Parents Of Suicide
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Jordan’s Story

Sherry Phillips
November 15, 2000

Jordan was the oldest of 4 children. He was just a one-year-old baby himself when his sister was born on November 24, 1979. He had turned one on November 21. Two other children quickly followed.

Jordan was a sensitive, artistic and imaginative child, quiet and shy. He was a happy-go-lucky kid until he reached middle school. Then he was introduced to drugs, and his depression manifested itself. For years we searched for treatment--doctors, hospitals, residential facilities, therapists, medication, rehabs. But nothing seemed to work for too long.

His younger brother, Andrew, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 8. Andrew's illness had a profound effect on the household. Chaos reigned every day. Andrew had out-of-control violent outbursts and the other kids and my husband and I were unable to contain him. Of course, living in this atmosphere really took a toll on everyone, including Jordan. He could never bring friends home without wondering what Andrew would do next. It was a very unstable environment. Andrew also went into and out of treatment. That story continues.

Jordan finally finished high school and did not have the confidence to continue his education. He took a series of jobs, often quitting after just a few months and moving onto something else. Because of his drug abuse we asked him to leave home a few time. We tried to get him into rehab, explaining that we couldn't just let him stay home and drink and drug, especially with his younger brother so ill.

He left home a few times but we always welcomed him back. He was sober for months at a time, then went back to drinking. He also cut himself all the time, threatening to kill himself anytime life got too hard. Everyone told us he was just looking for attention and manipulating us. It sure seemed that way sometimes.

In January of this year, he moved in with his girlfriend, whom he described as his soul mate. She is a nice girl, but troubled also. Jordan said he had finally found someone who could understand exactly how he felt. We didn't think that their living together was a great idea for many reasons, not the least of which was that they were often depressed and fighting. Not much of a change from his home environment! He had planned to come home the night he died. The two of them decided that perhaps they should go home to their parents and just date.

My daughter, Emily, worked at a local restaurant close to where Jordan's apartment was. He and his girlfriend came in for dinner early that evening. They seemed fine, although Emily noticed Jordan was again ordering beer. They went home and a few hours later, Jordan called Emily and asked her to pick him up because he wanted to come home. Then he called back a little later and said that his girlfriend was too upset for him to leave. He said they'd work things out and for Emily not to worry.

All this time, my husband and I were fast asleep just a few miles away, never having any idea what was going on. At two in the morning I received a call from the detective asking me to meet him at the hospital. I asked what it was about and he said it was about Jordan. My first thought is, here we go again. I thought Jordan had cut himself or something. I was kind of surprised because I thought Jordan had stopped doing that. On the way to the hospital, though, I began to think that things were not the same as usual. Why had a detective called instead of a doctor? Why did I feel so cold?

When we got there the person at the desk didn't even make eye contact with me when I asked about Jordan. She just said someone would be with me shortly. Stupid me. I still didn't get it. My husband and I were the only two in the waiting room. Finally the surgeon came to us and explained that Jordan had been brought in with a deep stab wound to the chest. He said they cracked his chest, massaged his heart, shocked his heart and just couldn't save him. He died of massive internal bleeding.

Please forgive me for being so long-winded. I guess I still need to talk about the details of that night, details that I searched long and hard to piece together. I found out that Jordan and his girlfriend had both been drinking, had been fighting, saying the usual things to each other, and that Jordan hit his girlfriend.

She screamed, he jumped up, ran out of the room saying over and over, "I'm sorry" and then the next thing she saw was Jordan standing in the doorway with blood on his shirt. He had stabbed himself in the heart and left lung. It was only a matter of minutes before he blacked out and began suffocating because of the blood in his lungs.

They transported him to the hospital and he died on the way. We don't know whether he intended this or not. Maybe he was cutting himself and went in too deep. We just don't know what to think.All I know is my beautiful son is gone!!

Written by:
Sherry Phillips
Mother of:
11/21/78 – 09/22/00