Losing a parent before the start of high school devastates incoming freshman


A younger Kailyah Hensley poses for a photo with her Father.

Amanda Martin, Guest Writer

Around 10 o’clock at night on August 3rd, 2019, thirteen-year old Kailyah Hensley settled down for bed after a long day and plugged her phone in on the charger. When her phone had been charging for a while, she noticed many messages and missed calls from family members.

Her father, 38 year-old Adrian Jackson, had sadly passed away that day in his wife’s arms. She recalls being angry, confused and lost in the days that followed. 

“I didn’t speak to him since I left his house that morning,” freshman Kailyah explained, “I never expected him to die that day.” 

According to Hello Grief, Teenagers who lose one or more parents say they’ll give anything to just have them back, even temporarily. Teenagers also sometimes feel guilty for either not spending enough time with them or just their death in general. Unlike children, teenagers understand death, but they sometimes don’t understand grieving of a loved one as many have never grieved before.

 “I was depressed. I couldn’t eat for days,” said Kailyah, “We held his funeral on the 16th of August, and to celebrate his life, we helped people in need afterwards.”

Kailyah, now 14 as of October, wasn’t very close to her father and spent most of her life in her mother’s house. She only had weekends with her dad and step-mom, but still loved and cared for him. 

At first, Kailyah was very sensitive to people finding out as his death was unexpected and too soon. Her father’s death was due to medical related issues. From Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice, often sudden and early deaths cause more pain because loved ones are unable to say goodbye.

Kailyah says it’s the only time she ever cried herself to sleep. “I woke up with my father alive and fell asleep with him dead.”