Sadie L. Riggs, 15, of Bedord, Pennsylvania, committed suicide on June 19, 2017. Her family used her obituary to shine a light on bullying.
Sadie’s story is too frequently symptomatic of the consequences of bullying
Her tragic story is a paradigm of the terrible consequences of bullying, which has been a prominent issue in our youth culture, gaining much attention but seeming to no avail. We still have stories like Sadie’s.
The family of a Pennsylvania teen who killed herself this week used her obituary to shine a light on bullying.
Sadie L. Riggs, a 15-year-old from Bedford who recently began her studies at Bedford Senior High School, hanged herself on Monday. Her loved ones, in an obituary posted by Geisel Funeral Homes, recalled her bright spirit while addressing the struggles she also faced.
“In an effort to debunk the rumors about Sadie’s death we would like to share this information. Yes, Sadie took her own life, she hung herself,” it reads.
“For the bullies involved, please know you were effective in making her feel worthless. That is all between you and God now, but please know that it is not too late to change.”
Sadie’s aunt, who lived with the teen, said the high school student was primarily bullied through apps like SnapChat, Kik and Instagram.
“They called her everything in the book,” Sarah Smith told WPXI.
She continued on to say the candid obituary gives Sadie a voice to tell her story and prevent similar tragedies in the future.
“Sadie is finally being able to get heard, and hopefully she can help someone out in the long run,” Smith said.
A member of the Solid Rock Fellowship Church, Sadie was known as a loving girl who played softball and enjoyed drawing, music and reading. She worked as a cook at Pizza Hut, but dreamed of becoming a firefighter or a veterinarian. She faced many struggles, according to the death notice, and was in therapy and taking medication.
And while her loved ones have been devastated by the cruelty of Sadie’s tormentors, they said they’d never wish them pain.
“To all the bullies out there, I just want you to know that as much as we despise your actions, never ever do we wish for you to feel the paralyzing pain that engulfs our bodies, a pain so severe that it makes the simple act of breathing difficult or the guilt that leaves us wondering what we could have done differently — or that struggle to remember the last time we spoke…”
At the end of the obituary, the family asks that in lieu of sending flowers that everyone just “be kind to one another.”
It is extremely important that we keep the conversation and intervention alive on this issue.
What a great message this family is sending to our youth. I hope that it will be heard across our country.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network