mistakes. Suicide isn't always
a clear choice for people because depression
a sickness that clouds the brain and makes good choices and common sense
hard to come by. ...You are so young and have such a wonderful life
ahead of you. It's okay to think of you dad and talk to him in your
mind as you go through your day to day life. I kinda have a feeling
that he can see that you are driving now...)
Jan. 1 - Kendell says...
"Excellent web page. I was searching the net
under suicide and came across JAREDSTORY. I thought of another Jared
who committed suicide. My Jared committed suicide about 2 years ago.
I quickly scanned your page and clicked on ABOUT
THE AUTHOR. We have very similar profiles. I have read
all the books you suggested and found it the only way for answers and peace..."
Keep the BALANCE
in your life!
The diagnosis and treatment
of depression and other psychiatric disorders requires trained medical
professionals. The information provided above is to be used for educational
purposes only. It should NOT be used as a substitute for seeking
professional care for the diagnosis and treatment of any mental/psychiatric
disorders. The books are recommended as a reference, not as medical
There, Done That'
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Meaning of Life
Jared's Sister says: