I just went for a short drive to get out of the house, my heart heavy for beautiful Jennifer Huston and her family. Got a cold Coke at Sonic and a chocolate candy bar, then headed back home. I felt prompted to pull into a parking lot and googled Jennifer Huston again. It was the news I was expecting after I found out yesterday that she had died, yet didn’t want to hear. My heart is so heavy over this.
Jennifer Huston died of asphyxiation by hanging, Dr, Karen Gunson the Oregon medical state examiner said Thursday. The box of sleeping pills she had purchased were empty. There is no evidence of a crash or damage to her dark green SUV and the fuel guage registered as full.
Inside the SUV, detectives found a suicide note addressed to members of her family. (Koin.com reports) I want to know so bad what it said. What were this precious woman’s last words? What pain was so great that she couldn’t stand to live any more?
Her purse and personal items, which included her cell phone that she apparently turned off after getting gas, were also located inside the SUV. The cell phone was analyzed by NDPD computer forensic detectives who “found no indications of nefarious activities.” (Koin.com reports)
She died close to the time she was reported missing, within 24 miles of her home, on a rural logging road off Highway 18 on private property. Her family and authorities had conducted a nation-wide search, including helicopters and searching lakes and rivers, to no avail.
Her SUV was seen by the landowner of the private property, who thought it might belong to illegal trespassers. He called the authorities, reading the plate numbers to them. Authorities quickly came and swept the area, and found her body about 40 yards from the SUV.
Jennifer, wife of Kallen Huston and planning their 10 year anniversary in August and mom of 2 boys ages 6 and 2 years old, died by suicide after she went to Rite-Aid after withdrawing less than $100 outside her credit union at the ATM, bought Gatorade, Trail Mix, and sleeping pills at Rite-Aid, and then topped off her green SUV gas tank.
When Jennifer disappeared, the news spread all over the nation via social media, TV and radio coverage. Most people have been very compassionate and have written encouraging words on her family’s Find Jennifer Huston Facebook page, but some people have been pretty nasty with comments, which have made me angry. Have they no heart for this woman and her grieving family?
Since I first heard about this situation, I’ve been praying. I’d hoped so much that she would be found alive and safe – even if it meant she had driven to Washington to board the ferry to San Juan Islands without telling her family, as one couple reported possibly seeing her after her disappearance.
I’ve been obsessing about it with my family. Maybe it’s that she seems a symbol of the average American wife and mom with kids ~ a woman who loved others, was devoted to her husband and children, and was involved in the community ~ and yet stressed out and overwhelmed with the day to day responsibilities and demands. I get it. Many women do.
Potty training a child. Buying groceries. Paying – and juggling – monthly bills, sometimes with more month than money, and maybe not being able to go on vacation this year to San Juan Islands as she apparently loved to do, or any vacation.
I didn’t have the great privilege of knowing Jennifer as her family and friends did, and of course I don’t know what her life was like. But clues from what her husband and family said, such as her leaving her home the last night stressed out and then taking her life, give me a glimpse of what it may have been like.
Despite her obvious outer beauty and inner beauty described by her family and friends, her solid marriage as her father and her husband Kallen described, and her beautiful little boys, inside something was missing. Empty. Hurting. You can see the pain in her eyes in her pictures in the news. She didn’t understand her great value and her God-ordained purpose. How God and others cherished her. We all need to feel loved, needed, and important…although it seems her family loved her a great deal, somehow that message didn’t get through to her. That breaks my heart!
My heart just cries out for her. I’ve been down that dark road. I describe it in my new book, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love ~ my own suicide attempts, such as my overdose of pills, which thankfully didn’t succeed. I could have winded up like Jennifer. So many do! Thank God He spared my life, and gave me a second and third chance. Jennifer, I so wish I’d known you! I wish I could have somehow reached out to you before this awful tragedy happened!
Some people on social media are calling Jennifer’s suicide “totally selfish.” Yes, suicide is a very selfish act. But ultimately, it is the loudest cry of unbearable pain and overwhelm. I only feel great compassion for her, and am grieving with her family.
WHY?! What caused her to take her own life? What pain was so great that she couldn’t bear it another second? I wish I knew…I wish she could have let Jesus taken it from her and given her His rest and abundant life.
Her parents shared this message in their public statement about her suicide death:
“Our hearts ache today. We have lost our first born child. We have lost a wife and a mother. We don’t know what lead Jennifer to this dark place and to this end and perhaps never will understand this. We are incredibly thankful to family, friends, community and media for their searching, supporting and getting the information out that lead to locating Jennifer’s car and finding Jennifer.”
I can’t imagine her mom’s, or her other family members’, great pain. God, have mercy. Please comfort and strengthen them. Cover them with Your love and goodness.
If you know someone who is hurting, please, reach out with God’s love…
The world is now missing someone very precious. Jennifer, I honor your life. I wish we had been close friends.
The Hillside Fellowship Church has offered to accept any notes, cards and flowers on behalf of the Huston family. Anyone wishing to do so can contact Pastor Zach Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements for gifts or other contributions.
The Family has a GoFundMe account set up for search effort funding as recently allocated, funeral expenses, counseling for their 2 sons and Kallen, and any remaining funds will be donated toward a non-profit organization that supports women’s health, families, and suicide prevention. Just click here to donate.