R.I.P. baby sister

type“I just love being straight up ignored when ever I need you.”

It was the last thing she posted on her Facebook page. Then she went to her high school the next day and hung herself in the school bathroom.

That was last Friday.

Saturday, the day after this tragic suicide, I spoke at an event in the town where this occurred. Many of the youth workers knew kids from the school; they showed me this young lady’s Facebook page.

Some of the posts contained ‘text speak’ like “lawl sike” (basically saying, “just kidding”). But was she kidding?

A quote about pain from Rose Kennedy.

A rant to someone who hurt her.

Should we have seen the signs?

Should we take “lawl” a little more seriously?

Here’s just a handful of her most recent posts. I took screenshots to show you exactly the way she posted it:

Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 4.10.12 PM

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Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 4.08.31 PM

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And the most recent post on the page was from her sister:
Screen Shot 2013-11-16 at 4.10.57 PM

Heartbreaking.

Is there someone ‘unnoticed’ or ‘overlooked’ crying out in your community?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.
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21 Responses to R.I.P. baby sister

  1. Shirley Reid says:

    Jonathan, This is so sad. It seems like this is going around more than we are aware of. I caught one of my former youth on Facebook about a week ago and she attempted it herself, but didn’t succeed. My heart breaks for this girl and her family and wonders how we as ministry people can try to stay a head of this problem.

  2. Charlie says:

    We just watched My Hope American “The Cross” with Billy Graham with a powerful story of Lacey Sturm (Flyleaf) who was about to commit suicide when she walked into a church and the pastor sensed the problem and someone prayed with her and Jesus saved her. That is a clear reminder that we need to have spiritual discernment about the reality of suicide.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Thank you Jonathan for writing about this. This is a issue that is so overlooked. People assume that kids who are suffering “look” a certain way but you never know what is hiding behind a persons fake smile. As you taught us, it is so important to build those relationships and look for opportunities to get to know all kids and just be a friend!

  4. Kim E says:

    As a youth group leader, I have many teens on my Facebook. There are at least 2 comments a week similar to this teens post. my life sucks, everyone hates me, I wish I’d never been born. When you ask them, they are ok, on to playing fb games or something else unphased. Some are repeat posters. It’s hard to tell if they’re just trying to get attention, or maybe just not thinking about what they’re saying or understanding the seriousness, or really truly in trouble. You don’t want to become numb to these posts.. Do you have any suggestions for how to handle all of these, so that the attention seekers maybe realize how serious this is and more importantly that if a teen is really at risk that they aren’t overlooked. Should I call the teen first then parents? or pull them aside at youth group?   what would you do if you had seen this girls post? thanks so much. God bless!

    • Sarah says:

      Being a freshman in college and having had this same feelings a lot of times I know I would lie and do anything to make sure that people didn’t know what I was really feeling. Never give up on them because just because they say they are okay doesn’t mean that in the slightest. And the biggest thing is prayer. I graduated from the high school that this happened from and I know a lot of people within the school that were confused at how this happened because people hide things when they are most vulnerable. I overcame my trials by many people just encouraging me through the way. If you see a post maybe pray and find a bible verse to send to them in a private message or in person and just say hey I saw your status and it led me to tell you this. Because even if they are trying to do it for attention there might be a bigger reason behind it. Praying for wisdom and judgment for your journey

  5. Diane says:

    I took the time to review Alexis’ face book page and among her pictures #18 to be exact she had posted Suicide Silence???? I have a 14 year old little girl and if ever she posted anything remotely like this, I would have confronted her. Sometimes as parents we get busy and dont take the time to revies our childrens internet history or personal pages. I actually have my daughters page highlight as a close friend so when ever she post pictures or comments on them or post status’ I get sent a notification on it. Not that it will help in Alexis’ case but for anyone else who reads this, It is our responsibility to know everything we possibly can about our own children. Life is to short. May you rest in peace Alexis Fulmer.

    • Victoria says:

      Suicide Silence is the name of a band. My daughter listens to them. Alexis was a beautiful girl who was bullied because someone else had a problem. Not with her but themselves. My daughter was a bully victim for over 2 yrs and contemplated ending her life. I am thankful I and her friends were watchful. There are signs if we look close enough. But that is the problem most don’t look hard enough maybe because they do not know what to look for, and there are some who just don’t care. I am fortunate that I know my daughter and her moods. Even then we cannot be with them 24 hrs a day. We need to remind them that no matter how insignificant we feel a problem is, it may not be to them. This is the 3rd suicide in 3 short yrs that has touched our family, mainly my daughter. I hope that Alexis’s family and friends find peace and closure. Gone but never forgotten. RIP Alexis, Shianne, & Brett! You are forever missed.

  6. Pebbles says:

    Alexis was a friend if my daughter’s in middle school….. Things go unnoticed until something like this happens! My daughter is beside herself that no one saw the signs. She has made it her proority to get the word out on bullying and suicide as these are both two issues that hit very close to home with our family! We all need to talk to our kids about tje effects of bullying and how suicide isn’t the answer!!! Somethinh needs to be done!!!

    • Amy Wingate says:

      Since Raymond died from suicide I have always wanted to be a support Person/coordinator for kids who has or who is being bullied and/or has thoughts about suicide…have you heard when the services are? Email me plz Amy.wingate2012@gmail.com

  7. Susan Shea says:

    My son heard you speak Sunday night at Eagles Nest with his Bethel Fuel Youth Group. He was impressed with your words, and I could see he was attentive to your word. Thank you for reaching out to our young people.

    I too looked at this young girls FB page. I was shocked at some of the pictures/postings…I even commented on it on my own status. How did we as a society fail her? Clearly there were signs. I’m a complete stranger, and some of her postings were “disturbing”. Maybe people did reach out, I don’t know. And, maybe she told people she was “fine”. Again, I don’t know. But, this will surely be a lesson of a “cliche” that “speaks volumes”….actions speak louder than words. You don’t post things like that unless you truly are hurting. Shame on those bullies! They know who they are.

    I pray for her soul, and I pray this NEVER happens again!!!

    • She went to my daughters school and was friends with her friends. They r devastated about this and I hope someone sits and talks to them about where to turn if life gets this bad. Either a teacher or councilor or any body that will listen and lead them in the right direction. I pray for her family and all her many friends who r hurting right now.

  8. Sad Mom says:

    This has rocked our family. My daughter has been friends with her since first grade, this still feels like a bad dream. Trying to talk to my daughter I get “I’m fine” when you know very well she’s not. How could she be? I’m not. Getting your teenager to open up to you is very hard (yet very rewarding when you manage to accomplish it). They want to be left alone, not have to talk about serious things yet they want to know they’re loved and that their feelings matter. Where’s the manual?? How do you be there but not be so close as to push them away? My daughter knows she is loved by God and many friends and family. Yet she’s still not sure if she’s good enough. Is this society’s fault? Is it mine? I’m so scared that reaching out isn’t enough.

  9. Jtmbj says:

    I have been on Alexis pg as well and it seems to me she has been dealing with these feelings for awhile…. I went all the way to her 2012 statuses and it seems like she was in a relationship that didnt wrk out and she was very hurt by it…. And one boy even wrote on her page saying “sorry I didn’t make it to school that day but u promised me you wouldn’t do it” so that clearly says she talked about suicide and nobody talked or told anybody…… From her post and pics it really seems like she had lots of friends and had fun with them so I think it was more then just bullying that was bothering her….. May she rest in peace….. A young life ended too soon…

  10. JB says:

    This horrific event has touched many!! I asked
    my daughter if she thought this girl was bullied.
    Her reply, was no I dont think so, most people liked
    het, she was nice& funny, people liked her. Not knowing
    her family or closest friends, are we sure she wasnt
    in counseling? A young person in Seaford died 2 yrs ago
    and was on anti depressants & in counseling.
    I saw all her posts, So sad. Do we know, had her friends reported this?
    So tragic for young people!! my prayers to her family & her school
    mates & staff.

  11. Leslie Doyle says:

    Jonathan,

    It was a pleasure to hear you speak this past Saturday. Some of my youth group girls knew this girl. I have friends who have been the parent of a child that has done this. But today I sit and say Thank you and the Lords timing of putting you in our church so others who may now understand how prevelant this is and could hear her cry, and the cry of many of these kids that feel lost. It is very real, and I support Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention which teaches Leaders, Teachers, Administrators, and kids that when you think someone might look ok, you can very very wrong. It’s a simple card that says get help with no questions asked. It may not help a lot, but even if it helps one, that’s someone’s child, sister, brother, or friend. It takes the awareness and the sad truth of hearing these losses to make us all understand that these kids are sometimes bullied not only in school or at a bus stop, or a basketball game,etc., but sometimes even at home in small ways by their own siblings who expect them to be like them, or not be a tattletale or weird. I’ve been to a few teen funerals sadly, and it will crush you to your weakest point as you watch and cry for those who felt they should have seen or maybe even recognized the signs. Our community once again is hurting for the confused kids it leaves behind, along with those who loved her. I was one of those very lost teens, and today I try to use that to help others. Keep up the good work, everyone counts .

  12. Kayla Alexis says:

    Me and Alexis had been friends for awhile. No one knew she felt this way. She was always the bubbly giggley person. She always knew how to make people laugh. I miss her dearly. I remember all the good times that me and her had. We all knew her girlfriend had a part in this.he girlfriend always treated her bad. and yes she made little indications that she didn’t want to be here. And yes we didn’t take it seriously. One) she was always joking and smiling when she made them. And she never showed any true indication. Alexis was my best friend and I Loved her. She will always have a place in my heart and others. Fly High My Little Angel <3

  13. Tammy R says:

    I am so heart broken for this girls family and friends. She was only 15 years old and had not even scratched the surface of her life. I once tried to commit suicide and failed. It took years for me to realize nothing or no one is worth taking your life for. I also know a lot of other people that have tried and failed. This is my problem with this whole situation. Everyone is talking about how bubbly and happy this girl seemed on the outside. Most of us can be good actors when we have to. However, these kids that are doing the bullying must be punished. This is not the first time a suicide has happened because of bullying. We as adults know if we go out and do something illegal we have to pay for what we have done. There has to be an action for a consequence. The ones that are bullying have to be punished. I don’t think suspension from school is the answer because all that is, is a mini vacation. They can sit home and play on their computers and cell phones. Really that is not punishment enough. I think that one idea would take these little jerks to jail for a weekend. Let them be treated like inmates. If they are doing this now what will they be doing when they are adults….more than likely at the rate they are going they could end up in jail anyway. Part of the problem is these kids today do not have discipline. The way the world is today people can’t spank their kids anymore or they can go to jail. No wonder these kids are a mess and unruly. I came from a time where if we did something wrong we were not only grounded but we got our ass whipped. I can remember having to go outside and pick out a switch. No I didn’t like it but I deserved it. A good smack on the ass or across my legs with a switch never hurt me. I learned to have respect and follow the rules that were expected of me. How do we expect these kids to grow up and become productive members of society? All I know is something has to be done. I am sorry this happened to Alexis but maybe her purpose for this happening is to wake people up and do something about bullying. R.I.P. sweetheart no one can pick on you anymore. God please wrap your loving arms around her family.

  14. Christa says:

    I did not know Alexis but am saddened to learn of her passing by way of suicide. The pain left in the wake of suicide is horrendous and my heart goes out to Alexis’ family, especially her parents, and her friends. I was once suicidal, and also lost two friends. For those of you looking for answers and resources, I encourage you to stop by my website. I am NOT selling anything. I have a free e-book I wrote to help survivors of suicide loss cope with pain, and also lots of resources (links) for grievers.

    If you are a parent with a child in school, make it your mission to bring suicide prevention training and programs into school. Ask your school board, principal, counselors and teacher if they have been training in suicide prevention. Most of these trainings are provided for free through local mental health associations.

    Learn from this loss and do what you can to help save the life of another sweet child.

    God Bless you Alexis.

  15. Billy Johnson says:

    It was great to have you at our event this last Saturday. And, I consider it a pleasure to have met you and to have had a nice conversation together. (with Will Turner)

    This story is tragic. This last Sunday morning, I spent the entire Sunday School hour with my Teen’s Group, inquiring about their thoughts surrounding this story and this topic. We learned how to get “involved” with one another on an intimate level.

    We learned that it’s okay to ask some of the tough questions.

    We learned that we each have a need for others; to feel and to be loved.

    We learned how we might best “love” one another in our specific “language.”

    It was almost too perfect. One of the teen boys, who’s usually jovial & upbeat, came in slamming doors, acting mad at the world, carrying a threatening demeanor, etc. Upon digging in and asking about what was truly going on, we found out that he’s emotional and when he feels rejected (as he did that morning) he lashes out and puts up fronts for defense. We continued to drill down and eventually came to help him out of his “dark place.”

    The point is that we took a minute to allow him to decompress and to speak directly in his language. We also spoke into his life. He calmed down and was able to contribute value to our discussion. It was a lesson we couldn’t have planned.

    This topic goes unnoticed most of the time. Thank you for writing this article to bring light to it!

    Billy

  16. Hannah says:

    I was friends with this girl. We went to the mental hospital together. She was a great girl.

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