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Senior Spotlight: Oakleaf High's Jacquelyn Beasy

Mother’s death leads to focus on mental health, substance abuse

Don Coble
Posted 5/9/24

OAKLEAF – Her mother probably told her how she came up with her name, Jacquelyn Beasy, but she can’t remember. Like most adults and adolescents, she remembers they had their differences but …

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Senior Spotlight: Oakleaf High's Jacquelyn Beasy

Mother’s death leads to focus on mental health, substance abuse


Posted

OAKLEAF – Her mother probably told her how she came up with her name, Jacquelyn Beasy, but she can’t remember. Like most adults and adolescents, she remembers they had their differences but nothing that drove them apart.

So many questions will go without answers. Mother-daughter chats will be left unspoken.

“I’m sure she told me about my name, but I don’t remember. Now, I’ll never know. I think sometimes still, it’s kind of hard to grasp,” the Oakleaf senior said. “It doesn’t entirely feel real.”

Jacquelyn’s mother died unexpectedly a year ago. It was near the end of her junior year, and she admitted to feeling “overwhelmed.” She said she worked so hard at the beginning of the year, and it was all about to slip away in the final few weeks.

“Doing schoolwork sometimes just seems like a small thing in your life when you’re going through something,” she said. “You don’t entirely want to do it, but you do it anyways. You do it because you have to.”

And because it becomes a necessary part of the grieving process.

Her English teacher, Rebecca Kruck, noticed Jacquelyn seemed despondent in class shortly after her mother’s death. Without probing, she suggested Jacquelyn talk to a school counselor, who then told the rest of her teachers about her mother’s death.

“They offered for me to come in there (to the counselor’s office) whenever I wanted, and they told the rest of my teachers that year in case I wanted to go out of the classroom if I needed a minute to breathe or see someone or something like that,” Jacquelyn said. “So they’re all really helpful. They gave me a little bit of time to breathe and decompress. I never was in touch with anyone outside my household family.”

Through the loss and despair, and with her mother in mind, Jacquelyn gained a purpose. She refocused during her senior year to earn admission to the University of Florida, where she will study psychology.

“There were some issues with her because she dealt with a lot of mental health issues and drug abuse as well,” she said. “So for me, it was really hard to communicate with her a lot of times because she was either out of it or she was going to some type of mental institute.

I felt a lot of regret when it first happened because I tried to communicate with her better and have a better relationship with her.”

Jacquelyn expressed those emotions in her college admission essay. She wrote she and her mother made mistakes communicating, but they always loved each other.

Her mother may be gone, but their mother-daughter bond will never die.