The GoFundMe page set up by the family of an 11-year-old girl named Lily who reportedly committed suicide over the weekend is nothing short of gut-wrenching. “Our family is devastated. Lily’s little brother found her hanging in the garage,” it reads. “There are no words of solace that can repair the pain to our hearts right now. There was no warning and no signs. We are besides ourselves in grief.”
Above the message — which includes a request for help for a “simple dress and funeral” — is a picture of Lily smiling with what appears to be her birthday cake. The GoFundMe message, signed “The Soto Family”, says the family is still struggling to overcome the shock about her death — and questioning what may have motivated it. “This nightmare is real. Parents are not supposed to bury their children. There won’t be any more birthdays, no more cheerful smiles, no more ‘Happy Hi!’, there won’t be a prom or graduation party This pain is real,” it reads. “We still don’t know why this happened but the detectives suspect bullying.”
According to a Facebook post by local radio station WZSR in Crystal Lake, Ill., Lily attended McHenry Middle School in McHenry, Ill. According to comments on the post, kids at the school have been complaining about bullying. “I can’t even imagine what her poor family is going through!” writes Destini Hedgepath, who says her daughter attended school with Lily. “McHenry middle school needs to get on this bullying problem they seem to have… I had just received an email last week on how cops were called due to threats to a student and bullying! Seriously people this needs to end… Why can’t we teach all kids to be kind! 😭”
Also included in the radio station’s Facebook post is a mention that McHenry Middle School “will address [Lily’s death]” with students and that the district will have “counselors on hand” to help her classmates through the grieving process. Yahoo Lifestyle reached out to the school for comment, but at the time of publishing, no response had been received.
Lily’s death comes just ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day, which marks the start of National Suicide Prevention Week, seven days dedicated to raising awareness and breaking down stigmas. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website offers ways for individuals to get involved and help stop a problem that leads to more than 44,000 deaths each year in America alone.
Although statistics show the majority of those who commit suicide are adults, suicide among children and teens is not uncommon. Just two weeks ago, a mother in Denver reported that her 9-year-old son committed suicide after coming out to his classmates as gay, which she alleges resulted in bullying. According to a study from Yale University, victims of bullying are anywhere between two and nine times more likely to consider suicide. This is a growing problem particularly among young girls — with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that suicides among 10- to 14-year-old girls have tripled in the last two decades.
It’s clear that Lily’s death leaves a gaping hole for her family, who ended the GoFundMe message with a simple question: “How did this happen?”
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