#LIFESaver Families Profile: Hallie Christine Jackson
What is your loved one’s full name:
Hallie Christine Jackson
What was their date of birth & their age at the time of their passing?
December 10, 2002; 16 years-old
Tell us about your loved one: What five adjectives best describe the positive they brought to this world, that now shines on in how they impacted you and all those they touched?
To the extent that you feel comfortable, please tell us what you believe were the circumstances/contributing factors around your loved one’s passing.
I do believe that a relationship issue played a vital role in the spontaneity of Hallie’s actions. She had been taken, without permission, to the boyfriend’s college for a Halloween party. She left on Saturday to go “on a double date and sleep over with another couple to a Halloween haunted house/corn maze and then dinner”. We never saw her again until late on Sunday and when we did finally find her, we could see something had upset her. We both know or at least feel fairly comfortable believing that if she had been home that weekend, the likelihood of this tragedy happening would have not happened. While we cannot undue the how, we have chosen to celebrate her legacy through “Hope For Hallie” and support mental health awareness, and to transform the conversation.
What did you as a family wish you knew more about this topic in the year’s leading up to your loss?
As a first-hand survivor, having also lost my own father as a 30yr-old to suicide, the stigma around which he passed never really affected my brother or myself. We were all in a family business together, and well – quite frankly, there was no hiding or lying about his passing, or how? I felt that despite the discomfort of the topic – most people were still considerate enough with their comments or conversations. I went through grief counseling afterwards, and am a big proponent of therapy. As a family, it was important for me to make sure that my children knew who their grandfather was – even to the degree that he had passed by suicide.
Why did your family decide to go public about your loss, and why are you choosing to be so selfless in putting their/your story out there for others?
I recall standing in our dining room the day after losing Hallie and saying to everyone – and I am sure they all thought I was just over-run with grief – which I was… but I said that day that I was not going to allow her death be in vain, and that I was going to make sure that she would be remembered. I was certainly better prepared to speak more openly largely in part due to my father’s suicide. The topic had been part of me since high school, when a close and dear friend’s younger brother died by suicide as well. We were seniors in HS together and she was like my sister, I never had. Our families were close. Losing my father – in hindsight – has only prepared the ease of the topic. My experiences while tragic make me a valuable resource to convey to others who may be struggling that you can do it…you can overcome.
What are the perceptions about suicide you would like your loved one’s story to help change?
That there is no FACE. That really has been the most eye-opening part, and confirmed through hearing all the other family stories on this page. We each have lost a child – and while most were the strong, well-liked, athletic type – certainly not the stereotypical depiction or perception of someone showing visible signs of struggling with diagnoses like depression or anxiety. Mental Health affects all of us. We just need to know in that moment – do we have the tools to understand that moment and make it through – as there is always HOPE.
Links and/or descriptions to any resources you would like to drive people to:
Facebook – Hope For Hallie
Instagram – @hopeforhallie
LinkedIn – Hope For Hallie