Here is her story and the story of her daughter Paige. We are publishing this on what would be Paige’s 16th birthday in honor of this beautiful young girl that the world lost too soon and in hopes that others will be saved because of her story.
Losing My Lil Miss by Glenna Ferguson
Losing Paige to suicide changed things for me in a huge way. In truth, I would never have thought that my daughter at age 14 would have even had the thought of suicide. Paige’s life was just beginning. Along with this confusion comes huge unbearable guilt, questioning every day in my head what I did or didn’t do. I wonder how I could have made her life better, questioning if maybe I shouldn't have been a mother at all. It's an overwhelming feeling of failure. When I first found out about Paige taking her own life I had very few supporters. We had lost my nephew to suicide in 1998 and our family fell apart. No one talked about it then, and still don’t. Kinda ironic, Paige and I were the only ones who took part in the yearly "Walk for Hope" Suicide Prevention memory walk. It's as though my nephew’s death was brushed under the carpet, a sin I guess for lack of a better word. It seemed that my family wasn’t there for me partially because it brought up too much pain and memories of him. My other two kids and I came together for a celebration of Paige’s life after she passed, but have never really talked about what happened, or how it has affected all of us. My ex-husband (Paige’s father, whom she was living with at the time) and I don’t speak either. We all just went our separate ways. I'm hoping one day to all come together again as a family, and get to where we can talk about Paige, and remember all the good times and share stories, memories.
I am still having huge anger issues with the lack of support I received, not even that, but acknowledgement of any kind after losing Paige. There are friends I grew up with, that were apart of her life, my life. Where have they been?? They are nowhere, as if they just disappeared. How could they not miss her as I do, know the pain I'm in and not be there? Everything changes. I've had to find out the hard way, who are truly my friends, some of which I haven't seen or been apart of their lives since high school and people I didn't even know before. I found one support group near me, but the participation is so slim that they didn't even meet on a monthly basis. I pretty much just had to struggle a lot on my own. I was on a path of self destruction. I chose to choose drugs, alcohol, anything to numb the unbearable pain I was in. I was letting myself die slowly, staying in bed, isolating myself. That first year was a complete fog, only remembering bits and pieces. I did, however, have a few girlfriends help me including an amazing friend, Desire, that was there from day one and never left my side. She had even researched how to help a friend in need during this time. A niece, Brandy Rose, has been my rock. She put her own grieving aside to be there for me. Without the two of them, I would have sank.
My advice to others? This is a tough one. Paige had moved with her father the last year of her life, so she wasn’t a constant in my day to day life. I thought things were great. She had discovered what an amazing artist she was, tried out for cheerleading, had a boyfriend. Life was great and the move was good. The only thing I had noticed looking back was she didn't have any time for me when she was home to visit. But isn't that what teenagers do?? I didn't see the signs, I guess they might have been there, but I failed to see them, which is hard to swallow. My hope for making something positive come from the loss of Paige. I want to help show teens that there is good in life, it's worth living, and they matter. I want them to know that I understand that life as a teen is not easy, but you can make it through. I want to support people learning the warning signs and starting important conversations. To save one life, is worth it. I want to honor Paige, to let her see that I didn't give up. Maybe I couldn't help her, but I can help someone else's daughter, son, grandchild. I don't think I can truly heal and move on if I don't work on fixing the horrible epidemic. I think it is a mission we should all be a part of. I am thankful for an opportunity to share about this in my own words and hope it inspires at least one other person. It has helped me a lot just to have you be interested in my angel Paige's story. God bless.