A Woman Who Inspires Jenn

We’re almost finishing our blog series for Women’s History Month, and today we are publishing this piece by Jenn. Today we posted a #Ducklinspiration that said: Life is Breathtakingly Beautiful. Jenn is going to show us here why this is true.

Women who inspire


Anyone who has read my story submitted to the Ugly Ducklings knows a little bit more about my life than the average Joe around me day to day. And if you find yourself wondering what this has to do with inspiration, then let me just get right to it. February 12th, 2008 I lost my little sister to suicide. February 12th, 2008 I was left to deal with the repercussions of her actions. In fact, everyone who knew Nicole was left behind to deal with the decision she had made. The only person who wasn’t… was her.

Jenn and Nicole. SistersA lot of people are quick to say that suicide is an extremely selfish act and in so many ways it is. But from the point of view of someone who has dealt with the aftermath, I am here to say that everyone is welcome to their opinions. But, unless you’ve been there… unless you’ve lost someone close to you because of suicide, please try not to judge the ones who have tried and succeeded in taking their own lives. And more importantly, please try not to judge those who are left behind and the way they choose to deal with it. Once again, you’re probably thinking “This is depressing as hell! How is this supposed to be inspirational?” I promise I’m going to get there.

When I first lost my sister, I grieved just like anyone else. I cried. I panicked. I denied. And then I barely got out of bed for two weeks. After that, I began to have a lot of anxiety. And then, I got angry. I was forced to go back to work and deal with people who had no clue who I truly was. Who knew nothing about me whatsoever, aside from the fact that we worked together. But so many were quick to offer their condolences and just as many were completely clueless as to what to say or whether or not they should say anything at all! I was fine with that. I just wanted to be left alone. Finally, one day someone asked me about her. Someone had the guts to ask me what had happened and they wanted details.

To a random person, this may seem rude. Or in fact, in may just seem as if someone was just being nosey. But I wasn’t offended in the least. I thought to myself “Finally! Someone wants to *talk* about her! Someone wants to know about Nicole and they’re genuinely concerned about why she took her own life.” So I started talking. And once I did, I found that I couldn’t seem to shut myself up! And I thought, you know, I even feel as if a weight was being lifted off of my chest. I didn’t have to carry around that burden of being one of the only few who truly knew what had happened and what had led my sister to choose to do what she did. More and more I found myself just openly speaking about what had happened. I found myself explaining what she had been going through in the months leading up to her final day. And it felt good. You might be wondering, “How in the hell can it feel good to talk about death? How in the hell is *this* inspirational?”

Nicole. Jenn's sisterYou see… every day, my little sister is my inspiration. I wake up every day and realize that even though she is gone, I am not. I am alive and I am alive for a reason. Losing my sister could have left me empty. It could have left me without hope. But the funny thing is… I don’t feel empty. I didn’t lose my hope. Or my faith. Or my belief that no matter how bad today might be, there is ALWAYS the chance that tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life. My sister, Nicole, inspires me in ways that I can’t even begin to put into words. I carry her with me everywhere I go and she inspires me to be the best person I can possibly be. And given the opportunity, I will talk until I’m blue in the face about her, and what she went through and how I got to where I am today! If I talk about her, if I talk about the options she had, the obstacles she faced and the decision she made… it might inspire someone else to think twice about how little they feel their life means.

My little sister is and always will be my number one inspiration in life. Even if no one else can understand how… I will always say her. Just because she lost a horrific battle doesn’t make her any less of a hero to me, or any less inspirational. Her actions and her story could change a million lives. Or even if it just changes one… then, her loss will not have been in vain. But I have no doubt that her story will change lives and inspire others.

After all… she changed mine!

– Love to you, ducklings!

Jen is 33 going on 19. She describes herself as a loner, but makes friends very easily! She spends most of her time talking to her friends on Twitter, goes to work and whenever she has free time, she writes.


One thought on “A Woman Who Inspires Jenn

  1. I am very proud of Jenn for sharing her story! I am a huge believer in sharing life experiences so that another will learn from or at least know they are not alone. It works as therapy for myself to help others just as Jenn was speaking of. Getting to know Jenn has been a joy. Her strength is inspiring. It seems as though I have witnessed her breaking out of her shell a little more each time I talk to her. I enjoy seeing that!

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