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Hi everyone! Welcome to the last guest post (don’t worry, not the lastĀ post post, you just have to listen to me again šŸ˜‰ ) for #ShatteringStigmas! Today’s post comes to us from the lovely Erica @ Novel Ink. Some of you may remember Erica sharing her cousin Patrick’s storyĀ several weeks ago. When we talked about her sharing more of his story during this event, I cried. When I read her post, I cried even more. But it’s hopeful, guys. It’s hard, but it is hopeful. And it honors Patrick’s life and memory in a way that nothing else could.

*Please do take note that this is a story about suicide, and thereforeĀ does contain content that may be a trigger for some.Ā 

The first thing that I want to say before going on with my story isā€¦never give up, never lose faith and to always have hope. My aunt whom lost her son started to give up, lose faith and didnā€™t have much hope for her future. She lost sight of what was going on around her, she lost herself in the midst everything and felt like everything was a joke. Her son was 29 years old, his name is Patrick Joseph Jarrett, and he was one of the most amazing guys you could have ever met. We lost him to his battle with depression as he took his own life.

Today I want to talk to you about how having faith, hope and never giving up led my aunt to finding herself again and seeing Patrick in another way. When Patrick passed away his dog Zeeke was with him. They both were in his basement for two days before he was found. As the dog stuck by his side through the whole thing. They were best friends and even though Zeeke is a dog you know they feel just as much as we do. Now, Zeeke will always go to the basement and just lay down there for ages, which I assume is his way of seeing his best friend again.

My aunt kept Zeeke as she saw Patrick through him. We always felt like Patrick was always with us, but we never actually knew or not. Until one day, my grandmother wrote my aunt a haunting, but oh so beautiful letter. In this letter she spoke to my aunt (this was on the one year anniversary of his passing; July 6, 2015). My grandma said that two days earlier as there was a rainbow outside (the day of Patrickā€™s funeral there were rainbows and now that is our symbol for him) she felt like Patrick was trying to speak to her. He came to her and told her that she was sorry for all the pain that he has caused us and especially the pain he had caused his mother and brother. He wanted to let everyone know that whenever Zeeke gives a kiss, itā€™s him giving us a kiss. Whenever Zeeke jumps up and gives you a hug, itā€™s him giving you a hug. Whenever Zeeke smiles (which he does, you do a little pinch of your fingers and that cute dog shows us the greatest smile), itā€™s him smiling. Patrick told my grandma that he is living through Zeeke and he is with his mom every day and every night, watching over her.

As I wonder whether my grandma wrote this letter to give my aunt hope and faith on a horrible day or whether she actually ā€œspokeā€ to Patrick. Either way, itā€™s a wonderful thing to see. It is a glimmer of hope, itā€™s a glimmer of faith and it shows not to give up. Just because Patrick passed away that does not mean he is gone forever. He is with us every day through his best friend.

What I want you guys to take away from this story is that even if something traumatic happens to where you donā€™t think youā€™ll be able to get back on your feet again there always is hope, faith and love in the things nearest and dearest to you. If you find hope in a pet, a rainbow, or even just your heart take it with every ounce of your being. Never let it go and just hold on because that is your loved one with you and they love you with all that they have.

We love you, Patrick Joseph Jarrett and a happy 30th birthday (August 24, 2015).

About & Where to Find Erica

About Erica

Erica here, the second bibliophile that completes this duo. Iā€™m a 20 year old book lover, Netflix bingererica.2 (is that a word? probably not), and notorious sweat-pants wearer. I am definitely a romantic, so like I said above contemporary and romance are my go-to genres. Iā€™m from a small town and am hoping to move to New York to finally be with my lovely boyfriend or at least move somewhere together! Anywhere but here would be suffice! I just started blogging 5 months ago, but was taken in by the lovely Christy and could not be happier with joining her blog. My dream is to move in with the love of my life, bake cupcakes whilst in my sweatpants and blog all day, errrrrday!

I cannot thank Erica enough for sharing her family’s story with us. It touched my heart, and I don’t think I will ever forget Patrick or his family’s story. As a mom, my heart goes out to Patrick’s mom, and she will forever be in my thoughts and prayers.Ā 

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Anyone have a story to share? Some love for Erica perhaps? This also probably calls for stories about unicorns and cheesecake again, just saying.

Posted August 21, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in #ShatteringStigmas, Guest Post, Mental Health / 25 Comments


25 responses to “#ShatteringStigmas: Patrick’s Story

  1. Stories like this can be hard to hear, but I think it is important for them to be told to reach out to other people feeling down and depressed as well, and to remind us that there is still hope. Which makes me all the more greatly admire Erica for sharing this story and staying strong as well šŸ™‚ Thank you.

  2. Oh my gosh Erica, this is such a really touching and beautiful story. I am so sorry for the loss in your family, it is the hardest thing in the world but it’s having the comfort in knowing that they are still watching over you.

  3. Thank you for sharing this powerful story with us, Erica. It simultaneously made me cry and gave me so much hope too. You and your family are so brave and the fact that you shared this with Shannon’s readers makes you a remarkable human being. Seriously, thank YOU to you and Shannon!

  4. Thank you so, so much Erica for sharing Patrick’s story. I cried. I think I cried even harder because the dog was with him and the dog still goes to the basement sometimes. Stories like this are so hard to hear, but they are so important. #ShatteringStigmas has been such an amazing event!

  5. Erica, you are such an amazing and strong person. This story is so heartbreaking, and I cry every single time I read it. It’s so hard to hear when such a young person loses the battle of depression, but at the same time, it’s really important for their story to be shared because you never know, the person who’s reading it could be in a battle of their own and this story may be the one that gives them the hope to stay strong <33333333

    • I agree with you so much Christy. Erica is so amazing for sharing this with us, I cannot even imagine the pain and grief that her family must be feeling every day. But I am glad that even though he isn’t with us, Patrick’s story will continue to inspire and help people.

  6. My heart broke so much over this. Thanks to Erica for sharing her story. I’m sorry for her family’s loss. I’ve never lost someone to depression but I’ve had some close friends who lost their childhood best friend and my heart just broke for them, because they thought he was getting better. I hope families become more aware if someone is in dire need of help. It’s heartbreaking to hear families just shrug it off at first, then suffer a tragic loss such as this. šŸ™

  7. Sam

    It’s great that your aunt has Zeeke to help her work through what happened. This is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

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