My Beautiful Son Has Ended His Life

Jairus battled severe depression and suicidal ideation

Trigger Warning: Suicide, depression

My beautiful son has ended his life after a long, ferocious battle with severe depression and persistent suicidal ideation.

He wanted to live. Wanting to live and knowing how are two different things. And mental illness, just like cancer, is not something we choose. It is not shameful or a reflection of character. And it is not the fullness of who we are.

Jairus was a deep thinker and challenged me to consider and see differently. He was playful, loved to tease, and loved when I’d play video games with him that scared me. (And of course, in no way does this begin to sum up the incredible person he was.) He was also a deeply sensitive soul who wrestled hard and wasn’t sure he was good enough.

Besides his dad and I, he had a solid crew of friends and his two sisters who also loved him deeply. He knew he was loved.

In honour of Jairus, laugh with your family- belly laugh. Love your people without condition. Meet each other where you’re at. Talk about mental health with your kids – and about what lights them up and makes them afraid. Listen well. Take care of yourself so you model health to the people you love.

And remember, life is so damn short so don’t waste a day on things that don’t truly matter.

It feels like an impossibility that we will continue to live and that the world will keep turning without him but somehow we will – for our daughters who also deserve to live a full life even though their big brother is gone.

Jairus, I would never trade loving you.

I would give you my breath
To hear you laugh once more
And I would offer up my life
In one heartbeat for yours
I would pour out my life blood
To buy back your peace
But I don’t know how to live
without you.
I would trade all pleasure
To end your pain
I would carry your suffering
If I could
I would give up my freedom
To release your chains
But I would never trade
loving you.

Mom xo

NOW WHAT? I will not be responding to comments and will not publish any that feel disrespectful or talk over me. I am in the process of having to let go of my baby and am sharing this because we need to remove shame from the conversation around mental illness and also because writing is one of the healthiest ways for me to process and keep living.

I’ve started an art scholarship in my son Jairus’ name: all proceeds from my Winter Mindfulness Journal go to the scholarship. xo

I’VE SHARED MORE OF MY GRIEF JOURNAL HERE ALONG WITH RESOURCES WHICH HELP ME FIND MY WAY FORWARD – GENTLY.

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127 comments on “My Beautiful Son Has Ended His Life

  1. Krista, there are no words. I’m so very deeply sorry for your and your community’s loss. This community will hold space for you until you’re ready to return. Wrapping you in love and light. ❤️

  2. Krista, there will never be the right words to comfort a heart in pain. Thank you for your courage. I am sending thoughts and wishes for continued strength to you and your family as you attempt to navigate these difficult uncharted waters. Prayers to you all.

  3. Dear Krista,
    I have read your posts almost daily over the past few years and have found your insights and writings timely. I have shared numerous articles and your gift of words to those I love on many occasions.
    Reading your post tonight brought me to tears. As a mother of 6 my heart breaks for your loss. Thank you for sharing and giving voice to the issue of mental health. I have no words to offer other than from one mother to another may you feel our collective love and shared heartache for the times ahead as you grieve with your family. From my heart to yours from across the oceans, God be with you and your family Krista.
    Katt Frankland
    Gold Coast Australia

  4. I’m so sad for you. A mother’s darkest nightmare! May you regain and maintain your emotional footing as the shock begins to subside. Sending love and stregnth.

  5. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this with us. I can only imagine the pain you are experiencing. My son, who is 11 years old sounds just like your son. Full of laughter love and a beautiful insightful soul. He also struggles with suicidal ideation and makes comments about not wanting to live. He is seeing a therapist, on meds and he still struggles. It scares me that this might be me as a mother someday. We just don’t know, and awareness is key… so that individuals do not have to suffer alone. My deepest condolences for your loss. Thank you again for sharing what’s on your heart with us. A beautifully written tribute full of love. Praying for you.
    Sharmi

  6. Krista and family, I’m deeply sorry for your loss. There’s no greater sorrow than the loss of a dear loved one, may a higher power bring you comfort and peace in this time of sorrow. 🙏

  7. Krista,

    I don’t know you, but your writings have encouraged me more times than I can count. Today, my heart aches for you and your family. May peace that passes all understanding sustain you now and in the days to come.

    • Reaching out with heart-words from your pain is an act of compassion that helps us all—thank you and tearful hugs from the mom of a 19-year-old son who understands….your son will now live on forever in the memory and heart of this stranger, as an inspiration to live right now and laugh right now and love in every moment of right now. Xo Bonnie

  8. Krista,
    I am holding you and your family in my heart and sending you all of the love and peace. So very sorry for the loss of your beautiful son. I know there is nothing I can say to help or to adequately express. My heart is with you.
    Tracy

  9. I am so deeply sorry for this incredible loss. I can’t imagine going through what u and your girls and his father are going through. I’m sorry for your beautiful son I wish that he could of found peace in this life. I pray that our Lord brings u all some peace and comfort to help live with this tragic loss.

  10. What a very difficult loss to bear, I pray that you can eventually find comfort and peace . I wish I could wrap my arms around you, may you feel the arms of God and his angels .

  11. You’ve been a constant in my thoughts. I am so sorry. There are no words. My heart breaks for you and your family and what you’re walking through. I am grateful you share your words with us.

  12. Somehow words typed on a computer screen from someone far away whom you never met just seem so insignificant. But Krista I am am praying for you and your children and family. I cannot imagine the pain you are going though in the loss of your beautiful son. My mama heart breaks to hear of your loss. I am praying and thinking of you.

  13. Krista,
    My heart goes out to you and yours. There are no words sometimes, but please know that there are others who understand.
    ❤️

  14. Oh Krista, I’m so sorry you and your family have been suddenly shoved into the grief road. Two things that were a tiny help when one of our teen sons completed suicide a decade ago were (1) reminding myself so many other broken hearted mamas have indeed survived this devastation before me and (2) all I HAVE to do is survive the next breath and do what is needed for the next moment. I’m holding you gently in my heart as you and your family walk through These next days and weeks…

  15. Krista,

    My heart breaks for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt feelings and beautiful words, and as a mother, I completely get it. Sending love and prayers … God bless.

  16. There are no words of comfort that I could say that would ease your family’s pain. Sending you love, thoughts and prayers for your difficult time. (((Hugs)))

  17. Im so sorry. Ive dealt with this through
    my uncle, my student, close friends, and perfect stranger. My heart is with you. This is a hard journey. Lean on others. Find a counselor. Try not to let it swallow you.

  18. I am a woman who lives with depression. I am the mother of a son who lives with depression. My heart goes out to you. You are living my worst nightmare. May all those whom Jairus loved and those who loved him in return find some small comfort in each others and shared love of a beautiful soul.

  19. Krista,

    I sat for many minutes with my fingers hovering over the keyboard and no words would come out. There is nothing that anyone could say that would ease your pain even a little. Your son will not be forgotten by me, ever. I will continue to pray for your broken heart and for God to ease you into a gentler pain, as the loss of a child is incomprehensible pain. You are a light in this world and I love you dear friend.

  20. Oh Krista, I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your beautiful son. I will carry you and your husband and daughters and all who loved him in my heart and prayers. I know his beautiful spirit will be very close to you. Love and blessings and more dear one…

    Maitri

  21. Krysta:
    Even though my eyes full of tears cloud my vision, my breathing is short and painful, my heart is beating so fast that my whole body trembles, my legs are weak, my feet are frozen, I need to reply to you.
    Even though without words of meaning, I need to write to you before my fingers get numb and my thoughts go blank. I just want to send you a big and strong hug that will keep you and your family forever. I need you to know that you are loved. I need you to continue bringing light to all innocents souls suffering from mental illness. I am eternally grateful to you for encouraging me to live a mediocre life. Love and peace for you, your husband and especially for your girls.

  22. I am so sad to read this. I hope you find strength. It is hard. It changes you forever. May peace and love surround you as you go through this difficult time.

  23. I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my father to suicide 15 years ago this month. It is a pain beyond comprehension. Please know I’m thinking of you.

  24. My brother has left us 2.5 years ago and it still pains me and I know it always will. I don’t know what you feel but I know it’s not easy. I wrote a short story about my journey of grief and will put it on Kickstarter soon to honor my brother Serhiy.
    Grieve as much as you need, as we often forbid ourself to grieve.
    Sending love and understanding your way❤️

  25. I am so very sorry for your loss. Our minds are so very complicated. Many hugs and we’ll see you when you get back. Please take time to do what you need to do.

  26. Krista – my heart goes out to you and your family. Know that while we are not walking in your shoes and cannot fully comprehend your pain, that we are walking beside and are here for you when you are ready to return. Sending you love and hugs. Xo

  27. Krista, there just aren’t any remotely adequate words to tell you how deeply sorry I am for your loss, for your family, for your grief, and for your son’s battle. God bless you and thank you for the courage, even in the midst, to bring light to a dark and often too private battle.

  28. Sincerely and respectfully…sorry. I promise you I will keep working to help and look out for others and do my best to be listen well and love people in honor of your son.

  29. Krista, I am just so sorry. Words are inadequate, but please know that I am thinking of you and sending love to you and yours. (We are strangers, but you have touched my life often and I will hold you in my heart, hoping you find a way through this nightmare.)
    Erin

  30. Thank you for sharing this message with your readers, Krista. We NEED to talk about depression. And I know you meant every word in your poem – I know it in my bones because I’m a mother too – with a depressed son, and I would also take all the pain on as my own if I could! Your Jairus is truly a beautiful young man, and I know I see only the tiniest sliver of it in his picture, and feel only the tiniest sliver of your heartbreak in your words. I’m so very sorry.
    Cathy

  31. My heart is with you and your beautiful beautiful son. My heart mourns and aches for your loss. The world has lost a precious young man. It feels like the universe should heave deep breathless sobs and the world should stop. But strangely life goes on, and the truly profound loss is in a mother’s heart. I love you. I wish I could ease your sorrow. I applaud you for bringing it to us and I hope the act of expressing your pain somehow eases it. ❤️

  32. Oh Krista, I am so deeply sorry for your tremendous loss. There are no words, but so much emotion. I hope someday you can find some comfort in that he knew he was so loved. That is all any of us can really do for each other, love with our whole hearts, which you most definitely did. <3

  33. I am deeply sorry for the tragic loss of your beautiful and precious son. There are no words that can take away your pain or the journey through your grief that lays ahead of you. I lost my father 25 years ago this month, to mental illness. His mind failed him and he died by suicide. In much the same way someone dies by a heart attack, when their heart fails them. However, society doesn’t always recognize the truth of this. And honestly sometimes even we the survivors of suicide, question the accuracy of that truth in the quiet depths of our own despair, pain and grief. I admire your strength in sharing your son’s story and your own pain and taking a stand against the stigma of mental illness and suicide. I send you prayers and precious moments of grace and peace of mind and heart, for those desperate moments when you most need them, during this unimaginable time and especially for the road you must travel through this most painful grief and it’s reckoning. May God bless you and your family and most of all your sweet Jairus.

  34. I love you, Krista. Thank you for showing up, over and over again, for each of us. I pray this beautiful community you’ve created will help shoulder some small part of your deep pain.

  35. Thank you for writing this. I admire your courage in sharing your heart during such a difficult time. Peace to you and you family.

  36. So sorry for your loss. Thank you for the reminder of how precious life is and to make the most of whatever time we have. I hope for the day when shame and mental health are completely decoupled. You are incredibly selfless to share of yourself. I am glad you have your writing to help you process and in time, heal.

  37. Thank you so much for this. For having presence of mind and heart to share. You are so right that we must demystify the struggle of depression. I have no words to offer you, only love from afar. I will hold up your son’s name as a wounded soul but never as less than. May you find peace together with your husband and daughters. So much love and light to you.

  38. Krista…
    If only my words could love on your soul…. I feel this loss with you and it takes my breath away, makes my eyes water when I imagine you sipping coffee, looking out the window, trying to eat. My spirit is sitting with you, next to you, silently grieving with you❤️

  39. Dear Krista, I’m so sad for your loss. Your son sounds like such a beautiful soul. Thinking of you all, with love, Kate xxx

  40. So so sorry to read this. I’m standing on aLondon underground platform trying not to cry for you and your beautiful son. Thank you for your courage and your words. Sending love to you and your family. Xx

  41. “The good things we do and put into the world are never wasted, even if the ending isn’t what we hoped for.” Jillian Johnsrud

    No words can possibly mean anything in the face of such a halting loss. Hopefully, enough community can be here for you when you can even think of breathing, eating, walking again.

  42. Thank you for giving such a sweet and honest post about how you feel right now. What I feel from listening to you is the vast connection we all have, that your son was a piece of us that you wanted so much to bring peace to.. I feel the the wholeness of all your emotions; your love first, your fearlessness, despair, desire, sadness. Thank you. I have worried so much about my children too. I have found so much peace in the work of Byron Katie. She has many videos where she’s doing her method of inquiry with grieving people who have lost loved ones to suicide (among many other topics). My heart is connected to us all and feeling you and your beautiful cry into us…

  43. Krista and family,

    We are so sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy. It’s hard to imagine the pain he went through, and the pain you are going through now. Our thoughts are with you all.
    (We live down the street from where you grew up. 🙂 )

  44. I want to express my condolences here, as well as the other ways I have expressed them. Jairus was a prince among men. I’m so honored to know him and to be your friend. My love, admiration and deep respect goes out to you as you walk this hardest of all walks for a mother. You are so loved. you are so worthy. you are so supported. please keep leaning on us whenever you can. xoxoxxoxo

  45. Hi Krista,

    I know that nothing I or anyone else can say will make things easier. I hope that through time and thinking about the good memories your pain eases.

  46. Thank you for sharing your son’s story. As a society we all need to recognize the struggles of each other and be more kind to one another. Anxiety, depression, suicide and other mental health issues affect me and my family and I hope and pray each day that we can all be strong enough to just TALK TO ONE ANOTHER. I am hoping that you and your family can heal from this and maybe your son’s story will help someone else on their journey. No parent should have to lose their child and I cannot imagine the grief and sadness you and your family are experiencing now. I will pray for you and your family during this time.

  47. i am so deeply sorry for your pain and loss Krista. Your son seems to have a beautiful soul. May he be now in peace. All my love to you and yours –

  48. Prayers for you and your family. I can’t THANK YOU enough for sharing your story!! My Elijah feels the way your beautiful son did and I’m trying to do EVERYTHING in my power to help my son. I so appreciate your words of encouragement and will continue to love him how he needs!! Bless u!!

  49. My Dear Krista – I want to let you know that you can survive the lose of your son. You will not “get over”the pain of your lose, but you will learn to live with the pain and it will ease up with time.
    I know this because my sweet daughter, age 11, died of osteogenic sarcoma. She was my oldest child and gratefully I had had twin sons 14 months after she was born. She died 45 years ago and yet she is in my life always, not physically, but spiritually. Over time, I have learned to trust the process of life and death. I have done this by grieving my losses, one day at a time. If I have survived, so can you.
    I’m sending you my thoughts and prayers. Love, Sheila

  50. Krista I am so sorry for your terrible loss. I can’t begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. My prayers and thoughts are with you. thank you for the tribute to your beautiful son.
    love Christine

  51. I am so deeply sorry. Thank you for your honesty and openness amidst your grief. Your story struck many chords in me. You and your family are in my prayers – that you will feel peace and love.

  52. I have no adequate Words. This is something as a Family we have struggled with too for 3 Generations… thankfully attempts were not successful, but Living with Serious Mental Illness is a very misunderstood condition with so much Social stigma and exclusion still. Sharing the poignant Essence of your Beloved Son is a Tribute to him that I Hope brings some comfort during the incredible pain. Virtual Hugs as you move thru this…

  53. I’m so, so sorry. Please know that while we’ve never met, and probably never will, I am holding you and your family in my heart. When you need some strength, draw from me.

  54. Krista, from the bottom of my heart and depth of my soul I offer my condolences. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard this must be for you. I would like to dedicate a loving kindness meditation to your son’s memory and to your family in support of all of you during this time.

  55. Dear Krista,

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. You have so much love and support surrounding you on this journey.

  56. I just started following your page and reading this has put my heart and mind on a whole other plane of thought. Thank you so much for sharing this. I send peaceful love and light for you and your family in this loss you all are experiencing❤️

  57. Thank you for sharing this so openly with your community. I can’t imagine this was easy, and none of us can even begin to understand how you feel. Just know that our hearts ache alongside yours, this is every parents worst nightmare. Sending you love and light, Jarius fought a strong, hard battle. <3

  58. . I am so sorry for your loss. I have no words that could possibly console you. All I can say is thank you for sharing. It would take a lot of courage to share a tragedy such as this. I’m so grateful to you for doing so…both for healing and to end the shame around depression and suicide. 🙏

  59. Dear Krista,

    I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss of your son. He sounded like such a beautiful light and was loved by so many people.

    Thank you for having the courage to speak up during this difficult time and share awareness of mental health issues so others can be helped!

    Take care.

    • I’m so very sorry. This was a beautiful post to share his story, personality and life with us. He sounded like an amazing person and I’m so glad that you were able to be his mom & support system, along with your family & his friends. Thank you for sharing his story. I will be thinking and praying for you and your family. 💕

  60. Krista, I am so, so, so, so sorry. Reading your post made me cry for a family I’ve never met. Reading the comments is like seeing candles lit for your son all across the world. Here is one more candle. X

  61. Dearest Krista,

    I am a big fan of your work and love who you are. I will be lighting and candle for you and your family today. You are in my prayers. I believe your son is whole and well and home. May his spirit give you and your family continued strength in the days, months, and years to come.

  62. This was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. I am so, so, so grateful that you had the courage, willingness and ability to share this.

  63. Dear Krista

    Words fail me at this devastating time . You are in my thoughts and sending love and comfort to all your family and friends. Thank you for sharing with us and I am sure your openess and honesty will greatly help many others. Hold each other tight and may Jarius’ spirit shine brightly xx

  64. You are a courageous healer and role model for all and for all who suffer. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. A candle in honor is lit is in NJ.

  65. Your courage and love are monumental The capacity to keep on going in the face of such a loss is stunning. Wishing I could ease your pain, and your family’s pain. You are all held in my heart.

  66. Thank you for even posting on your blog and showing up through this devastating life altering tragedy. May you and your family hold on to the sweet beautiful memories you have of him and the awesome person he was on the inside. I pray for God to carry you in his sweet arms and bring you comfort over and over again. He knows he was truly loved in this world. Mental illness is so undertreated and misunderstood. This hurts. This is super hard. Your pain is great. Just keep breathing one breath at a time.

  67. Krista, my deepest and heartfelt sympathy to you. I cannot imagine what you must feel, nor can I imagine a worse pain than the grief of losing a child. I hope you will feel the love of so many of us as we join with you to help you hold your pain.

  68. My heart breaks for you and your family. I am holding you in my thoughts as I send love and prayers of strength during this unimaginably difficult time. May your son’s memory be a blessing and a light forward. Thank you for sharing your pain and reminding us, as you so often do, about what’s most important and real in this life experience.

  69. I am weeping for and with you, Krista. Thank you for not hiding your suffering. I am grateful for your courage to share your very real and precious story with me.

  70. God Bless your family at this difficult time. May you all be surrounded in light and love. Your beautiful boy Jarius may he find peace now. Our hearts go out to you.

  71. On the day when
    the weight deadens
    on your shoulders
    and you stumble,
    may the clay dance
    to balance you.

    And when your eyes
    freeze behind
    the grey window
    and the ghost of loss
    gets into you,
    may a flock of colours,
    indigo, red, green
    and azure blue,
    come to awaken in you
    a meadow of delight.

    When the canvas frays
    in the currach of thought
    and a stain of ocean
    blackens beneath you,
    may there come across the waters
    a path of yellow moonlight
    to bring you safely home.

    May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
    may the clarity of light be yours,
    may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
    may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

    And so may a slow
    wind work these words
    of love around you,
    an invisible cloak
    to mind your life.

    By John O’Donohue

  72. The fear of losing a child lives in every parent’s heart. I can only imagine how this feels, how each day is a struggle for you and your family. You’ve built a deep well of strength that you’ll be able to draw on. Sending you peace and love.

  73. I am so deeply sorry for your family’s devastating loss.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful words with us- the way you write always speaks directly to my heart.

  74. Krista, I am so very sorry for your loss. I thank you for having the courage and the compassion to share. You are brave and have a huge heart.

  75. So sorry to hear if your loss. My father passed this past summer, and I am still going through the grieving process, but I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. Nor would I presume what grief means to you right now. Please allow me to offer my sympathy, and my prayers for strength and comfort as you grieve.

  76. My prayers and my heart are with all of you and your beautiful son. Depression IS an insidious illness of which I have been a victim since my twenties. I have responded to medication and to living a healthy lifestyle, but it lurks. How I wish I could have helped him. The hardest part is feeling so alone when you are depressed. You have my loving thoughts.❤️

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