In this episode, I chat with Tracy, a mother who shares her daughter’s story. Unfortunately, the story ended in a self-inflicted fatality. She shares how it all unfolded, as well as lots of great advice and things that we can learn from.*

Emilee was born two weeks early in November of 1999, the youngest of four. She ended up getting life lighted because she was having some problems with her lungs. In January of 2000, she got the chicken pox. A couple months later, she got RSV. They were in and out of the hospital constantly, it seemed like.

Elementary school was fine. Her parent’s didn’t notice anything out of the norm. Once Emilee got into middle school, they noticed her introversion a lot more. Emilee would rather be at home than with her friends. She would make up excuses not to hang out and would even have her parents tell her friends that she was busy if they called.

By her Senior year, things really started to change. There was an assembly on suicide and one day during class, Emilee opened up to her friend about her thoughts and feelings on suicide. Luckily, the friend immediately took her to someone at school to get her help. Tracy was called and they got her in to a counselor. However, it only lasted a short time because Emilee did not fit their client criteria. Tracy and her husband tried different things and places with Emilee and they thought things were okay. About a month later, Tracy got another call from the school counselor saying that things weren’t better. He referred them to another person about an hour away. They saw huge change and growth with this therapist. He even graduated her from the program. Tracy and her husband would talk to Emilee regularly about how she was doing and feeling. They thought everything was going well.

The day before Emilee passed, Tracy picked her up from school and they talked – just like they always did. Tracy said there were no signs of anything being out of the ordinary. Tracy and her husband had to go out of town that night to help their other daughter in surgery the next morning. They’d talked to Emilee several times that day. However, morning came and they couldn’t get any response from her. Tracy and her husband called and text several times to make sure she was getting up and ready for school. Tracy asked if she had a migraine so that she could let the school know.. But there was never an answer from Emilee. Because of that, Tracy’s husband went home because he just had a feeling something was wrong. When he called Tracy, she just sunk. “Not my Emilee.”

Tracy Balch - Quote

Tracy talks about the things she has done in our area to try and make a difference. She shares things that have helped her along the way, new traditions she’s started, to be kind. She also shares the things that’s she’s really struggled with and how she copes with those things. Tracy shares ways you can help people that are struggling with their own mental illness and/or losses.

Listen to the full episode to hear all the details.

*Please note: this is the guest’s story. Their story is how they perceive it. It is not my judgement or responsibility to determine whether or not this story and the things said are true. Please be open minded when listening to/reading these stories.

AFSP (American Foundation of Suicide Prevention)
Encouragement signs
Kind like Kamree
The World Needs You
Suicide Awareness for Sevier County
SafeUT app
The Syddall’s story (Shailee, episode 6)
-Tracy’s favorite product: Dual moisturizer by Avon
-Tracy’s song recommendations: Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas, Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds, Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin and One More Light by Linkin Park (listen to these songs on the Hard Knocks guest list on Spotify)

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